Friday, August 19, 2016

Wildlife Protection Fence along Sawyer Camp Trail

If you’re on the Sawyer Camp Trail mid section when it’s open for through use on weekends or a holiday, you’ll see our Wildlife Exclusion Fence (WEF) enclosing the entire Habitat Restoration Project  area.  

This specially designed woven fabric fence prevents endangered San Francisco garter snakes, California red-legged frogs,and other reptiles, amphibians and small animals from entering the work area. Mesh funnels at the fence base, placed approximately every 100 feet, allow them to exit the area safely, while the narrow opening with a one-way flap at the end prevents them from returning. The WEF also prevents silt from flowing into adjacent drainages.

An environmental inspector monitors the work area for compliance with various environmental requirements, and our biologists check for the presence of special-status species and other vulnerable wildlife, such as roosting bats, nesting birds, and San Francisco dusky-footed woodrats. Active bird nests are protected by a buffer zone around the tree until the young successfully fledge from the nest. 

Wildlife Exclusion Fencing minimizes the potential for harm or injury to state and federally listed species near the work area. It is required by State and Federal permitting resource agencies and the California Environmental Quality Act for construction projects where such special status species may be present.

The fence will be taken down after the vegetation removal is finished later this year.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Temporary Closures of Sawyer Camp Trail Mid-Section Start Aug. 1

A mid-section of the Sawyer Camp Trail, from approximately mile 1-1/4 to mile 3-1/2 (by the Jepson Laurel) will be temporarily closed on weekdays for public safety during tree removal in preparation for habitat restoration over the following period:

Monday-Friday, August 1 through October 28, 2016

The trail will be fully open on weekends and holidays. 

Though through use will not be available on weekdays, the trail will still be open on those days for about the first  1-1/4 miles from the south entrance at Crystal Springs Road,  and for 2-1/2 miles from the north entrance at Hillcrest. 

Bicyclists wanting through access should use alternative routes during this period.  

Chalcedon checkerspot butterfly
This work includes the physical removal of approximately 22 acres of non-native invasive trees that have choked out and displaced the original watershed forests.  It is part of a long-term project throughout the watershed to bring back and maintain about 180 acres of native oak woodland and grassland habitats, and the diversity of plant, bird, butterfly, and other wildlife species that depend on them. 

Looking for an alternative?

Check out the San Andreas Trail, just across the paving from the Sawyer Camp north entrance at Hillcrest. The first 0.7-mile southern segment is unpaved and not open to cyclists (who can take  the frontage road just east of I-280). The rest is paved and extends all the way to San Bruno Avenue. You’ll pass through a variety of habitats, from evergreens to coastal scrub and grassland, and the further north you go, the better the vistas of our northernmost reservoir, the San Andreas.  

Questions:  (866) 973-1476;;

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Peninsula Pipeline Project Receives Top Project Award!

San Andreas Pipeline No. 3 installation in San Bruno

Water & Wastes Digest selected the Peninsula Pipeline Seismic Upgrade (PPSU) Project as one of their Top Projects for 2016! Congrats PPSU project team, hopefully this is the first of many awards!

The PPSU project repaired and replaced several sections of water delivery pipelines in northern San Mateo County, to ensure these critical pipelines can withstand a major earthquake. This project completed all WSIP work in February 2016.

For more information about this project, visit 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sawyer Camp Trail Reopens for Weekday Through Use

The mid-section of the Sawyer Camp Trail that has been temporarily closed for habitat restoration activity is open again for daily use through the month of July.

The trail will be open every day, sunrise to sunset. However, pedestrians and cyclists are requested to be on the lookout for trucks on weekdays, when we will be hauling away vegetation. Please make room for them to pass safely during those periods.

When You Go

Watch for crimson-capped Acorn woodpeckers maneuvering and tapping various oak or other hardwood trunks and branches in nearby open areas. Named for the acorns it hoards in multiple tree cavities it drills, the Acorn woodpecker is just one of many native California species sure to flourish in the watershed’s expanded oak woodland habitat.

Future Trail Schedule

The second temporary partial closure (and the last of the long ones for habitat restoration project) is scheduled to begin in August. The same mid-section of the trail, from about mile 1-1/4 to mile 3-1/2 will be closed to through use for public safety, Monday through Friday, for removal of non-native trees until late October. The entire trail will be open all weekends and holidays.  

As during the first closure, the trail will be open for the first 1-1/4 miles from the South Gate at Crystal Springs Road, and for approximately 2-1/2 miles from the North Gate at Hillcrest. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

On behalf of all of us here at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, we want to wish you a happy and enjoyable Independence Day!

As you prepare for the holiday weekend, we want to take this opportunity to update you on our holiday schedules for two important construction projects in the Peninsula.

Bioregional Habitat Restoration on the Peninsula:

  • Sawyer Camp Trail will be completely open starting the morning of Saturday, July 2 through the entire month of July.  
  • The partial trail closure will be back in place starting Monday, August 1 it the same location for ongoing habitat restoration.

Regional Groundwater Storage & Recovery (GSR) Project: 

  • No construction activity at any of the sites on Monday, July 4 in honor of the holiday
  • Normal construction will resume on Tuesday, July 5

Friday, June 17, 2016

Temporary Weekday Closure of Sawyer Camp Trail Segment Still in Effect

A short section of the southern half of the Sawyer Camp Trail remains temporarily closed to through traffic weekdays, from approximately mile 1-1/4 to mile 3-1/2, Mondays through Fridays.  The closure is in effect up to July 1 for public safety because of large equipment in use to prepare an adjacent area within the Peninsula Watershed for habitat restoration.

Meanwhile the first mile and a quarter from the entrance continues to be well used by midweek
hikers, strollers and cyclists. The trail is fully open on weekends. 

The work is part of a long-term project to bring back, monitor and maintain approximately 180 acres of native oak woodland and grassland.  The historic Peninsula habitats provide essential food and shelter for diversity of native California plant, butterfly, bird, and other wildlife species, some found nowhere else in California. 

This first closure will end by July 1, with a second one scheduled to begin  some time in August or September. A repaving  of the trail’s entire southern half will follow. 

Questions:  (866) 973-1476.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Part of Sawyer Camp Trail Temporarily Closed to Thru Travel M-F, June 13--July1

A section of the southern part of Sawyer Camp Trail will be temporarily closed to thru trail travel on weekdays, from mile 1-1/4 to mile marker 3-1/2 (the Jepson Laurel) on the following dates:

Monday-Friday, June 13–July 1, 2016
The trail will be fully open on weekends.

Large equipment will be in use on the trail to prepare the area for habitat restoration, and it is not safe for trail users. The entire trail will be open on weekends.

Although the trail is closed to thru traffic, it will be open for the first approximately 1.25 miles from the South Gate at Crystal Springs, and for approximately 2.5 miles from the North Gate at Hillcrest for trail users.

Bicyclists wanting thru access should use alternative routes during this period.

Future restoration activity will include the physical removal of invasive vegetation and trees that have choked out the historic oak woodland and grassland habitats that in turn harbor a variety of native plants, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife species—some found nowhere else in California. The removal work will affect the same segment of Sawyer Camp trail.

Future Schedule:
July 5 to July 29, weekday evening closures for off-hauling of vegetation: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Tentative: August – October 2016: Trail will be closed weekdays to thru traffic for tree removal and off-hauling.

As part of the work, approximately 3 miles of trail will be restored and resurfaced, from the South Gate to the Jepson Laurel.

For more information, please click on the link at the top right of this page.  

Questions or further information:
(866) 973-1476