A Land-Use Management Plan: Examples From a UC Research Center
Regulatory and land management agencies continue to question the degreeof sediment, nutrient, and pathogen loading to runoff from livestock managementactivities in grazed watersheds. To help ranchers in California addressconcerns about this non point-source pollution, the Range Management AdvisoryCommittee (RMAC) has prioritized water quality protection programs. A voluntaryprogram is underway for private ranchers to assess areas on their land thatmay be contributing to non-point-source pollution and propose solutions.This past summer, the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center (HREC)-5,358acres of California oak woodlands located in southeastern Mendocino County-developedits own Land-Use Management Plan.
Two summer interns, Lynn Barlow and Julia Crawford, were responsiblefor developing this Plan for HREC with three purposes: 1) to bring HRECinto voluntary compliance with the Rangeland Water Quality Management Planof the State Water Resources Control Board to control non point-source pollution;2) to develop a plan that would help land managers at HREC maintain a healthyecosystem; and 3) for this land-use plan to serve as a model to other landownersin the region. Two existing documents, IHRMP's 1996 Guidelines for ManagingCalifornia's Hardwood Rangelands and the UC Sierra Foothill Researchand Extension Center's (SFREC) 1994 Resources Management Plan, bothaided in developing HREC's Plan and are available to the public.
The Plan reviews HREC's goals as a research facility offering a widearray of resources to support research in natural resources, wildlife, ecology,and other natural and animal sciences. Staff and researchers at HREC wereinterviewed to ensure full participation as well as to provide a completepicture of effects on the natural resources at HREC. Included in the Planare an exhaustive inventory of natural resources at HREC, a synopsis ofcurrent management activities, recommended alternative management practices,and suggested techniques for monitoring HREC's natural resources.
The Plan addresses many of the management issues private landowners mustconfront, including water quality, pasture use, hardwood stand dynamics,invasive weedy species, erosion and sediment control, and presence of sensitiveplant and animal species. Recommendations in the Plan attempt to encouragemanagement at HREC to achieve and maintain ecosystem health. The Plan alsoincludes suggestions on how to minimize effects on natural resources resultingfrom roads, culverts, gullies, and waste management. Inventory, management,and monitoring recommendations were derived from literature searches andreflect the input of specialists from UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), CaliforniaDepartment of Fish and Game, and the USDA Natural Resources ConservationService (NRCS).
For example, severely degraded portions of a major stream on the centerwere proposed for revegetation, which will stabilize banks, filter sediment,and improve habitat for wildlife species associated with streams and riparianareas. Borrow sites were evaluated for use based on effects to nearby watercourses,stability of the soils, and ability to revegetate the site when no longerin use. Oak regeneration was addressed, and techniques for oak seedlingprotection were recommended.
Landowners are encouraged to use this Plan as a reference for their ownefforts and can receive help from the same sources HREC used. For example,UCCE and the NRCS jointly offer workshops on how to compose a Letter ofIntent or land-use management plan in compliance with the Rangeland WaterQuality Management Plan of the State Water Resources Control Board to controlnon point-source pollution. Copies of the Guidelines for Managing California'sHardwood Rangelands can be purchased from IHRMP. HREC and SFREC's planswill be available for public perusal after January 1997. If interested inviewing a copy of either plan, please contact the Hopland Research and ExtensionCenter (Superintendent R. Timm), 4070 University Road, Hopland, CA, 95449,707.744.1424; or Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center (SuperintendentM. Connor), 8279 Scott Forbes Road, Browns Valley, CA 95918, 916.639.2419.
prepared and edited by Justin Vreeland, Bill Tietje, and Pam Tinnin