Making a Difference in Our Communities
From the North Coast to Baja, CNPS chapters are instrumental in securing native plant protection at the local level. This is critical, as some of the most impactful conservation measures are achieved locally. Our dedicated chapter conservation volunteers serve at stakeholder meetings, speak at public forums, inform litigation, and rally supporters. These are truly the native plant experts near you. Get involved!
Select a chapter to learn more
Tulare County General Plan Update- 2011
Tulare County is in the process of updating their General Plan to include, among other topics, long-term growth planning outside of existing urban boundaries. CNPS Alta Peak Chapter conservation efforts are directed towards reading, commenting on, and influencing the planning process concerning development outside of the established urban boundaries. For more information, contact Alta Peak President and Conservation Chair Joan Stewart: email@example.com.
Alkali Meadows Communities- 2011
Excessive groundwater pumping and insufficient management are threatening alkali meadows that host the most distinctive plant communities in Owens Valley. CNPS Bristlecone Chapter has been monitoring the conditions of these soils and plant communities to ensure impacts from groundwater pumping are avoided and mitigated. Access further information here.
Newhall Ranch- 2011 DEIR / DEIS Comments
On January 3, 2011, CNPS Channel Island Chapter (CNPS-CI) and others filed suit against the California Department of Fish and Game in San Francisco County Superior Court for their certification of an EIR that insufficiently assessed the impacts on the watershed, surrounding riparian areas, and the San Fernando Valley Spineflower, a state-listed Endangered species and their issuing of a “take” permit (under §1081 of CESA) that will destroy about 25% of the San Fernando Valley Spineflower. Citing CEQA, CESA, and CDFG provisions, CNPS and others look to decertify the EIR and rescind the “take” permit. Channel Islands chapter has been the active lead on this development and CEQA issue for over a decade. CNPS and the Friends of the Santa Clara River provided comments on the DEIR / DEIS (CEQA / NEPA) through David Magney Environmental Consulting (DMEC) in August 2009. The DEIR / DEIS comments are accessible here.
More project information available here.
Mission Village Development – 2011 DEIR Comments
Newhall Ranch is now proposing a dense urban development for the easternmost portion of the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area, just west of Magic Mountain. The County, through Impact Sciences, released a DEIR for the proposed development in October 2010. CNPS and the Friends of the Santa Clara River contracted with David Magney Environmental Consulting to critically review the biological resources section of the Mission Village DEIR. The DEIR comments are available here.
Landmark Village Development – 2010 DEIR Comments
Newhall Ranch is proposing a dense urban development for the river floodplain portion of the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area, along State Route 126, and some areas to the south of the Santa Clara River, including three major bridges. The County, through Impact Sciences, released a Recirculated DEIR for the proposed development in late January 2010. CNPS and the Friends of the Santa Clara River provided comments on the DEIR through DMEC in March 2010. Access the DEIR comments here.
Naples/Santa Barbara Ranch- 2010 DEIR, FEIR Comments
The Santa Barbara Ranch development plan does not fully mitigate the 229 acres of grasslands, Coastal Sage Scrub associations, chaparral associations, vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, and coastal bluff scrub vegetation. All of these habitats/plant communities are habitat for rare plants, and the communities, particularly the grasslands, are of great concern to CNPS because of the historic and cumulative loss of this once very widespread habitat. Santa Barbara County approved the project in mid-November 2010 but development did not commence because the California Coastal Commission (CCC) did not approve the project. Currently, funding constraints between the developer and the bank are preventing the project from moving forward. Plant-related Draft and Final EIR (DEIR, FEIR, CEQA)comments prepared by David Magney Environmental Consulting (DMEC)available online here:
DEIR comments (2006)
additional DEIR comments (2008)
FEIR comments (2008)
CNPS Executive Director’s comment letter (2008))
Access further project information here.
Ventura County General Plan Update- 2010 General Plan Update
David Magney and CNPS Channel Islands Chapter (CNPS-CI) have been working on creating a nexus between lists of locally significant plant taxa and the Ventura County General Plan. Including these lists will improve awareness and importance of locally significant plant populations, identify in more detail where local flora occur, and provide special attention to locally rare flora in local ordinances. Participants in this project have written comment letters, attended public meetings, developed locally rare plants lists, and identified which CEQA sections strengthen the argument for locally rare species to be included in local planning efforts. Strategies for developing a locally rare plant list can be found here.
Contact CNPS-CI President David Magney for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for Los Padres Wilderness designations – 2010 Support Letter
In 2010, CNPS Channel Island Chapter wrote a letter to U.S. Congressman Gallegly (R-CA) in support of proposed wilderness designation, “Los Padres Wilderness Support Letter” (Congressman support letter, Wilderness Act, Ojai Fritillary- Fritillaria ojaiensis, Flax-leaved Horsemint-Monardella linioides ssp. oblonga).
