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The public draft of EACCS plan was released in early September, 2010. EBCNPS has been intimately involved in this planning process with support from the Rare Plant Committee and Conservation Committee members.

 

Looking northward from Springtown

 

Although we still believe the plan lacks some critical elements, we believe that the Steering Committee has produced a workable first draft that can help instruct subsequent iterations of the project.

Our concern about reserve design and landscape planning still seems disregarded in this process and we are working with the Steering Committee on ways in which a “conservation and mitigation plan” could indicate specific “high priority” areas so that mitigation doesn’t occur aimlessly over a 270,000 acre landscape.

Here are our EACCS comments on public draft. Final comments are due by Monday Oct 18th, 5pm to:

Mary Lim
Zone 7 Water Agency
100 North Canyons Parkway
Livermore, CA 94551
mlim@zone7water.com
Desert olive scrub at Carnegie OHV expansion area

Desert olive scrub at Carnegie OHV expansion area

Springtown and the Tassajara Hills

The Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy has released a draft chapter for conservation plan for all of the county that falls to the east of Pleasanton Ridge.   EBCNPS sits on the “Users Advisory Group” for this plan.  We ask for interested volunteers to consider reading this chapter and providing feedback in this important planning process.  Please feel free to download this document and comment within it through “track changes”.  These files can then be emailed to conservation@ebcnps.org

Here’s Chapter 3,_Conservation_Strategy_020910

Here’s the main EACCS site.

Field trip at Springtown Preserve - Alkali Sink Scrub habitat

Bay Area Rapid Transit is planning on extending their services to Livermore and beyond.  EBCNPS is working with BART to help understand potential issues with rare plants and plant communities in this area.

EBCNPS is concerned with impact to alkali sink habitat, growth inducing impacts, and development beyond the urban limit line.

Here are comments from the East Bay Chapter of CNPS on the PEIR for BART to Livermore.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is planning an extension from the Dublin/Pleasanton station into the Livermore Area.  EBCNPS certainly appreciates well planned improvements to our public transit system.  The Draft EIR presents a number of alternatives varying from 1 to 2 new stations.  Several routes including the I-580 corridor and existing railroad easements are being considered.

EBCNPS was invited to meet with BART to discuss the alternatives and possible impacts.  The siting of the Greenville East station (and corporation yard) will impact known alkali resources including habitat for the rare Livermore tarplant.  EBCNPS will be commenting on these resources and impacts to them by the proposed project(s).  We appreciate the ability to help with this project and work towards better understanding its impacts and how, and if, these impacts can be adequately mitigated.

 

Please see the official BART announcement below.

alignment map

11.03.2009
BART seeks public comment on extension to Livermore

On Thursday, November 5, BART will release its Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR) for an extension between the Dublin/Pleasanton Station and the City of Livermore. The goal of extending BART to Livermore is to increase mobility to, from, and through the Tri-Valley region.  As added benefits, a new station in Livermore would reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions; improve community livability and reduce congestion on the I-580 corridor.  The DPEIR evaluates alignment options, environmental impacts and mitigation measures for extending BART to Livermore.  BART is seeking public comment on the Livermore extension and its proposed alignments.

The alignment alternatives under consideration are:

Greenville East Station via I-580
Greenville East Station via Downtown Livermore (2 Options)
Vasco Road ACE Station via I-580/Las Positas
Vasco Road ACE Station via Quarry/Downtown Livermore

OR:

Downtown Livermore via I-580/Portola
Downtown Livermore via Quarry/Railroad
Isabel/I-580 via I-580
Isabel/Stanley via Quarry

The proposed stations, whether at Greenville Road/I-580, Vasco Road ACE Station, Downtown Livermore and Isabel Avenue/Stanley Boulevard, would provide a convenient connection to the existing Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) commuter rail service or potential High Speed Rail alignments through Altamont Pass. An intermediate or terminus station at Isabel Avenue/I-580 is also being considered.  BART is also considering building a maintenance yard as well as enhancing existing facilities.

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
BART will post the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report on www.barttolivermore.org on Thursday, November 5.  The public can find a list of commonly asked questions about the project there as well.  BART invites the public to review the DPEIR and submit their comments on the alignment alternatives, environmental impacts and mitigation measures to BART online at info@barttolivermore.org or via mail to Malcolm Quint, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 300 Lakeside Drive, 16th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612.  BART will accept written comments until December 21, 2009.

BART TO HOLD TWO PUBLIC MEETINGS
The public can also submit their comments at two public hearings:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 2pm in Livermore
City of Livermore City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore

Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 6pm in Livermore
Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue, Livermore

Fritillaria agrestis by John Game

Fritillaria agrestis by John Game

The East Bay Chapter of CNPS has been working on a publication that will help communicate the value of our local botanical resources to a greater general public.  This project, the Botanical Priority Protection Areas (or BPPA), outlines 15 of the most important landscapes in the East Bay that convey a “sense of place”.  Many of these areas will have development proposals in the next decade and we hope that our project will help communicate the importance of these areas.
There is a team of individuals that is helping make this project a success.  Please feel free to email Lech Naumovich (conservation@ebcnps.org) with comments and suggestions on this project.  Thanks for your everyone’s generosity and support!!!

Here’s a sneak peak at a DRAFT layout of the 4 Valleys area near Antioch, CA.

DRAFT 4 Valleys BPPA publication

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE ALAMEDA COUNTY WATERSHED FORUM

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 1st at 2 pm at the Coastal
Conservancy building in downtown Oakland — 1330 Broadway, FOURTH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM. Please note that this is a different floor from our previous meetings. We have an interesting agenda, with Carla Schultheis from the San Francisco PUC coming to talk about the PUC watershed program and Lech Naumovich from the Friends of Springtown Preserve talking about the very fascinating and unique alkali sink area in Livermore. We will also have an update on the Forum’s strategic planning process and on several other items of interest.

Deinandra bacigalupii

Livermore tarplant (Deinandra bacigalupii) - photo: Erin McDermott

Please attend if interested!

More information on Springtown is found at: www.springtownpreserve.org

Bird's beak at SpringtownOne of our rarest and most unusual plants of the East Bay is just starting to come into flower at Livermore’s Springtown Alkali Preserve. Palmate-bracted birds beak, Cordylanthus palmatus, is an alkaline soil endemic that is known from only about 7 locations in all of California. This plant is listed as federally endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is considered to the one of the conservation targets for the Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy.
BMX damage at Springtown Preserve

Even as we write this post, the Springtown Alkali Preserve is being heavily impacted by illegal activities. Notably, dirt bikers (or BMX riders) have taken a “non-biological” liking to the Preserve, and are building a bike course there that involves heavy grading activities. Please help us by contacting the City of Livermore and letting them know this is not acceptable for a Preserve. EBCNPS has been working closely with Friends of Springtown Preserve to inform and educate the local public about this site, as well as provide information and input to the City who is supposed to be “managing” this site. Visit the Friends site here.

June 11th public meeting for EACCS is scheduled for 7pm at Dublin City Hall. This is the first time the planning process will be presented to the public.

Please click here for more info

EACCS tour at Brushy Peak, 2008

EBCNPS has invested time and energy into the Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy. We have worked with the consultant, the Users Advisory group, and the Steering Committee assuming the best possible result for this process. Currently, we are concerned about the intent and scientific rigor of this process. Please read our letter to the Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy Steering Committee.

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Conservation Analyst Contact Information

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

Conservation Analyst Fund