Basic Information
Vegetation Community: Vernal Pools And Alkali Playa
Community Code: VERPOO
Vegetation Community Map
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Species Information

MSP Species Background

Goals and Objectives

Goal: Protect, enhance, and restore vernal pool habitat on Conserved Lands in the MSPA that supports or has the potential to support VF and SL species (i.e., California Orcutt grass, Otay mesa mint, San Diego button-celery, San Diego mesa mint, spreading navarretia, Riverside fairy shrimp, San Diego fairy shrimp, and western spadefoot) so that the vegetation community has high ecological integrity, and these species are resilient to environmental stochasticity and threats, such as altered hydrology, climate change and invasive plants, and will be likely to persist over the long term (>100 years).

Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MON-SURV-VEG VERPOO-1

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.

Action Statement Action status Projects
SURV-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal Available for implementation
Criteria Deadline year
Qualitative Monitoring conducted annually and report submitted with management recommendations 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MON-SURV-VEG VERPOO-2

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).

Action Statement Action status Projects
SURV-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal Available for implementation
Criteria Deadline year
Baseline Hydrological Surveys completed in all vernal pools by 2022 and report submitted 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MON-EVAL-DIST VERPOO-3

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.

Action Statement Action status Projects
EVAL-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal On hold
Criteria Deadline year
Topographic Disturbance Assessment completed as needed and report submitted 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MGT-IMP-VPML1 VERPOO-4

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal On hold Vernal Pool Restoration , Proctor Valley Vernal Pools and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project
Criteria Deadline year
Level 1 Management implemented annually and report submitted 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MGT-IMP-VPML2 VERPOO-5

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal On hold Proctor Valley Vernal Pools and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project
Criteria Deadline year
Level 2 Management implemented as needed and report submitted 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
MGT-IMP-VPML3 VERPOO-6

