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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

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Public Access to Yolo Wildlife Area Threatened

5/23/07

www.Tuleyome.org

Access to Wildlife Area Threatened-- Every once in a while, between great hikes and soaking up the beauty of Yolo County, we have something come up that if left unattended, could preclude future enjoyment of some of our wonderful outdoor areas.

This is one of those times.

There is a request by a landowner to have the County abandon a portion of Road 16, located east of the Yolo Bypass and north of I-5 The road provides current access to the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area, and could be used in the future as an access to a trail network on the levee system. Your comments are needed to ensure we don't lose access to this great wildlife area, from the eastern side. You can download a map and images of the public wildlife area. Please take a minute to keep this area open!

Some background:

A landowner on the Sacramento River submitted a request to abandon a portion of Yolo County Road 16. The public road currently ends at the eastern end of the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area, located in northeastern Yolo County. If this section of Road 16 is abandoned as requested, public access to the east side of the Wildlife area will be shut off. It is a simple matter to request an abandonment, but almost impossible to reverse if the Board of Supervisors grants the request.

A sample letter regarding Road 16 and the abandonment request.

To whom it may concern,

As a Yolo County resident, I enjoy our wide open spaces and diverse landscapes. Access to those landscapes, be it visually or recreationally, is very important.

The May 7, 2007 request to abandon a portion of Road 16 (Project Title: ZF#2007-030/Road Abandonment), will result in loss of public access to the east side of the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area. The loss of this access will preclude future use of the levees as recreation corridors for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and fishermen. It will preclude connection of the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area to the Greater Delta Recreation Trail.

The recently completed Yolo County Parks Master Plan talks about the County providing ‘gateway’ facilities, to allow access to other agencies land holdings, such as the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area. The Open Space Element of the General Plan identifies the Yolo Bypass (of which the Fremont Weir is a part) as an open space and recreation resource. Abandoning Road 16 goes against the spirit of both parts of these plans.

Please vote to keep Road 16 a public road. We have nothing to gain by abandoning it, but lots to lose.

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