Habitat Management Plan for the Rancho La Costa Habitat Conservation Area

Type: report

Article abstract: Introduction A. Background The Rancho La Costa Habitat Conservation Area (HCA) is an over 1,400 acre open space set aside by the Real Estate Collateral Management Company (RECMC), Brookfield Homes, and Scandia Development as mitigation for impacts to natural habitat as part of the Villages of La Costa and University Commons developments. The limits of the Preserve have been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) with the primary goal of protecting habitat of the federally listed coastal California gnatcatcher, as well as other listed species, and numerous sensitive plant and wildlife species that are covered under the Fieldstone Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), the City of San Marcos' MHCP Subarea Plan and Carlsbad's Habitat Management Plan (HMP). B. Habitat Conservation Area History The Rancho La Costa HCA resulted from over ten years of effort (Fieldstone HCP, University Commons EIR) that evolved into a unique planning process for a project specific plan, characterized by a consideration of range-wide conservation issues, open public participation and negotiations with conservation interests and federal, state and local agencies. The biological significance of the HCA comes from its location in relation to other important natural resource lands located nearby. The eastern portions of the Preserve form the western tip of the largest, contiguous stretch of coastal sage scrub and natural open space in northern San Diego County, and is the primary link between the City of Carlsbad's and San Marcos' natural communities and the larger regional ecosystem in the City of Escondido and San Diego County. The Center for Natural Lands Management (Center) has been (or will be) deeded title to all parcels that make up the HCA and has received endowments to manage these parcels in perpetuity. Management commenced in January 2002 for about one half of the total property with management of the additional acreage commencing between January 2002 and December 2004. La Costa Villages off-site mitigation properties have yet to be deeded to the Center (as of January 2005). Parcels that were deeded to the Center either fall in the City of Carlsbad or City of San Marcos jurisdictions and therefore, subsequent sub-area plans. If the properties were for "off-site" mitigation and were located in the County of San Diego, the conservation credit, and therefore management, is

Number of pages: 63

Month: June

Year: 2005

Prepared for: California Department of Fish and Game; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; City of San Marcos; City of Carlsbad;

Prepared by: Center for Natural Lands Management;

Keywords: sensitive plants;

Species: Coast Horned Lizard; Orange-throated Whiptail; Cooper's hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Red-shouldered Hawk; Northern harrier; Osprey; American Kestrel; Least Bell's vireo; Rufous-crowned Sparrow; Western spadefoot; summer holly; California adolphia; Wart-stemmed ceanothus; Sticky dudleya; Coastal California gnatcatcher

Vegetation communities: coastal sage scrub; chaparral