Environmental Stewardship

Protecting Our Wildlife

  • Environmental Stewardship

Western Division

An Important Vulcan Mission

Not far from San Francisco, Vulcan’s Pilarcitos Quarry is home to nearly 200 acres of a protected nature preserve and various wildlife species. 

With proper oversight and controls, Vulcan is demonstrating that mining and wildlife can co-exist.

In addition, the Pilarcitos facility highlights Vulcan’s partnerships with third-party conservation groups and government to ensure the survival of wildlife that lives on the property. 

It also maintains a conservation easement, or agreement that permanently limits land use to protect conservation values for future generations. Vulcan works closely with Wetland Research Associates (WRA), an environmental consulting firm that conducts surveys of the property, monitors activity and develops long-term management and compliance goals.

“We define the boundaries of the easement, and we put it in a holding for all of the federal and state agencies, which are parties to our easement, and the species we are protecting,” said Patricia Valcarcel, Senior Biologist at WRA.

Valcarcel and Parkinson enter an old hunting cabin that is still on the Pilarcitos property to protect the endangered Townsend’s big-eared bat.

Some of the most notable protected species include the California red-legged frog and the Townsend’s big-eared bat, which is endangered. Vulcan kept an old hunting cabin on the property standing for the sole purpose of providing the bats with places to roost.

To accommodate a variety of snake species on the property, Vulcan also lays coverboards on portions of the land to provide habitats and keep snakes warm and protected.

“I was very impressed to see the work that Vulcan Materials has done up here to protect the environment,” said Pilarcitos Plant Manager Tom Parkinson. “Building two frog ponds, protecting an old structure because there’s a bat that roosts in there. Thinking about the beauty involved in it – it’s amazing.”