High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER AV

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High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER AV

Postby DuckFan » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:20 pm

High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – PATH DOWN HENRY MILLER AVE



I am not sure if any of you are aware of the plan to route the CA High Speed Rail (HSR) Trains straight through the Grasslands. I have spoken with the General Manager of the Grasslands Water District (GWD), and also with CWA about concerns with this project.


The HSR Open House Meetings scheduled for the San Jose to Merced section, can be found here:

http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/SJ_Merced_Open_House_Flyer_April_2017.pdf




I plan to attend their April 25th meeting in Los Banos, and hope to have a chance to provide input. I also plan to leave them with a letter with concerns and requests. I will attend the meeting as a member of CWA’s Public Lands Hunter Committee.



I am pretty sure this issue has not been on too many hunter’s radar….but there will be impacts to us and the habitat.


Here are just a few items I believe should be addressed: I am putting together others as well.


1. The Path you have chosen will cut across the edge of two major wildlife areas, Volta and Los Banos State Wildlife Management areas, dividing the path used by wildlife to move between their north and south habitat

2. Historical Flight Paths will now have high fencing and power lines to block or interfere with flocks’ movement. How high will fencing rise above the track?

3. Will the electrification come from Lines above the trains as they do for European HSR lines? If so, how high will those lines be above the track?

4. Endangered and/or Threatened species are impacted - such as the Kit Fox, The Pond Turtle, snakes and more. You can’t replace this wetland and it must be protected from disturbance that will be caused by 250 + MPH speeding trains.

5. We believe HSR should continue to analyze alternatives, including alignments north of and south of the Grasslands, such as the Highway 140 corridor to the north, or Nees Road to the south.

6. HSR consult with Grassland Water District and wildlife refuge managers to evaluate the timing of construction, to minimize disturbance during nesting and flooding seasons, and evaluate non-glare and lighting measures to avoid species disturbance, as approved in the 2008 Program EIR/EIS.

7. HSR acquire easements of at least 10,000 acres, to conserve wetlands and other sensitive areas in and around the Grasslands, particularly to limit urban growth in areas undergoing development pressures (Los Banos and Volta), as approved in the 2008 Program EIR/EIS

8. Conduct a field survey of biological resources affected by the train alignment, including waterfowl nesting and breeding habitat and sensitive wildlife species, as approved in the 2008 Program EIR/EIS.

9. Clearly state how many trains will pass by, and where operations, maintenance, and electrical facilities will be located.
Analyze and mitigate for short-term and long-term effects on biological resources, including wildlife corridors. Analyze and mitigate for impacts from noise, vibration, shock wave and wildlife collisions.

10. Analyze all potential interference with access and use of existing Federal and State Refuges as well as hunting clubs.
Analyze how the project will affect water flow through the Grasslands, and protect water quality through mitigation.

Also, here are links to maps showing the path just south of the Volta refuge and continuing down Henry Miller Ave – right past the Los Banos check station…. All the way toward highway 99

https://www.hsr.cagov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/Henry_Miller_Road_Segment_5_26_11.pdf

http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/bay_area_eir/BayCValley2008_EIR_vol2_appn2D6.pdf



Also, I found a video that shows where it is going. Start around the 5:30 mark and you will see it go past the San Luis reservoir and then on toward the city of Volta and across to Henry Miler Ave, then straight across the valley:

https://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/sanjose_merced.html



I encourage everyone to be involved, ask questions and attend a meeting if you can. It may mean another letter writing campaign is in order as well.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby MeatBuck » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:45 am

I'd be more worried about the delta tunnels project but neither one is good for anything, especially the wildlife and its habitat.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby friedcoot » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:23 am

If its not stopping at any of the existing clubs or access areas to the refuges, then its a no brainer. At least when they built the railway thru the Suisun Marsh, they had stops at every club along the way. I hate to condemn progress and its rough if you work in Bay Area as the homes in area have exceeded reality for most hard working families.So many are driving in. A bullet train would certainly reduce carbon footprints and allow those who can't afford high home prices to move further away. I love duck hunting but I also want folks to be able to find work and raise a family with a mortgage. It's a tough situation for sure. Maybe mitigation?
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby DuckFan » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:37 pm

Friedcoot,

I agree regarding housing.


Just a comment: There will be no stops in the Grasslands area. It doesn't stop until Merced. People in Banos for example, would have to commute to Merced to take any train back to the bay area or elsewhere.


I attended the meeting and so much to say, but for now let me add this:

The train will go south of the Volta refuge parking lot, and then straight down Henry Miller Ave. Just follow Henry Miller through the grasslands and you will see the path. All ELEVATED track from in front of the Los Banos refuge all the way to Turner Island Road. Viaducts 40-45 feet in the air (including train and electrification lines). The tracks will be fenced except on Viaducts. Think there will be any bird strikes? Especially in Tule fog?


13 miles of tunnel will be used over Pacheco pass and this area in order to avoid any bird strikes of Condors! The big issue they say for Not taking a more south route through the valley (south of the grasslands) is due to the cost of 25 miles of track to take it down south along I-5 to get south of the grasslands, before turning east…YET, they can spend a TON to build 13 miles of TUNNELED track to help the condor.

We have lost 95% of our grasslands in CA. These Grasslands are some of the last remaining we have.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby friedcoot » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:48 pm

Restoring grassands would not be as hard as restoring marshlands. Would be easy to mitigate several hundred acres of farmland adjacent to Los Banos and Volta refuges for grassland restoration. If you hunt lands next to the railway, then your about as lucky as having a blind under high power lines. The tunneling is so they will have the dirt spoils needed to elevate the grasslands rail bed and tunneling technology has greatly advanced in the last few decades. Are there no mitigation clauses in this project? That seems odd.
By the way Duck Fan, thanks for attending these political events and keeping the readers aware. :thumbsup:
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby DuckFan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:52 am

In 2008, there was an agreement for 10,000 acres to be used as mitigation. But, details are not flushed out on that.

Grasslands Water District is involved in that. Concerns include where they would be located, wetland?, huntable? Etc.

Way to much TBD in this project.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby friedcoot » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:26 am

The only "mitigation" I could find was about saving farmable land and farming communities but nothing on native habitat restoration.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby DuckFan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:11 pm

friedcoot wrote:The only "mitigation" I could find was about saving farmable land and farming communities but nothing on native habitat restoration.



Lots of talk..... we need signed agreements, IMO. And Another reason why we need to get our points across soon
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby bill in san jose » Thu May 18, 2017 7:09 pm

I'm hoping it flushes birds out of the closed zones, and we'll know what time it will come by.

It's a political boon doggle which already is project to cost 3x what the voters approved.

It's funded by the large real estate developers ready to put in thousands of homes in the central valley in commuting range of the Silicon Valley.


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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Fri May 19, 2017 11:08 pm

You guys in California won't be happy 'til you can make morning and afternoon commutes from Bakersfield to Mountain View.
You know the crazies won't rest easy 'til they can....don't you?
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: High Speed Rail – CUTS THROUGH GRASSLANDS – HENRY MILLER

Postby Beretta06 » Sat May 20, 2017 7:28 pm

So your saying the most environmentaly friendly state is going to ram a railroad through one the largest contiguous wetland in the state! FMRB! I'll be danged! My dad and I were talking when Brown came up with this Brillant plan. My old man said! You watch they will lay the tracks right through the middle of our club. He only missed it by a few miles. lol. Thanks for the heads up.
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