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Native Coastal Prairie Grassland at the Richmond Field Station  Photo: Richmond Bay Campus 2013 LRDP

Native Coastal Prairie Grassland at the Richmond Field Station Photo: Richmond Bay Campus 2013 LRDP

On May 12th, EBCNPS submitted a letter in response to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan proposed for the Richmond Field Station. Our letter cited inadequate protection for several areas of the site that contained coastal prairie grassland including a large 3 acre section of remnant prairie that was even classified by the University’s own consultants as “high quality” prairie, but which is designated in the plan as a development area. Our letter also questioned the feasibility of the new prairie management plan that was prepared for the FEIR. These questions were based on the lack of funding for any of the prairie management and the uncertain effectiveness of the mitigation actions laid out in the plan. Our letter can be viewed here: EBCNPS Comment Letter for Richmond Bay Campus FEIR 5_12_14

The list of environmental documents for this project including the LRDP and accompanying EIR can be viewed at this link: http://richmondbaycampus.lbl.gov/environmental_documents.html

In spite of our stated concerns, the University of California regents approved the FEIR along with the Long Range Development Plan for this project at their recent meeting on May 14th.

EBCNPS is disappointed by the project planners’ continued disregard for several acres of prairie habitat at the site. In the coming months we will continue to build relationships with the staff at the Field Station as well as the managers for the Richmond Bay Campus project in the hopes of educating them about how to adopt effective management techniques to prevent the spread of invasive species and enhance the prairie as part of this project. We will also continue efforts to preserve the large section of contiguous prairie in the western portion of the site as a unified prairie ecosystem that is not damaged by this development.

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Native Coastal Prairie Grassland at the Richmond Field Station  Photo: Richmond Bay Campus 2013 LRDP

Native Coastal Prairie Grassland at the Richmond Field Station. Photo: 2013 Richmond Bay Campus  LRDP

Last week, EBCNPS submitted a letter to the planners at LBNL and UC Berkeley regarding the Long Range Development Plan for the proposed “Richmond Bay Campus” that is to be built at the Richmond Field Station. Our letter was a collaborative process that several Conservation Committee members participated in. It details EBCNPS’s “vision” for the site and the development. The intent of this letter was to get a strong statement on the record of how this project should be built in order to ensure the rare natural resources of the site remain intact and thriving. We also note where the existing shortcomings of the plan are. We are hopeful that our comments will be considered as part of the planning process in order to create a plan for the Richmond Bay Campus that celebrates and protects the natural resources at the site.

EBCNPS is currently working on a more detailed letter that will specify the areas of highest native habitat value that must be protected.

Our letter can be viewed here: EBCNPS Vision Statement for Richmond Bay Campus_2013

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1-510-734-0335
conservation@ebcnps.org

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