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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Western Aggregates and Group Announce Agreement For 180-acre Salmon Habitat Enhancement Easement Along Yuba River

Published on Oct 10, 2008 October 10, 2008;

Marysville, California - Western Aggregates (Western) and the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) announced today that they, along with the Yuba River Preservation Foundation (YRPF) and Yuba Outdoor Adventures (YOA), have signed an Agreement in Principle to establish a conservation easement along three miles of river frontage of the Yuba River downstream of the Parks Bar Bridge. The easement area, consisting of approximately 180 acres of land owned by Western Aggregates, will be used by the four signatories for habitat restoration for salmon, trout, and other native Yuba River species.

"Western Aggregates is excited about being involved in this habitat restoration project," said David Greenblatt, Senior Vice President of Western Aggregates. "Western has teamed up with SYRCL to utilize SYRCL's expertise and experience in these salmon restoration projects to promote opportunities for salmon population growth, riparian habitat restoration, and general improvement to the Yuba River. Through months of discussion, we were able to develop a joint program that uses Western Aggregates' lands with SYRCL's knowledge about river flows, habitat restoration, and fisheries enhancement with a goal to restore habitat for salmon, trout, and other native biota of the Yuba River," added Greenblatt. Lloyd Burns, President of Western Aggregates, noted that "this project will be good for the community, good for the river, and good for the fish."

The 24 miles of the lower Yuba River below Englebright Dam support one of the last wild salmon populations in all of the San Francisco Bay watershed. With pre-Gold Rush salmon runs estimated at roughly 100,000 in the whole of the Yuba Rivers, current salmon runs have reached a critically low level of 2,600 adult spawning salmon in 2007. In addition to migration barriers, quality riparian and side channel habitat have been identified by fisheries biologists as a key factor that limits the success of juvenile salmon. This project will especially focus on opportunities for salmon recovery and the physical restoration of salmon habitat.

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