native nassella grassland2

Native Stipa pulchra grassland intergrading with upland habitat at Pt. Molate
photo: Lech Naumovich

On February 14th, EBCNPS submitted a letter to the Pt. Molate Community Advisory Committee and members of the Richmond City Council regarding goat grazing at Pt. Molate. This topic was brought to our attention due to a recent Pt. Molate Community Advisory Committee meeting where goat grazing for habitat management at Pt. Molate was discussed. Pt. Molate is one of EBCNPS’s Botanical Priority Protection Areas due to its coastal prairie grassland and intact native habitats that intergrade from the bay shoreline into highland areas. Four years ago, Pt. Molate was the subject of national news when the Richmond City Council decided to abandon plans to build a Las Vegas -style casino resort at the site. EBCNPS was active in the effort to prevent the casino development and we have kept a close eye on the future of the area ever since.

EBCNPS is pleased to see an effort being made to manage the native habitat at Pt. Moalte and to stem the spread of invasive weeds such as French broom (Genista) that are shading out areas of native grassland. However, we are urging caution during the planning of these actions to ensure that sensitive habitat areas are not affected by any well-intentioned but poorly planned activities. Goat grazing in the East Bay has a history of doing more harm than good. An example of the potential damage goats can do when improperly managed can be seen at Knowland Park, where goats were allowed to graze several acres of rare native grassland down to bare soil last summer. We are hopeful that the City of Richmond will take the proper steps (including detailed botanical surveys of the areas being considered for grazing) to ensure that any action is properly planned so as to have minimal unintended impacts to the sensitive native habitats at Pt. Molate.

A copy of our letter can be found at this link: EBCNPS letter to Richmond RE Goat Grazing Pt Molate