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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Unauthorized Dam in Mill Creek Leads to Civil Penalty and Permanent Injunction

Santa Rosa, CA  –  September 19, 2016  –  Daniel Craighead, a 74-year-old Healdsburg resident, has resolved a civil environmental enforcement action for damming up Mill Creek in violation of Fish and Game Code section 1602 during the summer of 2015.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Property owners have an obligation to protect fish and wildlife that pass through their land for the benefit of all the people of Sonoma County.”

In July of 2015 Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) wardens went to 3721 Mill Creek Road in response to a report of heavy equipment working in Mill Creek.  Property owner Daniel Craighead admitted he had used heavy equipment in the creek to build an earthen dam so he could pump water.  Mill Creek contains endangered and threatened fish (steelhead trout and Coho salmon,) and DFW determined that the dam prevented fish from moving, trapping them in place.  Fish and Game Code section 1602 requires that after DFW receives written notification from a person who intends to do work that may affect any creek, DFW is required to determine if that work may affect existing fish and wildlife resources.  If DFW concludes such work would have an impact, a party must include conditions to protect those resources.  Mr. Craighead failed to submit written notification to DFW before he did the work in Mill Creek.  He used no protective measures to ensure the survival of Mill Creek fish.

The defendant agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty with $15,000 suspended for future violation of Fish and Game Code section 1602.  Mr. Craighead is permanently enjoined from doing work in Mill Creek without first complying with Fish and Game Code section 1602. 

The civil environmental enforcement case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Ann Gallagher White, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Lisa Chapman.  DFW Warden James Reed headed the investigation with assistance from Warden Tiffany Wolvek and Environmental Scientist Ryan Watanabe.


Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273