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Review Under Way for County Parks’ Biodiversity Plan

Mowing in Marin County open space.
Mowing in Marin County open space.
Marin residents will have another opportunity Dec. 3 to share opinions about a draft plan that outlines policies to  maintain biodiversity and manage vegetation in Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) preserves.

The Marin County Parks and Open Space Commission will have a special meeting at 6 p.m., Dec. 3 in the Planning Commission chambers in San Rafael about the draft Vegetation and Biodiversity Management Plan (VBMP). The purpose is to present an update on the process and to hear public comment on the issues that should be included in the environmental impact report (EIR). This “scoping phase” will continue until Jan. 21, 2014.

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the plan and EIR would inform resource management efforts on 34 open space preserves to protect diverse wildlife habitats, combat invasive weeds, maintain and increase biodiversity, and protect watersheds while reducing the risk of wildfire. The MCOSD would work in partnership with the Marin County Fire Department, local fire agencies and other public land managers to implement the VBMP.

The plan provides comprehensive, long-term guidance for vegetation management in sensitive wildland areas, preserve perimeters adjacent to residential areas, and along fire and emergency access roads within preserves. A tiered program EIR will be prepared for the draft VBMP to evaluate impacts and alternatives.

The Dec. 3 meeting will not be webcast. Those who cannot attend may send in comments to James Raives, Senior Open Space Planner, Marin County Parks, at jraives@marincounty.org. Mail comments to him at 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 260, San Rafael, CA 94903-4157. The deadline to submit comments is 4:30 p.m. Jan. 21, 2014.  

View the initial study here. The County also produced a short video to explain the VBMP. To learn more, log onto www.marincountyparks.org.


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