Briones Valley, Cowell Ranch

California State Parks has finished their preliminary draft of the general plan and EIR for the Cowell Ranch/John Marsh State Historic Park.  This new 4,000 acre park is set in eastern Contra Costa County, notably at the edge of the Great Valley ecoregion and the SF Bay Area ecoregion.  Although this park lies within the Eastern Contra Costa HCP boundary, its conservation was made independent of that process back in 2007.  The Park is still not open to the public, but this planning process, once completed, will be a large step forward to that end.

EBCNPS has found many current and historic records of rare and unusual plants including: alkaline denizens like Atriplex ssp. and iodine bush, big tarplant, California macrophylla, and others.  The rolling hills and salty bottomlands give this place a bucolic feel.

EBCNPS is working to provide comments on the general plan.  We would happily include flora-specific comments from anyone who is interested in the area.  The planning documents can be found here.

Iodine Bush leafing out

Comments need to be delivered by December 9th to:

Steve Bachman, Acting District Superintendent
Diablo Vista District
845 Casa Grande Road
Petaluma, CA 94954