Open Space Enforcement Program (CDFW and County Sheriff)

Illegal activities, such as off-road riding, trespassing, vandalism, and littering have complicated efforts to preserve and manage open space lands in the region of San Diego. Despite passive enforcement efforts, open space violations continued to persist on both publicly owned lands and privately owned properties and are believed to be adversely affecting the species and habitats that the open space lands were intended to preserve. To address this issue, the San Diego Association of Governments in association with its partners, developed an Open Space Enforcement Program to coordinate and implement an aggressive multi-agency enforcement effort for conservation and management of the open space in the region. Through a cooperative approach, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and San Diego County Sheriff's Department Off-Road Enforcement Team (ORET) participated in a Pilot Program to advance the following goals: 1. Prevent/reduce habitat damage 2. Reduce/prevent take of MHCP and MSCP covered species 3. Reduce preserve management and remediation costs 4. Support volunteer patrol activities on preserves CDFW Game Wardens primarily focused on increasing law enforcement patrols in open space areas for illegal activity to control damage of property and the environment. Game Wardens enforced state law and local ordinances against violators in the targeted areas to help reduce and deter criminal activities on open space lands in the region. The ORET developed an open space enforcement plan and conducted enforcement actions that have a nexus and contributed to the protection of open spaces throughout the region. A majority of the ORET's efforts focused on areas previously identified, while the remainder of their effort focused on response to specific and often one-time requests for open space enforcement response. To the extent possible, the ORET and DFG collaborated on developing joint operational plans and information sharing to enhance the logistical and tactical effectiveness of the Program.

General Management
Threats and Stressors
Project Groups
  • SDMMP8 Enforcement (CDFW)

Project Focus

California Department of Fish and Wildlife; San Diego County Sheriff's Department

San Diego Association of Governments

Kim Smith

Sarah McCutcheon

Kim Smith

Strategic Elements
  • FY15-16 - 2.6
Project Location
Baja California, Riverside, San Diego
Central-central, Central-west, North-central, North-west, South-central, South-west
1, 10, 11, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9