Carlsbad on track with habitat goals


Buena Vista Lagoon in Carlsbad. (Courtesy photo)

News Release

Over the past year, the city of Carlsbad and its environmental partners protected nearly 6,200 acres of habitat preserves facing threats from erosion, flooding, illegal trespassing, wildfires, landscaping practices at adjacent properties, and non-native plants and animals that could harm sensitive species.

This and other work are detailed in the Habitat Management Plan annual report, which updates the community and regulatory agencies about recent activities and accomplishments.

North Coast Link logo.“It’s pretty phenomenal when you see the amount of work taking place in our community,” said Rosanne Humphrey, a senior program manager for the city who oversees Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan. “It’s a collaborative effort that reflects a shared commitment to providing open space for the public to enjoy while also protecting our native species and habitats.”

The new report highlights all the work done by the city, land management organizations and nonprofit conservancy groups over the past year to protect natural lands within the city. The full list of projects is several pages, but here are some highlights:

Conducted long-term monitoring of rare plants, sensitive wildlife and native habitat;

Mapped native habitats;

Removed hundreds of acres of invasive species;

Repaired and replaced damaged signage and fencing;

Cleared drainage ditches, removed tons of trash and cleaned up graffiti;

Studied wildlife movement and maintained wildlife under crossings;

Installed measures to control and repair erosion;

Cleaned up homeless encampments;

Worked with thousands of volunteers to educate and engage the community in habitat preservation.

Why it matters

Carlsbad is the only city in North San Diego County with an approved Habitat Management Plan. It was created 17 years ago and includes 6,195 acres of natural land preserved as habitat for plants and wildlife, never to be developed.

The goal is to preserve 6,478 acres of natural open space. As of 2021, the city has achieved 96% of that target.

About 10% of existing preserves in Carlsbad are owned by the city and managed by the Center for Natural Land Management, a nonprofit organization that specializes in overseeing natural open spaces.

The other preserves are managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Center for Natural Lands Management, San Diego Habitat Conservancy and Urban Corps San Diego Habitat Services.

The Habitat Management Plan also serves a dual purpose of preserving land for environmentally sensitive species while providing clear guidelines to developers who wish to build in Carlsbad.

Developers agree to set aside land for preservation and endow the preserves so they can be managed and monitored in perpetuity. In this way natural open space is preserved without taxpayers paying to buy the land.

More information: Habitat Management web page.

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