MCC committee on Rancho Corral de Tierra, Monday

Letter

Posted by
Sun, July 31, 2011


Next Monday, August 1at 7:00 PM at Seton Coastside, the Midcoast Community Council will hold its regularly scheduled committee meeting on access to Rancho Coral de Tierra lands adjacent to the Midcoast. 

Moss Beach Residents are needed to discuss the viability of the Moss Beach access.

 
Proposed Agenda
  • Update on access on the north side of Montara (North of 1st at HWY1)
  • Update on access on the south side of Moss Beach (South of  Etheldore at HWY1)
  • Update on NPS GGNRA status for RCdT
  • Community Discussion

Hi Bill,
Thanx for having this meeting.
Being on vacation, I’ll not be able to attend, however, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for the access points.
Interconnectivity of many proposed trails is paramount,whether from low elevations of higher grounds.
Spreading visitors out is my point,the more adventurous souls, whether walking,riding mt bikes,or equestrians,can range into these 4,000+acres.
This serves to minimalize negative interactions between users that can occasionally occur if trails don’t go anywhere except out+back.

You mention of an access point just south of Etheldore on hwy 1.
I’d like to suggest a new trail, immediately south(50 ft to be exact) of San Vicente Creek, that parallels the existing fence line above Ember Ridge Equestrian ctr.
This trail would access the existing upper ranch roads that extend all the way up to Montara Knob+North Peak(2000 ft el).
Hugging the fence line would keep visitors away from the Ember Ridge stables and also a good distance from the agriculture lands.

Please consider these suggestions at the upcoming mtng.
Thanx for all your efforts , now, back to my vacation….
Jim

The following correspondence with Ms. Hornor is from 25 July 11. The California Watershed Posse eagerly awaits her reply.  The complete communication is found here:

http://www.cwposse.org/waterforfighting/pdf/CWP_RCdT_NPS_Inquiry_2.pdf?915

Dear NPS Chief of Planning Nancy Hornor,

Our organization, the California Watershed Posse (CWP) [www.CWPosse.Org] has questions regarding the pending transfer of the nearly 4,300-acre Peninsula Opens Space Trust (POST) property Rancho Corral de Tierra. The CWP is a certified CRMP Council and serves as the San Francisco Peninsula Fire Safe Council. We understand community organizations like the Northern Coastal Communities Association (NCCA) are in contact with you, but as our line of questioning does not entirely support their specific interests, we have decided to present our inquiries separately, sharing with NCCA , media, and other organizations all correspondence and responses from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to the CWP. 

GGNRA has yet to publish even a provisional General Management Plan (GMP) for this property. [http://www.nps.gov/goga/rcdt-faqs.htm] We find this disconcerting. As National Park Service (NPS) observes in the link to the webpage above, “NPS goals for the long-term management of Rancho are being developed through the General Management Plan process. A draft plan is expected to be released in 2011. More information is available on the park’s website.” Actually, we find no such publication of information on either POST or GGNRA Rancho Corral de Tierra focused webpages. If we are in error, please disabuse us and provide a link in your next e-mail correspondence; we thank you beforehand. From your recent meetings with NCCA (http://groups.google.com/group/Farallon-View ), we understand that both the publication of the GMP and the transfer of said property will occur sometime this summer or fall. We believe this timeline is inadequate for the communities adjacent to these thousands of acres to reorient to a myriad community changes. Instead, we propose the community should have at least an additional year to consider a final GMP prior to any POST to GGNRA transfer, not have both actions ensue concurrently without allowing Coastsiders sufficient time to consider or even object to their prospects. A solution observing fairness and “long-term management” would recognize a more deliberate decision making process for those communities that are your future neighbors, not rush them to an unanticipated eventuality.

The CWP objects to the existing moribund disposition of the Rancho Corral de Tierra property. We have recorded these conditions for a future documentary that will show the environment of Rancho Corral de Tierra in direct, severe conflict with best WUI and watershed management practices espoused by GGNRA, NPS, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife, CDFG, CSP, CDF, San Mateo County Fire Service, and even POST.  POST owns 28,200 acres, but recently spent just $321,000 per year to maintain them. How can our Coastsiders have faith in what POST says about their historical embrace of proper stewardship described in their mission statement, when they spend just $11.38/acre per annum on maintenance? [http://www.openspacetrust.org/lands/stewardship.html ][http://www.openspacetrust.org/about/index.html] In its last reporting year, POST spent $2,153 for “expenses incurred in monitoring, inspecting, and enforcing conservation easements during the year.” This pertains to 28 separate, far-flung easements totaling 11,670 acres. This amounts to a whopping $77.00 for each easement, or $0.184/acre in 2009-2010 for these activities. Does not $2153 sound more like what you would expect to hear that a homeowner, living adjacent to POST lands, might spend annually on their individual property, and not what POST spends for multiple activities at 28 POST easement holdings from Rancho Corral de Tierra, to Alviso, and then to Gilroy? However, POST did find $3.1 million to purchase or “protect” three additional properties, while allocating compensation to outgoing President Audrey Rust of over $310,000, and spent $400,000 for lobbying. [http://www.openspacetrust.org/downloads/Form990_2010.pdf]

On the one hand, POST boasts of having exceeded a $200 million advancement effort from 2001-2005, more than any private land trust. On the other hand, POST cries the poor mouth. In 2005, POST lamented the end of a “$2.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund the majority of our stewardship work. POST has been able to stretch this grant over five years to cover the costs of stewardship projects on more than 20,000 acres of open space. However, this funding is coming to an end, and we are presently seeking new support for our stewardship activities.” [http://www.openspacetrust.org/lands/stewardship.html] Meanwhile, back at the Rancho, POST cannot deny itself the use of prison laborers on their private sector spread. [http://www.sanmateorcd.org/coralreef.html ] While the CWP recognizes the need for mechanical vegetative fuel removal projects like the Coral Reef Fuels Management Demonstration, we believe a financially robust institution with just five fulltime employees, with compensation averaging $201,000 and with $231 million total assets, could certainly make themselves a better neighbor to the residents near Rancho Corral de Tierra by performing more and spending more on maintenance.

Please use the link provided above for the full article from the CWP. 
 
Thank you.  JFS

UPDATE
NPS GGNRA Senior Planner Brian Aviles and another GGNRA employee will be in attendance at the meeting to update us on RCdT status.