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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
The Forest of Nisene Marks General Plan Background

California State Parks is currently in the process of establishing a General Plan for the future management of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park (FNMSP).

Following a series of public workshops in 2001 and 2002, California State Parks submitted for public review a Preliminary General Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Report in March 2003.

Nisene Marks
The Santa Cruz Regional Group of the Sierra Club finds the Preliminary General Plan to be flawed. The level of analysis in the Plan is insufficient to determine the impacts of alternatives currently considered, including: placement of facilities, land management zones, designated use-intensities, cumulative impacts, carrying capacity, and the commitment of future Park resources.

There is no comprehensive biological resource inventory of the Park in the Preliminary General Plan. Directives on General Plans specify that a biological resource inventory be completed upon which the General Plan is based. Without such an inventory, State Parks cannot fulfill CEQA requirements.

We ask that the General Plan include a comprehensive trail plan. The development of a General Plan without a trail plan segments the Plan thereby making it difficult to assess cumulative impacts of development within the park. We ask that State Parks base management strategies on current and proven scientific methods.

Most of the FNMSP was conveyed to the State by the Marks family in l963 with the stipulation that their gift “be preserved for all time as a natural preserve.” The FNMSP General Plan will be the blueprint for management of the Park for generations to come. With increased population, rising park use, and pressure from user groups to expand Park uses, we need to insure that decisions regarding future planning and management of the FNMSP are consistent with the intent of the Marks deed, and are determined by sound scientific practices.

Lead activist: Sandy Henn

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