Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A group of environmentalists Thursday reached a settlement with Caltrans in a lawsuit over the killing of federally protected birds during a highway construction project at the Petaluma River bridge.
The settlement requires Caltrans to remove nets that contractor C.C. Myers installed under the bridge to keep migratory cliff swallows out of the construction zone. Conservationists said the nets entangled and killed dozens of cliff swallows during last year’s nesting season.
Last September, C.C. Myers paid a $3,525 fine for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prevents the killing of cliff swallows, according to Michael Woodbridge, a spokesman with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The fine was not part of Thursday’s settlement.