7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Quarry informational meeting set for March 9
North County Times
June 11, 2006
Reserve ups debate against proposed quarry
By: DEIRDRE NEWMAN - Staff Writer
When Matt Rahn was hired to work at an ecological reserve south of Temecula, he was supposed to be engaged in research and outreach ---- letting people know about the eclectic array of projects going on among the pristine hills.
Soon after he began working as the director of the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, plans for a large mining operation nearby surfaced and Rahn was thrown on the defensive.
He has since been involved in a full-court press against the quarry as concerns mount about the effect it would have on the ecologically sensitive reserve. Now, San Diego State University, which owns the reserve, is poised to hire a public relations firm to counter what Rahn contends is misinformation being spread by Granite Construction, which has proposed the quarry.
The university has already hired an attorney to provide legal advice throughout the permitting process, Rahn said, and hiring a public relations firm will be another financial burden.
"Unfortunately, we have to do this," he said. "The option is to get bulldozed with false statements."
Granite has proposed building a mine that would be 1,000 feet deep and a mile long on a site north of the San Diego County line. An environmental report is being compiled and the project, dubbed Liberty Quarry, will ultimately come before the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for consideration.
The 4,344-acre ecological reserve is northwest of the proposed quarry site, and its research projects cover areas such as weather, water quality, earthquake monitoring, and more recently, fire detection monitoring.
While reserve officials fight to protect their property, a regional body in San Diego County has held preliminary discussions on how to make more areas filled with aggregate ---- rocks added to cement to make concrete ---- open to development, while not doing so at the expense of sensitive habitat areas.
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