The TransNet Extension Ordinance and Expenditure Plan, approved countywide by voters in November 2004, includes an Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP), which established a Regional Habitat Conservation Fund for efforts related to regional land acquisition, management, and monitoring for implementation of the regional habitat conservation plans.
The purpose of the Regional Habitat Conservation Fund is to provide funding for regional habitat management and monitoring necessary to implement habitat conservation planning throughout the region. These funds help maintain the current condition of the regional habitat preserve system, thereby reducing the likelihood that this system will degrade, and reducing the need for listing of new species as endangered by the federal and state governments. Through Fiscal Year 2012, fifty-five land management grants totaling $9.5 million have been provided to land management entities in the region (including the City of Chula Vista) through a competitive grant program.
Through SANDAG's competitive grant process, the City has secured approximately $820,000 in TransNet EMP grant funding. With these funds, the City has been able to implement three individual habitat restoration and enhancement projects located throughout the City’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Subarea Plan Preserve. These projects include:
Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration/Rice Canyon
In 2009 the City initiated a five-year land management program to restore and enhance approximately 10 acres of degraded coastal cactus wren habitat within the City’s Central City MSCP Preserve Management Area (Central City PMA), particularly within Rice Canyon (View Map). The goal of this program is to ensure the prolongation of the Coastal cactus wren through active management of suitable cactus wren habitat, restore degraded and/or fragmented cholla patches, and initiate activities to reduce edge effects associated with invasive species, uncontrolled access, and reducing the risk of catastrophic fire. Please refer to the annual monitoring reports provided below for additional information regarding project status and work performed to date.
Otay tarplant and San Diego thornmint Habitat Restoration
In 2011, the City initiated a three-year land management program to restore and enhance approximately 15 acres of land supporting the Otay tarplant and San Diego thornmint within the City’s Central City MSCP Preserve Management Area (Central City PMA - View Map). The goal of this program is to protect and increase the size of existing Otay tarplant and San Diego thornmint populations through the control of non-native weeds and non-native annual grasses, installation of protective fencing and signage, and seed collection and redistribution.
Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration/Salt Creek
In 2012, the City initiated a three-year species-specific management program focused on restoring approximately 15 acres of degraded habitat for the coastal cactus wren within the Otay Ranch MSCP Preserve, specifically within Salt Creek Canyon (View Map). The goal of this program is to ensure the prolongation of the Coastal cactus wren through active management of suitable cactus wren habitat, invasive species control, habitat restoration (including vegetation planting), biological monitoring, and public outreach using volunteer staff and students from High Tech High Chula Vista. Please refer to the annual monitoring report provided below for additional information regarding project status and work performed to date.
Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration/Salt Creek Phase II
On July 24, 2015, SANDAG's Board of Directors awarded the City an EMP grant to implement a three-year land management program to continue the restoration and enhancement of degraded Coastal cactus wren habitat within the Otay Ranch Preserve, specifically within Salt Creek Canyon and the Otay River Valley.
The goals of this project are in line with those prescribed in SDMMPs Management Strategic Plan (MSP) which is to increase the amount of suitable habitat and improve connectivity for the coastal cactus wren along Otay River Valley and Salt Creek through. Activities included in this project include invasive species control with follow-up herbicide treatments, shrub thinning, collecting and planting coast cholla and coast prickly pear cuttings, native grass and forb seed collection and redistribution, vegetation monitoring, and focused cactus wren monitoring. This project is currently scheduled to begin October 2015.
For additional information regarding these TransNet funded grant projects, please contact Glen Laube, Senior Planner, Development Services Department at (619) 476-2329.