YREKA, Calif. — After multiple murders near a Northern California stream, police are clearing the area.
The entire area used to be covered in blackberry bushes, but crews have been working hard for the last couple of weeks to get it all cleaned up. They plan to do this all along the Yreka Creek.
It’s week three in the battle against the blackberry bushes along Yreka Creek. Work-release crews are cutting and clearing the stream-zone areas, instead of spending time in a cell.
Almost a year ago police found a dead body in the area and two more were found near the creek in July of this year. All three victims were homeless, dying in an eight month period. Police ruled two of the cases a homicide, and one was a natural death. Local residents didn’t know what to think.
City officials believe police patrols will have a better view of the area after the bushes are gone. Plus, anyone walking in the area will have a wider scope of their surroundings. Even environmentalists want them gone, saying blackberries are an invasive species.
The project coordinator hopes its reputation will be recovered after the removal as well.
“It’ll let people identify that the creek is their property. It’s theirs to take back if you want to say from bad cultural problems. And to focus on the creek as the one stream of life that goes through our high desert community and that we can embrace it as a positive thing,” said Jerry Mosier, with the Yreka Creek Committee.
The cleanup will also recover the stream’s flood plain, making it less narrow and pipe-like, reducing the risk for nearby homes and businesses. Crews still have a lot of work ahead of them. They plan to continue the work heading south down Yreka Creek working all through the winter.