This week, I noticed some newly cut trees at the site as well as some bright pink staking. I inquired to find out if the mitigation project was starting up and to find out more about the vegetation removal done. It turns out that the city has put staking in place recently to identify the limits for the upcoming planting. That work did not include any vegetation removal. After more inquiries, it was learned that a company that leases some the land from the RR for a large billboard was recently onsite & removed some "volunteer" growth.
I hiked out to this corner of the property today and found that the vegetation removed included some mature elderberry shrubs and other cover that provides some of the best habitat on the parcel currently. The city indicated they have no control of the area in question and have no plans to plant any new vegetation there. It does seem that the owner and leasee would need a permit from the city for the billboard and there is certainly a need to protect elderberry habitat which may host the federally endangered valley elderberry longhorn beetle as well as provide good habitat in an area where there is the primary goal. Clearly, more thought and follow-up is needed...
Looking west along the freeway & back towards the former landfill. Note the billboard and recently cut vegetation