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Federal Authorities Hold Up Creek Clearing

San Andreas, CA — Calaveras County officials are frustrated that federal authorities are holding up the clearing of Cosgrove Creek in Valley Springs, a creek known to flood during heavy rainfall.

Calaveras County Public Works Director Rob Houghton says difficulties securing federal permits have delayed work that was to start before the rains came in 2006.

Work includes removing vegetation and sediment to restore the natural flow of the creek.

Houghton says state agencies have signed off on the work but it´s the Army Corps of Engineers, which says further studies are needed, that is holding it up. Specifically, field surveys on the endangered red-legged frog.

The surveys must begin after April 15 during the breeding season and last six weeks.

Which means, creek work could not be completed during this rain season.

Supervisor Steve Wilensky has suggested that the current work focus on habitat restoration and possibly the federal agency might respond better to that. Houghton says he would work on that angle.

Written by Vanessa Turner.