Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Touch of Earth Rape

Here's what it now looks like in Foster Canyon, 1/2 mile from my home.  I was none too pleased when a portable gravel-mining operation set up shop in the canyon about 6 months ago.  (I have a problem with wild nature being destroyed for profit.)  But I also knew that the canyon bottom would heal relatively quickly -- 100 years or so.  Water does that -- eats away the high spots, fills in the low spots, and irrigates the new vegetation.  In fact, this process has already begun:  they built a berm next to the arroyo, which has already been breached.  (Arroyos tend to run where they will.)  The huge hole they scooped out is already filling up with new sediment, which is full of seeds, and thus the healing process begins.

What I don't understand is why they scalped the slope like that.  For one, I'm surprised that a bulldozer can operate on such a steep slope.  For another, I'm surprised the bulldozer operator took the risk of having his machine flip over on top of him.  I guess he did it for the hell of it.  Unfortunately, this slope will never heal -- it's too steep to ever be stable, and it will just erode forever.  Maybe I'll walk over there and document the new gullies as they get bigger year by year.   


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