Angel Island State Park Invasive Tree Management and Fuel Reduction


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Document Title
Angel Island State Park Invasive Tree Management and Fuel Reduction
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
This PEF for Angel Island State Park (ASIP) covers the implementation of a phased treatment approach to control nonnative, invasive tree species in natural areas outside historic landscapes and campgrounds at Angel Island State Park to reduce fuel loads, improve biodiversity and protect native grassland and coastal scrubland plant communities. This work includes Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program (WFRP funded work to control invasive Monterey pines. The general plan for AISP directs State Parks to “control and/or eliminate aggressive introduced plant species that are not part of either the natural or historic environment, but are extending their range and crowding out native species” (AISP General Plan, Resource Objective six, page 18). The General Plan specifically states that a “control program should be instituted on some of the exotic tree species such as eucalyptus, to keep present growth from blocking out scenic views... and taking over additional natural areas” (AISP General Plan, page 19). The scope of species to be treated in efforts covered by this document include Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata), Acacias (Acacia ssp.), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus ssp.), Mayten tree (Maytenus boaria), Tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) and Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa). All treatment will occur in consultation with cultural resource specialists to ensure historic landscapes and any other cultural resources are protected. Treatment efforts will be focused primarily on patches of each of the above identified species within the South-West Side, Eastside and North Side Management Units (MU) of the park. Work will occur on previously managed patches of each of these species, as well as eliminating small outlier patches of trees that exist outside of historic landscapes and park campgrounds. The Park’s General Plan specifies that State Parks shall “maintain desirable exotic and introduced plant species at their original planting sites, when associated with cultural values” (AISP General Plan, Resource Objective 7, page 18). Given the historic nature of much of Angel Island and the archaeological sensitivity across the island more broadly, work within the Ayala, Camp Reynolds, Fort McDowell or Immigration Station Management Units, or around known cultural sites and landscapes will only occur after discussion with cultural staff, and tribal consultation. Cultural resource surveys and coordination with cultural staff will refine work areas, inform priorities, and define treatments utilized. Work will not involve removal of live Monterey Pine trees providing shade within park campgrounds. Cultural Treatment Areas have been identified to help clarify the level of review needed prior to tree removal. Treatment areas are divided into High, Medium and Low sensitivity for this project (see attached map). High sensitivity areas require cultural specialist involvement to determine if trees are part of a landscape or district, or if removal will have other potential cultural resource impacts. Medium sensitivity areas require simple review to ensure there will be no impacts to known cultural resources. The low sensitivity area requires only standard inadvertent discovery measures (included in PEF package). Work within cultural sites will be planned to best protect the resource, which may include survey, tree retention, or modified removal methods. If work is to be performed within culturally sensitive areas, archaeological and tribal monitoring may be required. Treatment areas will be determined using data from past removal efforts, observations recorded and mapped by natural resource staff, and input from cultural resources and facilities staff. Treatments will include manual/mechanical cutting of trees, with cut material piled for future burning, chipped, incinerated in an air curtain burner or lopped and scattered (primarily for small and/or isolated patches). Given the propensity of certain invasive woody/trees pecies to vigorously resprout following the removal of above ground biomass, herbicide may be utilized to control some trees. Targeted species for herbicide use include Acacias (Acacia ssp.), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus ssp.), Mayten tree (Maytenus boaria) and Tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) due their high potential for resprouting and the limited feasibility for removal of below ground biomass, and the damage to the environment it would cause. Applications will be made utilizing basal bark and/or cut stem treatments with potential follow up foliar or cut stump treatments of resprouts occurring over multiple years. Herbicide will be applied via spray bottle, backpack sprayer, paint brush or an injection device to specified trees. Herbicide applications will be consistent with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policies, Licensed Pest Control Advisor Recommendations and all applicable laws and regulations. The AISP general plan identifies controlled burning as an appropriate method to “maintain a better and more thrifty wildland area” (AISP General Plan, page 20) and the burning of piles and use of curtain burner would be consistent with this directive. In areas where these methods are not feasible due to resource constraints, girdling of live trees may be considered on a limited basis for trees not adjacent to roads, structures, campsites or critical infrastructure. All work will be mapped to allow for follow up treatments of invasive trees, as well as additional invasives that may take advantage of newly opened areas/canopy reductions. The primary goal of these efforts is to control and reduce the spread of these nonnative, invasive tree species within previously treated areas, and remove small outlier populations in adjacent areas across the islands native plant communities. This is consistent with the AISP General Plan’s Resource Management objectives 5 and 6, as well as the additional vegetation management priorities outlined in the State Park’s policies for Resource Management. This work will additionally have the potential to decrease fire behavior in future wildfires and protect the park’s grasslands, scrublands and the island’s biodiversity as well as the significant historic sites. The Primary objectives will be to 1) strategically reduce biomass of previously managed patches of each of these species by 100% in selected patches and 2)eliminate all outlier patches to minimize spread of these species to new areas of the island. The goal of the project willbe to limit the extent of invasive trees outside of the historic areas and campgrounds, allowing for long-termmaintenance of work areas to be completed as part of ongoing natural resource management at Angel Island StatePark. Other goals or management objectives that could simultaneously benefit tribal cultural resources or eco-culturalobjectives may be identified during tribal consultation. These will be documented and attached to this document asneeded for future reference. Standard Inadvertent Discovery Measures: 1.Changes to project design including, but not limited to, the addition of land, change of location or constructionmethodology within the proposed project area are beyond the scope of this review. All such additions or changes willrequire further archaeological analysis/review. 2.If concentrations of prehistoric or historic-period materials are encountered during ground-disturbing work, allwork in the immediate vicinity should halt and contractors redirected to other areas/tasks. The discovery should beprotected until a State Park Archaeologist can evaluate the finds and make recommendations. Cultural materials mayinclude obsidian and flaked-stone tools or toolmaking debris, culturally darkened soil (“midden”) containing artifacts, orshellfish remains, stone milling equipment (e.g., mortars, pestles), stone, concrete, or adobe footings and walls, artifact-filled wells or privies; and deposits of historic-era refuse including metal, glass, and/or ceramic artifacts. 3.In the event that human remains are discovered all work within the immediate vicinity of the find will cease andthe project manager will notify the appropriate DPR personnel. Section 7050.5 of the California Health and Safety Codestates that it is a misdemeanor to knowingly disturb a human burial. Any human remains and/or funerary objects will beleft in place or returned to the point of discovery and covered. The DPR Superintendent (or authorized representative)will notify the County Coroner. If human remains are of Native American origin, the Coroner must notify the NativeAmerican Heritage Commission within 24 hours of that determination. The Commission then notifies the Most LikelyDescendant, who has 48 hours to make recommendations to the landowner for the disposition of the remains.

Contact Information

Caitlin Powers
Agency Name
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Job Title
Environmental Coordinator
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Reasons for Exemption
Project consists of the operation, maintenance or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond current levels and minor public or private alterations in the condition of land and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry or agricultural purposes, and is included as “resource management projects” in the Department of Parks and Recreation’s list of exempt activities in accordance with CCR § 15300.4.


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