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and annual Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring Report with results and management recommendations to the MSP web portal On hold
Criteria Deadline year
Level 3 Management implemented as needed and report submitted 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
California Least Tern Predator Monitoring (Ternwatchers)
Volunteer-based predator monitoring program at the nesting sites in Mission Bay. Citizen scientists are trained to monitor nesting sites for predators from mid-April through late May, with the program concluding the end of September.
Dennery Canyon Rare Plant Restoration
The goal of this project is to restore and enhance populations of four Management Strategic Plan (MSP) plant species and vernal pool habitat over a three-year period. Species directly benefiting from this effort include: San Diego thornmint (Acanthomintha ilicifolia), Otay tarplant (Deinandra conjugens), San Diego ambrosia (Ambrosia pumila), Orcutt's bird’s beak (Dicranostegia orcuttiana). The proposed project area encompasses approximately 8.68 acres. It provides a unique setting where the fours species co-exist with vernal pools not previously documented in the Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan (VPHCP). Annual inspect and manage (IMG) monitoring results indicate increasing threats (primarily non-native weeds) are impacting MSP species populations in this area, and an intensive restoration effort is needed to ensure the long-term persistence of these species. Activities will consist of weed management, seed collection, seed bulking and redistribution, trash removal, vegetation monitoring, photo monitoring, and IMG monitoring. The proposed project will utilize the most current state of management knowledge along with Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have been successfully implemented in the region. This project is consistent with management objectives and actions in the MSP Roadmap, the MSP Framework Rare Plant Management Plan, and the MSP Seed Collection, Banking, and Bulking Plan.
Furby-North Preserve Unauthorized Control Project
Currently there are multiple unauthorized trails on the Property. The Property is surrounded on all sides by heavy urbanization, and local residents frequently hike through using the northern access road or unauthorized trails. Off-road vehicle use, specifically motorcycles, is also a problem within the Property. Failure to control access to the unauthorized trails on the Property will cause further loss of on-site sensitive vegetation communities including maritime succulent scrub, Diego coastal sage scrub and vernal pools. In addition, special status species observed on-site including the coastal California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren could be affected by unauthorized use of the Property. This one-year project will add signage, fencing, and gates on the Property to prevent unauthorized access into and across the Property and allow for future active restoration of the unauthorized trails as outlined in the Resource Management Plan. The County will coordinate with the SANDAG enforcement program to increase patrols and enforce County regulations on the Property once signs are intellect, The County also will coordinate with Earth Discovery Institute to develop a public outreach program with the San Ysidro School District,including, but not limited to, the distribution of flyers discussing general ecology using the proposed project as an example of how good stewardship results in positive biological changes The message will encourage school children to participate in the conservation effort of their local flora and fauna and thus reduce trespassing across the Property. The County will provide on-site monitoring during installation and post-installation of fencing, gates, and signs to document the effectiveness.
Human impact to vernal pool complexes in Southern California
The flagship species for San Diego County’s vernal pools is the federally endangered San Diegofairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis: SDFS). For this species, the most critical management issues are likely to involve population connectivity. Degradation of the landscape, direct damage (often by vehicles), creation of new basins (most often “road ruts”), and increasing biotic connectivity (beyond historic levels) are also important factors.The specific goals of this study were focused in three areas: landscape genetics in the San Diego fairy shrimp B. sandiegonensis; hybridization between B. sandiegonensis and B. lindahli; and conservation, management and recovery of B. sandiegonensis. This was a project jointly funded by SANDAG and a CDFW Section 6 grant.
J26 Vernal Pool Monitoring- Vista Del Mar Elementary School Project
Five-year monitoring of vernal pool reference site J26 Vernal Pool Complex as part of the comprehensive mitigation program associated with the construction of the San Ysidro School District's Vista Del Mar Elementary School. The J26 Complex is formally recognized by the USFWS as a vernal pool reference site. It is located 10 km north of the restoration area. Vernal pools in the J26 Complex were chosen as control pools to monitor restoration success. This includes monitoring of San Diego fairy shrimp populations, vernal pool plant germination and abundance, and levels of inundation in a healthy vernal pool system.
Otay Mesa Rare Plants
The Otay Mesa Rare Plants Project will improve the conservation status of several of San Diego County's rarest plants on important conserved lands in Otay Mesa. The Project includes seed bulking for two high-priority Management Strategic Plan (MSP) plant species and direct restoration of five MSP plants with seeding, planting, and maintenance. Seeding, planting, and maintenance for the MSP plants will be conducted as part of two separate habitat restoration projects, one to restore vernal pools and maritime succulent scrub and another to restore maritime succulent scrub and native grasslands.
Proctor Valley Vernal Pools and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project
