Many of the trees removed to construct the Willits Bypass Project have been or will be used to help the local community. Trees will be placed in local streams and creeks to improve fish habitat, reduce erosion, and promote the formation of gravel bars. Caltrans Senior Resource Biologist Chris Collison said, “When the root-wads of these trees are properly placed in creeks they will help to enhance fish habitat and reduce future steambank erosion.” This use of trees in our mitigation plans was developed using guidelines provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Not only will salmon and steelhead benefit, but the water quality will be improved in the Little Lake Valley.
Our contractor, DeSilva Gates Construction, has also been donating firewood from the project to local non-profit groups and agencies to distribute to those in need and to use for fundraisers.