A lot of heated discussion has ensued over the Yuba Goldfields Road located just outside of Marysville. The discussion is centered on its status as an open public road. However, it remains closed off by a gate that says “no trespassing, private property.”
Last November Superior Court Judge David Wasilenko rejected Western Aggregates Inc.’s request for ownership of the road to keep others out of the Yuba Goldfields, ruling that the disputed nine-mile portion of the road still belongs to Yuba County. However, the road is still closed. Western Aggregates Inc a company based in Texas, is using the land, that the road is on.
The road runs through 10,000 acres of federal land that is excellent for hunting and fishing and the mining of aggregate, better known as gravel. That’s if it was accessible by the public.
There are many problems: it is unfair to people who are being placed under “citizen’s arrest” for trespassing on a public road; also because of the mining, Yuba County officials are unable to properly monitor important flood control structures against the Yuba River; lastly, there are environmental issues to be concerned about. Due to the mining, the fall and spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout are being threatened. They will be unable to spawn due to water conditions. Western Aggregates, who is the landowner, has built barriers to divert these fish. There are also talks about creating a barrier that will permanently keep the fish away.
People should be aware of the environmental issues concerning the wildlife in the fields. For nature fans, it would be a wonderful treat to see the beautiful surroundings of the old goldfields. How about the California history buffs that are trying to educate the younger generation about the history and culture of our area?
The road should be open. It’s been ruled in a court that it is a public road. The landowners of the mining plant should not be able to act as if they own the road. More people should be aware of the problem and be a part of Yuba Goldfields Access Coalition, the coalition to allow access.