Dorothy King Young
Coastal Retaining Wall Project- 2011
Since 2007, a developer has been pursuing the construction of 300-foot coastal retaining wall on the Mendocino Coast for undisclosed, future development. The project is not compliant with the Coastal Act and has not received approval from the Coastal Commission. CNPS DKY Chapter has opposed the project since its inception and continues to attend Coastal Commission meetings to voice concerns over the developer’s environmental analysis of the wall’s impacts. For more information, contact DKY Chapter Conservation Chair Lori Hubbart: email@example.com.
Pine Hill- 2011
CNPS El Dorado Chapter has been involved in litigation to protect endangered endemic plants under threat from proposed development. The Congregate Development Project would eliminate approximately 33% of the known plants of Pine Hill ceanothus, which is found only on gabbro soils in Western El Dorado County, and would eradicate 28 acres of essential rare plant habitat. CNPS El Dorado Chapter and the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation (CSNC) filed a CEQA lawsuit for violations of and inconsistencies with the El Dorado County General Plan, and the Pine Hill Recovery Plan related to the project. There are current discussions over mitigation efforts if and when development begins. For more information, contact CNPS El Dorado Chapter Conservation Chair Sue Britting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains
Invasive Plant and Restoration Projects – April 2011
Since 2003, the LA/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter has been focusing on eliminating invasive plants, and performing restoration, in the “pocket beaches” along the Malibu coast—El Matador State Beach, La Piedra State Beach, El Pescador State Beach, and “County Line” (a unit of Leo Carrillo State Beach.) Some notable successes are Penniseum and tree tobacco removal from El Matador, Chrysanthemum coronarirum removal from La Piedra and fennel and tumbleweed removal from El Pescador. As theory would suggest, these isolated pockets each have their own unique remnant flora. An inventory of the species has been photographed and posted on CalFlora and Cal Photos. For more information, contact Michael O’Brien: email@example.com.
Point Reyes National Seashore- 2011
Restoring this national park to its native habitat has been an ongoing process for several years. CNPS Marin Chapter volunteers have been actively removing invasive species in the park. Read the project flyer.
Santa Rosa Plain Conservation Strategy- 2011
Since 2005, significant improvements have been made to conserving vernal pool habitats, botanical resources, and federally endangered species as part of the USFWS Santa Rosa Conservation Strategy (SRCS). CNPS Milo Baker Chapter has been involved in the development and implementation of the SRCS, and in developing conservation banks, working with landowners to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and ensuring proper mitigation strategies are implemented. Access further information here.
Off-Highway Vehicle Route Designation (WEMO Decision)- 2011
On January 31, 2011, a U.S. District Court sided with CNPS and other environmental groups that U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not adhere to its own regulations and violated NEPA, and FLPMA by allowing Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use on thousands of miles of trails within the West Mojave planning area (WEMO). CNPS Mojave Chapter’s plant surveys, analysis of OHV impacts on unusual plant associations and riparian areas contributed to the decision requiring BLM to resign and assess the impacts of their routes. Access further information here.
Pebble Beach Development Plan- 2011
The Pebble Beach Company has changed its initial development plan near the SFB Morse Reserve to avoid destruction of rare and endangered plants; instead, the new development will expand into already developed areas adjacent to sensitive habitats in the SFB Morse Reserve. CNPS Monterey Bay Chapter has followed the development plan, supports the plan change, and continues to collaborate with the developers to establish buffers between the proposed residential units and sensitive habitats. For more information, contact CNPS Monterey Bay Chapter Conservation Chair Corky Matthews: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Participate in development, review, adoption and implementation of the Butte Regional Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) shown at: http://www.buttehcp.com/. Time will be spent attending monthly stakeholder meetings managed by Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) and other appropriate venues. Written comments will be submitted, pro and con as appropriate, to encourage the success of the implementation of these plans. Particular focus will be on the 14 sensitive and listed plant species and 6 natural plant communities and their 14 “Constituent Land Cover Types” as well as “additional non-covered special-status or local concern (plant) species” as they are added during the process of developing these plans. Cooperate with Altacal Audubon, Butte Environmental Council, AquaAlliance and other allied groups to further these goals.
2. Encourage monitoring of natural resources and their adaptive management by the City of Chico on the Peregrine Point Disc Golf Course as designated in its CEQA mitigation plan, particularly the Big Four: Wildflower Fields, Butte County Checker Bloom, Bidwell Knotweed and Blue Oaks. Cooperate with Friends of Bidwell Park (contact Josephine Guardino) in their ongoing effort. Mitigation Measures in Park Manager’s Report of March 15, 2011
3. Encourage Implementation of “Table Mountain Ecological Reserve (NTMER) Land Management Plan” – Sept. 2006http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/mgmtplans/ntmer/docs/ntmer-plan.pdf
- Determine current rate of cattle stocking.
