Western Leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) is a state protected rare plant that is likely to get impacted by this project.

Western Leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) is a state and federally protected rare plant that is likely to get impacted by this project.

EBCNPS is in the process of reviewing the East Bay Hills Wildfire Hazard Reduction And Resource Management Plan and EIR (by East Bay Regional Parks).  We have great concern that the management proposed for the Claremont Canyon area (in Oakland) will future damage to native habitat in the canyon as we know it.  Approximately 80% of the canyon open space will undergo “initial treatment” or “maintenance” treatment.  Past fuels treatments by the Park District have converted good habitat to areas the document maps as “non-native scrub”.  Additionally, there is a plan to build a strategic fire route, aka fire road, up some of the steepest parts of the canyon.  This road would further fragment habitat and prove an opening for weed invasion.

Claremont Canyon Fuels Proposal

We ask you to see this wonderful place for yourself.  Please print the above map and drive Claremont Avenue, or hike Gwin Canyon, or bike Grizzly Peak Boulevard above the canyon.

EBCNPS, then, asks reviewers knowledgeable about this area to consider commenting on the proposed treatments that may impact Claremont Canyon as we know it, see it, and enjoy it.  We believe that some of the best intact vegetation communities and populations of rare plants will be disturbed and impacted by the proposed plan.  EBCNPS believes that the “thinning” of coyote brush scrub and other scrub in the canyon will adversely impact this area and lead to greater ignition potential in this area.

An area this sensitive requires more specific plans to be presented at the EIR stage since this may be the only time public review will be considered for this plan.

Here’s our Green paper on the East Bay Hills Fuels Management.

Comments need to be submitted by October 30, 2009 to (EXTENDED BY EBRPD):

Brian Wiese, Chief, Planning and Stewardship
East Bay Regional Park District
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605-0381
Email: WildfireEIR@ebparks.org