Comments on Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan: On February 10th I attended the Concord City Council Meeting on behalf of the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (EBCNPS). This meeting and a second one held on the 11th were scheduled to hear presentations from the three companies who are in final consideration for the contract to build out of the Concord Naval Weapons Station as part of the re-use plan adopted by the city in 2012. At the meeting I made comments recommending the Council factor in protecting and avoiding the areas of the site that contain sensitive natural resources as well as keeping a corridor open between the shoreline and the slopes of Mt. Diablo. The habitat corridor that the naval weapons station currently provides was one of the main considerations that led to its listing as one of EBCNPS’s 15 Botanical Priority Protection Areas.

This project is at the final stages of a multi-year planning effort, and EBCNPS has been involved from the beginning. At the February 10th and 11th meetings, environmental groups and citizens packed the City Council meeting room and much of an overflow room as well. There are many eyes watching this project move forward, and we are hopeful that the great community input received so far will continue to guide the plan toward a project that benefits the region both economically and environmentally.

Ongoing Projects

The Conservation Committee is tracking several ongoing projects in 2015:

We are still awaiting the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed expansion of Carnegie Off Highway Vehicle Park in Alameda County. Our committee is ready to provide strong comments on the plan and along with our coalition of environmental organizations. We hope to make a powerful case for preserving the 3,400 acre Alameda Tesla parcel for conservation and passive recreation.

We are waiting on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to take the next step regarding their approval and funding of fuels management projects in the East Bay Hills. You can check the conservation blog if you haven’t seen the letter we sent last month on this issue.

We are working to set up meetings with the managers of the Richmond Field Station to help provide input on better grassland management practices for the several acres of remnant Danthonia grassland present at the site.

Volunteering: The Conservation Committee is always looking for new volunteers to get involved in our many projects. If you are interested in working with me on any of the projects that you have read about on our blog or in past Conservation Analyst Updates, please feel free to contact me by phone at (510) 734-0335 or by email at conservation@ebcnps.org. And as always, for more detailed updates on all of our conservation projects please visit the Conservation Blog at http://ebcnps.wordpress.com/ .

Mack Casterman