With the metropolitan East Bay’s wide space comes fear in addition to relief due to the drought, heat waves, high fire danger, drains on the electricity grid, and the general escalation of climate change.
Fear all of the aforementioned. It’s a relief to have so many natural areas close by where you can go hiking, biking, running, birdwatching, picnics, or just to get away from the noise of the city. Berkeley, Oakland, and surrounding East Bay communities are surrounded by more than 200,000 acres of undeveloped land, largely to the east, from the Carquinez Strait to the South Bay. This includes 60,000 acres of watershed protected by EBMUD and around 125,000 acres of land owned by the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). If you count the land owned by UC Berkeley, PG&E, counties, and cities, there are even more.
The goal, according to the specialists overseeing the project, is to provide comprehensive, cutting-edge tools to assist with land use decisions.
Additionally, they note that many Bay Area counties, such as Sonoma, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, have already finished fine-scale mapping, while Alameda and Contra Costa counties are latecomers to most of this effort.
Dina Robertson, wildland vegetation manager for EBRPD, the project’s lead organisation, declared that “we’re a significant missing piece for the Bay Area.” “I want to find a strategy to deal with land resilience, so I’m extremely interested in looking at the entire park district, all of our properties, including wildlands. What method of land management is most effective?
The first evaluation is NatureCheck, which was published in April and provides a thorough analysis of the ecological health of East Bay animals, including bats, bobcats, salamanders, and steelhead. The East Bay Stewardship Network, a collection of public land managers, oversaw the evaluation, which will be updated on a regular basis.
The network also comprises Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, California State Parks (CSP), and EBRPD and EBMUD (SFPUC).
The analysis has regional relevance and is also a first of its kind for the East Bay due to the contiguous or linked lands of the network members.