Conservation Update, 2010 Nov | Rancho Mission Viejo, Cleveland NF Pigs and Vegetation Removal

CHINO-­PUENTE HILLS: Hills for Everyone’s revamped website,, is up and running:. Visit it to see their latest newsletter.

RANCHO MISSION VIEJO: An agreement is near between the City of San Clemente and the Ranch that will include the conditions of public access to and involvement in the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo that the City and activists have been working to ensure. The agreement will transfer the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy’s Conservation Easement to the Reserve. The Conservancy will be dissolved and the land will become part of the overall Reserve, where it will be integrated into the restoration/mitigation program overseen by Fish and Wildlife Service and into the Ranch’s financial support of the Reserve. To see the discussion and draft Easement Transfer, contact Celia Kutcher This agreement does not change OCCNPS’ concern with the development planned, under the Ranch Plan, for areas with high rare–?plant populations.

SANTA ANA MOUNTAINSThe Trabuco District, Cleveland National Forest, encompasses OC’s backyard Santa Ana Mts. The District has a couple of current proposals:

  1. Reduce and, where possible, eliminate further impacts from increasing numbers of non–‐native wild pigs on Forest Service land, including impacts to native plant and animal species. Wild pig populations have become established in San Diego County and evidence of their presence has been found in the San Mateo Wilderness–‐–‐within OCCNPS’ area of interest. ACTION NOW: If you have information on wild pigs within the Trabuco District, please contact  and cc: . The official comment period ended Sept. 30, but pertinent information is still welcome. See for updates.
  2. Perform vegetation removal as part of the 5–‐year maintenance cycle of the North Man Divide Fuelbreak System: about 10 miles of existing fuelbreak (totalling about 1,000 acres) along the ridgelines between Bald and Sierra Peaks and above Bedford, Eagle, Manning, Main Street and Hagador Canyons. The last wildfire in the area was in 2002. The work includes hand clearing, pile burning, and broadcast burning, and will treat about 200 to 400 acres of fuel break per year on a rotational basis.

There are several resource–‐protection measures, including:

  • Thin, prune and perhaps underburn big–‐cone Douglas–‐fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) and Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) stands that intersect the fuelbreak footprint. This treatment is intended to increase the stands ability to survive future wildfires.
  • •Protect, and do not burn, the stand of about 20 Tecate Cypress (Callitropsis [= Cupressus] forbesii) south of Sierra Peak.
  • •Cut vegetation only during winter or early spring to avoid impacting nesting birds.

ACTION NOW: If you know of rare native plants that are likely to be impacted by this work, email re them to  and cc: . For a map of the proposal area, ask for File Code 1950. The official comment period ended Oct. 10, but pertinent comments are still welcome. The proposal’s final document is anticipated in summer 2011.

— Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair

Post A Comment