- Study, develop, and implement best management practices for location and duration of salt stations for livestock (to distribute them equitably throughout NTMER and lessen their impact on sensitive habitats and species).
- Consider conducting small grazing exclusion experiments, using portable electric fences to determine how the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools and Cobble and Swale Trains habitats, individual sensitive-status species, and non-native invasive species will respond to either the reduction or the elimination of (livestock) grazing.
- Conduct botanical and wildlife surveys in the canyons and along the sides of the NTMER for sensitive-status plant and animal species.
- Conduct surveys in the canyons and along their sides for NIS (Noxious Invasive Species) that may impact sensitive-status species or the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools and Cobble and Swale Trains habitat types.
- Focused NIS surveys should be conducted annually in May to detect any newly introduced NIS species so that they can be controlled before they have a chance to spread.
- Conduct surveys in the canyons and along their sides to determine if prescribed burning is necessary for maintaining the existing plant communities or any sensitive-status species.
- Monitor and map any significant impacts of visitor use on the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools and Cobble and Swale Trains habitat types, sensitive-status species, trails, cultural resources, and infrastructure.
- Evaluate the trail design and usage for compatible purposes (Proposed ADA accessible trails guide visitors to Phantom Falls and reduce existing impacts of hikers on microhabitats along the existing unofficial trail).
- Add trash collection containers at parking area.
In addition the Dept. of Fish & Game should be encouraged to:
- Acquire adjacent land from Cherokee Road to Beatson Hollow and to the south portion of NTMER; and also near Fern Canyon and Coal Canyon Falls for unfettered public access to NTMER lands.
- Study effects of livestock grazing on wildflower fields and recruitment of oaks, willows, and buckeyes on plateau of NTMER.
- Remove needless and down livestock cross fencing throughout NTMER.
4. Encourage Implementation of “Mount Pleasant Research Natural Area Management Plan” adopted year 2011 by Plumas National Forest for lands in Bucks Lake Wilderness Area. Particularly focus on sensitive fens degraded by livestock grazing which need restoration and protection.
5. Communicate and Coordinate Conservation Issues with State CNPS through monthly conference calls and attendance at late summer Chapter Council Meeting whose theme is conservation issues.
For further chapter conservation information, please contact Conservation Chair: Woody Elliott, email@example.com.
Fuel Management and Natives- 2011
Orange County (OC) is working towards minimizing botanical fuel through updating a plant list that meets the local fire authority’s fuel management standards and that prioritizes use of natives over non-native invasive plants. CNPS Orange County Chapter is collaborating with the OC park staff to contact Homeowner’s Associations that border reserve lands, and advocate for the removal of invasive plants, and the use of more fire resistant native plants. For more information, contact CNPS OC Chapter Conservation Chair Celia Kutcher: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“LEAPS-TE/VS” Powerline Placement on Land Conservancy – 2011
The Nevada Hydro Company is proposing the placement of powerlines and transmission towers associated with the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano 500 kV Interconnect and associated Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (“LEAPS-TE/VS”) project on land owned by the Fallbrook Land Conservancy. CNPS Riverside-San Bernardino Chapter has joined efforts with Center for Biological Diversity and many others, to prevent the irrevocable ecological impacts from these ill-conceived and destructive projects. This collaborative letter can be found here. For more information, contact Riverside-San Bernardino Conservation Chair Arlee Montalvo: email@example.com.
Habitat 2020- 2011
Habitat 2020 is a coalition of environmental organizations, including CNPS – Sacramento Valley Chapter (CNPS-SV), which collaborate on common issues affecting the Sacramento region. CNPS-SV in its collaboration with Habitat 2020 continues to participate in the County General Plan Update on land use, and participates in the South Sacramento County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) process. Access further information here.
Vernal Pools- 2009
CNPS-SV has been actively involved in the protection of vernal pools throughout the Sacramento Valley for over a decade. The work of CNPS-SV has led to the designation of vernal pool Critical Habitat in the valley, and the strengthening of mitigation provisions via both the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prevent unmitigated development. Access further information here.
Stinkwort detection and management
“Sign On San Diego” a newspaper serving the San Diego area, recently did a story on the detection and management of Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) in San Diego. Our own Kay Stewart was quoted in the article and stressed how abundant the noxious invader has become. Although there is not currently a management plan in place to control stinkwort, dedicated CNPS’ers and local citizens have been trying to remove the plants by hand and are hoping to draw more attention to this issue. You can read the full article here.