The Proctor Valley Vernal Pool and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project will complete restoration of 19 acres of vernal pools and coastal sage scrub in Proctor Valley on the City of San Diego's Otay Lakes Cornerstone Lands, a biological core area under the San Diego MSCP. The Project includes restoration of vernal pools and coastal sage scrub habitat and establishment of occurrences of two high-priority Management Strategic Plan (MSP) plants with seed collection, seed bulking, propagation, planting and seeding, and maintenance. The Project also includes restoration of habitat specific to the needs of several MSP animal species through seeding and planting of host and nest plants, construction of artificial burrows, and other measures. Project partially funded by SANDAG TransNet EMP Land Management Grant #5001972 and #5004955.
Regional Grazing Monitoring Plan
This project evaluates using grazing as a management tool for degraded grasslands and coastal sage scrub habitat. Pilot projects will be conducted to look at the efficacy of grazing as management tool and necessary monitoring techniques.
Shinohara Vernal Pool Restoration
In 2007 the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge began work to restore approximately 30 acres of vernal pool habitat on the former Shinohara parcel. The overall goal of the vernal pool restoration project was to establish healthy vernal pool habitat and associated coastal sage scrub/native grassland where vernal pool and other native flora and fauna are likely to persist. In April 2007, the restoration site was dethatched and more than 60 degraded vernal pool basins were deepened. Weed control was conducted annually in the growing seasons of 2007/2008, 2008/2009, and 2009/2010. One herbicide treatment was completed late in the 2011/2012 growing season. Where native flora was present in vernal pool basins, the basins were hand-weeded; otherwise, weeds were controlled with glyphosate herbicide. The restoration project included a combination of detatching, topographic re-contouring of basins, weed control, planting, and monitoring. In September 2007, 10 underground nest boxes for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) were installed on the site. Starting in 2009, the number of owls on site gradually declined, and they have not been known to breed there since 2011. Decline in breeding is attributed to the development of the sage scrub habitat on the site.
Vegetation Mapping and Classification 2012
This project first created a vegetation classification system and manual. Then, based on 2012 data, this project completed 3 tasks: Task 1. Vegetation Mapping. Task 2. Invasive Nonnative Species Plant Mapping. Task 3. Tecate Cypress Mapping. In 2014, the data was updated based on user's comments. The final products are available to download in the data section.
Vernal Pool Restoration
The vernal pools at the Spring Canyon/Goat Mesa complex (J16-J18) and surrounding open space have suffered considerable off-road damage over the years. This damage has resulted in changes in hydrologic, flow patterns, and inundation characteristics. This vernal pools complex was identified by the adopted Recovery Plan for Vernal Pools of Southern California (USFWS 1998) as necessary to stabilize populations of the following endangered and threatened MSP species: E. aristulatum, P. nudiuscula, N. fossalis, O. californica, B. sandiegonensis, and S. wootoni. The Management Strategic Plan (MSP) for Conserved Lands in Western San Diego County (SDMMP) also lists other MSP species historically found onsite, including D. variegata, M. minimus, S. hammondii, and A cunicularia. Minimization of illegal off-road vehicle use is the primary goal. The main objective to reach the goal is to use to fence off as many of the key access points and areas of frequent off-road vehicle use throughout the City open space to protect the habitat for the endangered and threatened species that exist onsite. This will be done by hiring a fence contractor to provide all supplies and install the fence.
File name Lead Author Year Type
1.12. Response of vernal pool flora and fauna to fire Miller, Betsy 2013 recording
2009 Progress Report for the Shinohara Vernal Pool Complex Weed Control Project Olson, Meagan 2009 report
Appendix D. Year 5 VDM Fairy Shrimp Survey 2016 report
Appendix E. CRAM report Year 5 2016 report
Appendix F. Qualitative Photos Year 5 2016 other
Appendix G. Quantitative Photodocumentation other
Connectivity Project Summary: San Diego Fairy Shrimp Bohonak, Andrew; Simovich, M 2014 powerpoint presentation
County of San Diego MSCP Monitoring Summary Report January 1998 - June 2007 County of San Diego 2007 report
Final Report: Human impact to vernal pool complexes in Southern California Bohonak, Andrew; Simovich, M 2014 report
Final Report: Vernal Pool Habitat Restoration at Otay Mesa Open Space 2020 report
Management Plan for "S" Series Vernal Pools on San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Martin, John 2006 report
MSP Roadmap Dec 31, 2016: VF Species and Vegetation Goals, Objectives, and Actions San Diego Management and Monitoring Program 2016 other
Otay Mesa Rare Plants Final Report 2022 report
Otay River Mitigation Program: Development, Preservation and Mitigation Casey, Courtney; Teunis, Lindsay 2019 powerpoint presentation
Proctor Valley Vernal Pool Project, 15th Quarterly Progress Report (Final) 2016 report
Restoration of the S-series Vernal Pools on the Shinohara Parcel of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Martin, John; Terp, Jill 2014 report
Restoration, Enhancement, & Monitoring Plan- Proctor Valley ORV Site B Vernal Pool Habitat Restoration Project I Hogan, Dave 2017 report
Shinohara Vernal Pool Presence/Absence Survey for Fairy Shrimp 2009 report
Shinohara Vernal Pool Restoration Project - 2011 Progress Report Martin, John 2011 report
Sweetwater Vernal Pool Restoration Progress Report MacAller, Robert 2006 report
Transnet Environmental Mitigation Program Grant Agreement #5001761; Final Report for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Vernal Pool Invasive Weed Control Project Terp, Jill 2015 report
Vegetation Mapping Western San Diego 2012 Oberbauer, Thomas; Sproul, Fred; Dunn, Jonathan; Woolley, L. GIS data
Vernal Pool and Quino Habitat Restoration and Management Recommendations Report 2007 report
Vernal Pool Management and Monitoring 2019 Berninger, Mark 2019 powerpoint presentation
Vernal Pool Restoration Final Report 2018 report
Weed Control on the Vernal Pool Restoration Areas of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge: Jamul, California 2013 report
Year 1 Vista Del Mar Report 2013 report
Year 2 Vista Del Mar Annual Report 2013 report
Year 3 Vista Del Mar Fairy Shrimp Report 2014 report
Year 4 Vista Del Mar Fairy Shrimp Report 2015 report
Year 4 Vista Del Mar Report 2015 report
Year 5 Vista Del Mar Report 2016 report