SLT in the News

Lynch Canyon: Possible Suisun Walmart mitigation site?

Author: By Barry Eberling, DAILY REPUBLIC, March 04, 2011
Date: Mar 04, 2011

FAIRFIELD - Should the controversial, proposed Suisun City Walmart supercenter get built, the merchandising giant might try to meet environmental requirements by restoring land in Lynch Canyon Open Space.

The Solano Land Trust owns 1,039-acre Lynch Canyon and Solano County operates it as a park. The property includes an area that needs such things as wetlands protection and invasive weed control.

Walmart, meanwhile, is looking at building a supercenter in Suisun City near Walters Road. Various federal and state agencies will require the company to compensate elsewhere for harm done to the environment at the construction site.

The Land Trust Board of Directors on Wednesday agreed to further explore whether letting this environmental mitigation take place at Lynch Canyon is a good fit.

Opponents of the proposed Suisun City Walmart made their views known to the Land Trust. Joseph Feller of California Healthy Communities Network in a letter called Land Trust negotiations with Walmart 'very premature.'

He pointed out that his group, Baykeepers and the Citizen's Committee to Complete the Refuge, has filed an appeal with the state water board to overturn tentative approval of the Walmart by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Feller expressed curiosity as to whether the Land Trust has a mitigation bank for seasonal creeks or Suisun Marsh wetlands. He guaranteed that Walmart opponents will thoroughly scrutinize mitigation plans to make certain they comply with federal and state regulations.

Land Trust Executive Director Nicole Byrd said Friday the Land Trust has signed no mitigation agreement with Walmart and that such a decision would return to her board of directors for approval.

'We try to have a very objective mitigation policy to stay out of the politics of it,' Byrd said.

She described the Land Trust's position as not getting involved in the fight over the Suisun City Walmart, but to possibly make Lynch Canyon available if the project goes forward and needs a site for environmental mitigation.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, ext. 232, or beberling@dailyrepublic.net