Invasive species are a huge threat to California's biodiversity, second only to habitat loss. Numerous eucalypt species have become integrated California flora, including the Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globules). Established blue gum stands often heavily influence plant community structure, hydrology, sedimentation and erosion, and nutrient cycling. Blue gums also generate higher fuel loads than native plants and significantly increase wildfire hazards. The San Mateo County Local Coastal Program "encourage[s] landowners to remove blue gum (eucalyptus) seedlings to prevent their spread (LCP, 7.51, Weedy, Undesirable Plants), recognizing that they are a threat to the environment.
The San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD), in partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, are working to restore native vegetative communities and to reduce risk of catastrophic wildfire in San Mateo County, by controlling the spread of blue gum eucalyptus. This project will remove between 20 and 50 eucalyptus seedlings, of no more than 12" diameter at breast height (DBH), from an existing grove of eucalyptus that totals over 6.5 acres. The eucalyptus will be chipped on site and composted with crop residue from the adjacent agricultural fields. The compost will be used as a soil amendment on site, building soil health while reducing fuel loads and restoring vegetative communities.
Location Specific: Cascade Ranch consists of approximately 96 acres of farmland located south of the town of Pescadero, adjacent to Cascade Creek and HWY 1.
Notice of Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 4 & Class 33, Sec*
Reasons for Exemption
*15304, Section 15333
Class 4 consists of minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry or agricultural purposes . . . This section of the CEQA guidelines describes Small Habitat Restoration that do not exceed 5 acres in size and are constructed for the purpose of maintenance, restoration, enhancement, or protection of habitat for fish, plants or wildlife. The purpose of the project is to thin a eucalyptus grove, which is an invasive species, and poses a fire hazard the environment in San Mateo County. The trees to be removed will be chipped and then composted, to be used as a soil amendment for the agricultural property on which this project is taking place.
NOTE: See NOE for full details.