Encinitas to step up habitat management


Eleven natural habitat and open space areas in Encinitas will receive heightened maintenance and management efforts as a result of City Council action Wednesday, May 8.

Council members voted 5-0 to proceed with the Encinitas Habitat Stewardship Program, which aims to preserve natural areas of the city.

The areas were identified as part of a North County-wide plan known as the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program, adopted in 2003.

The program identified natural habitats that should be preserved in North County to protect native and potentially endangered plants and animals, while delineating areas where development could proceed with minimal environmental harm.

In 2010, the council adopted the Early MHCP Implementation Program, which in subsequent years morphed into the city’s habitat stewardship program.

City officials hired the Encinitas-based environmental analysis firm Dudek to create an Initial Site Assessment Report for the program, a document released in April.

On Wednesday, the council authorized the city’s staff to go ahead with the assessment report’s recommendations, which include repairs, improvements and management of the natural habitat areas.

The sites targeted for attention are at or near Cottonwood Creek Park; two sections of the Cottonwood Creek drainage; Saxony Road; Indian Head Canyon; Oak Crest Park; two sections on the west side of North El Camino Real; La Costa Avenue; Sun Vista Park; and the Encinitas Senior Center.