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Irvine Ranch Conservancy Staff Spotlight: Infrastructure & Planning Crew

PictureFrom left: Tomas, Carlos and Chalio, IRC’s Infrastructure & Planning Crew

​Ensuring the protection, restoration and enhancement of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks is a pivotal part of Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s mission. The Infrastructure & Planning Crew collaborates with land management partners OC Parks, City of Irvine, the Irvine Company, and the City of Newport Beach to implement and maintain the 40,000 acres of natural resources right here in Orange County.
 
The three-person Infrastructure & Planning Crew designs, creates and maintains trail systems and visitor facilities throughout the Landmarks. Carlos Carrillo, Rosalio “Chalio” Gonzalez and Tomas Gonzalez are the three IRC staff members responsible for the maintenance of more than 200 miles of natural surface roads and recreation trails, staging areas, viewing decks, fences, water lines and so much more. The crew also implements new infrastructure projects, which to date includes 29 miles of new single-track multi-use recreation trails, 20 trail bridges, two viewing deck platforms, two shade sail structures, facility enhancements at primary staging areas and more than 200 lineal feet of trail retaining walls. 

​“This small team has accomplished an incredible amount of work over the years,” said Adam Maywhort, IRC’s Director of Planning & Infrastructure. “They often work in rugged terrain and face challenges that require unique solutions and out-of-the-box thinking.”
 
Some of the most difficult projects the crew has worked on include the Shady Canyon bridges and the Box Springs water line.
 
The Shady Canyon bridges are three 60-70 foot bridges, each weighing over 12,000 pounds. Materials for this project had to be flown in by helicopter due to the remote locations that are inaccessible by vehicles. The crew assembled each bridge on-site by hand.
 
The Box Springs water line project replaced 1,480 lineal feet of galvanized steel water line from natural Box Springs to the Box Springs trough in Limestone Canyon. This waterline traversed extremely rugged terrain, through poison oak, but was completed in less than one week, bringing much-needed water back to a critical wildlife watering spot.
 
The Infrastructure & Planning Crew work on multiple projects throughout the Landmarks. Upcoming projects include the reconstruction of the Red Rock Staging Area, enhancements to the Augustine Staging Area and reconstruction of the Portola Mountain Bike Skills Area.
 
Thanks to the hard work of Carlos, Chalio and Tomas, we can explore the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks safely and enjoy the beauty of these natural resources! For more information about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit LetsGoOutside.org