A Settlement Agreement on How to Handle Burrowing Owls on Marriott Site

Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

By Catherine Portman

Dear Burrowing Owl Advocates and Citizens of Davis,

Very soon you will see activity on the Marriott site in Davis where the Target, aka, Fermi owls, are nesting. This is the first phase in a coordinated plan to accommodate the owls on site during construction and upon completion of the hotel.

This is an unprecedented agreement with the developer/owner, John Jackson and Ramos Family Trust, to protect burrowing owls on private property slated for development. In this agreement, the developers have agreed to provisions beyond those required by the City’s mitigation measures or the recommendations of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). We are very grateful to Jackson/Ramos for their willingness to modify their grading and landscape plans to accommodate our beloved owls.

At our request, Jackson/Ramos have agreed to pay for the owls on site to be banded. A world renowned raptor biologist, Jeff Lincer, will be banding the owls with the assistance of a qualified burrowing owl ecologist, Rebecca Cull. You will see people on site trapping and handling the owls. The owls will get a health exam and ankle bracelets. They will be immediately released back to their burrows. Band numbers will be given to BOPS, so the Davis birding community can report future sightings to BOPS..

Please stay away from the area and don’t interfere with people banding the owls. Your presence would make their work more difficult.

The next activity on site will be grading in September. Jackson/Ramos have agreed to wait until after young fledged in September to begin grading. Jackson/Ramos have agreed to grade the site in two phases and install artificial burrows. This provides the owls burrows while other burrows are excluded during grading.

Grading will be supervised by Ms Cull to assure no owls are harmed.

Please stay away from the area during grading. The owls may move around the site to burrows installed for them. Your presence could cause the owls to move into danger. Please stay away.

The City has been informed of the grading and exclusion plan, and as lead agency will submit the document to CDFW for the latter agency’s approval once final details are worked out (very soon).

If you have concerns, please call Catherine Portman at 5308675736

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Janet Krovoza

    Great news that the developer is being so accommodating. Hope it is a model for other situations.  Thanks so much for your efforts, Catherine.

  2. Leanna Sweha

    This is a very positive development. Catherine, have the developers released what will be the added cost to the project of protecting the on-site owls? Also, this would make a great visual media story. Will someone be documenting owl protection measures as the development proceeds?

  3. Ron

    I always knew that the legal actions were intended to protect the owls, and were not intended to derail the project (as some seemed to suspect).

    Yay! A “win-win”.

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