Santa Rosa Plateau preserve fencing to be replaced

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Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve
Tenaja Fire flames scorched areas around the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve Visitor Center along Clinton Keith Road, Sept. 4. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

The fencing at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve will be replaced.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors, who also act as the board of the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, voted 5-0, May 19 to approve the contract documents including the plans and specifications, authorize the advertisement for bids, and set a bid deadline of 2 p.m. June 25. The supervisors also found the work to be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

The September 2019 Tenaja Fire burned nearly 2,000 of the 9,000 acres at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve. The most notable loss was the amphitheater students used as part of the Visitors Center interpretative education program, and the losses also included trees, benches, signs and fencing.

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve has woodlands and wetlands, and the preserve provides habitat for nearly 50 endangered, threatened, or rare animal and plant species. The replacement fencing will restrict unauthorized access to the area. Approximately 6,677 linear feet of three-strand braided wire fencing (smooth rather than barbed wire) which was lost or damaged due to the Tenaja Fire will be replaced and restored.

The estimated cost to restore the fencing is $85,000. The Santa Rosa Plateau Foundation, Inc., and Partners of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve are assisting in the fundraising. The portion funded by the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District is yet to be determined, but district capital improvement program funding will be used for the expenses covered by the district.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.