Pio Pico- 2010
The Otay Valley Regional Park is facing a direct threat to its management goals by Pio Pico Energy Center Power Plant (natural gas), which will be placed inside The Park. CNPS San Diego Chapter (CNPS-SD) has joined a coalition of like-minded environmentalists groups in contacting the California Energy Commission (CEC) to prevent this incompatible project on one of San Diego’s major open space areas. You can access CNPS-SD’s comment letter here.
San Gabriel Mountains
Arcadia Oak Woodland Destruction- 2010
A proposed site for sediment dumping from the Santa Anita Reservoir and other reservoirs in the area would destroy prime oak woodland habitat in Arcadia, CA. CNPS San Gabriel Mountains (SGM) Chapter submitted comments on the Draft EIR (DEIR) for this project, and wrote a letter to county supervisor Michael D. Antonovich highlighting flaws in the DEIR. This letter can be accessed here or for more information, contact CNPS SGM Chapter President Gabi McLean here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walker Ridge ACEC Petition- 2011
CNPS Sanhedrin Chapter has worked for years to raise public awareness of the botanically rich Walker Ridge public lands by leading field hikes, maintaining plant lists, and submitting comments into the public record. In an effort to protect Walker Ridge’s rich botanical resources, provide adaptive management to its species, and to dissuade the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from allowing a marginal wind project on the Ridge’s public lands, CNPS Sanhedrin Chapter helped develop a proposal to expand the Area of Critical Environmental Concern designation on Walker Ridge. The currently disjunct ACEC parcels on Walker Ridge do not offer adequate protection nor ensure the best conservation management for serpentine endemic plants occurring there. You can access the petition text or learn more about the petition here.
Santa Cruz Tarplant- 2011
CNPS Santa Cruz has been the leading group advocating for protection of the federally listed Endangered Santa Cruz Sunflower (Holocarpha macradenia, a ‘tarplant’). The species has been the focus of lawsuits, adaptive management plans, and conservation easements for over a decade. This CNPS chapter has had to defend critical habitat and protection measures critical to sustaining the few remaining populations against development, even in areas set aside for conservation, such as on City of Santa Cruz greenbelt land. Similar tools have been applied to protecting three other federally listed Endangered plants from the primary and secondary negative impacts of proposed housing developments in the county. These include Robust Spineflower (Chorizanthe robusta var. robusta) and two county endemics, Scotts Valley Spineflower (Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii) and Scotts Valley Polygonum (Polygonum hickmanii). For more information contact: Vince Cheap, Santa Cruz Chapter Conservation Committee Chair at: email@example.com.
Santa Clara Valley
Coyote Ridge- 2010
Coyote Ridge’s serpentine soil habitat is home to several special status plants, and the Bay Checkerspot butterfly. Since the early 1990’s, CNPS-Santa Clara Valley has conducted vegetation surveys, monitored rare plant populations, led field trips, produced videos, brochures and articles, held public meetings, and advocated conservation policies before public bodies. The City of San Jose, the Valley Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, the Silicon Valley Land Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy have adopted protection of this treasure. Access further information here.
San Luis Obispo
Carrizo Plain Solar- 2011
A large-scale photovoltaic solar plant, the Topaz Solar Farm, is being proposed on existing cropped and grazed lands in the Carrizo Plain. CNPS San Luis Obispo Chapter has submitted comments on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). While CNPS SLO Chapter recognizes the need for renewable energy, there are concerns over the project’s location and mitigation of impacts on native flora. Access the most recent comment letter here.
Coastal Sage Scrub- 2011
For over a decade, the coastal sage scrub population between the Santa Monica Mountains and Orange County has diminished rapidly. CNPS South Coast Chapter has participated in the development of several conservation plans and actively participates in native habitat restoration projects. Access further information on CNPS South Coast Chapter’s website here.
Presidio Plant Patrol- 2011
In an effort to restore San Francisco’s native habitats, invasive and noxious weeds need to be removed from the Presidio area. CNPS Yerba Buena Chapter coordinates regularly scheduled events to remove harmful invasive plants. Access more information at: www.parksconservancy.org or contact The Park Conservancy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 415-561-3034 x3445.
From the Blog
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) protects over 6 million acres of desert habitat, but it is now under threat by the Trump Administration.
CNPS East Bay Chapter and Mountain View Cemetery Reach Settlement Protecting Live Oaks and Funding Woodland RestorationThanks to recent efforts by the CNPS East Bay Chapter, Mountain View Cemetery has agreed to implement measures to protect at-risk oak trees during grading and construction and plant additional oak trees if needed.