STAFF REPORT. From the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD or Midpen) Director’s Special meeting on April, 27th, 2022 at 5:00pm for Coastal Management Plan Study Session.
Review the Coastal Management Plan for Coastal Preserves Agenda Staff Report20220427_CoastalManagementPlan_R-22-53
The purpose of the Coastal Management Plan (CMP) (attachment 1) is to identify recommended actions to be undertaken by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s (District) General Manager’s Office, phased in over the next five years, to build on-going and sustainable organizational capacity to support expanding programs and responsibilities required to care for coastal preserves.
Recommendations found in the CMP are based upon the result of an evaluation of duties, work plans, staff capacity, and organization within five of the District’s key programs (Land Protection, Visitor Services, Land and Facilities Management, Resource Management, and Project Planning and Delivery for Public Access) for the next five years that will be impacted by the anticipated increase in coastal preserve acreages and public access.
Facility, staffing, and management alternatives will be reviewed and approved by the Board during the regular Capital Improvement Action Plan and Budget approval process. Recommendations for future fiscal years will be analyzed and prioritized along with other land management needs during the review of the 2015 Financial and Operational Sustainability Model scheduled for FY23 and FY24.
Challenges identified in the CMP
Staff has evaluated the duties, work plans, staff capacity, and internal organization of five of the District’s key programs (Land Protection, Visitor Services, Land and Facilities Management, Resource Management, and Project Planning and Delivery for Public Access) in coastal preserves.
In summary, fives factors were identified as major contributors to the expanding program duties and work plans going forward:
• new properties increasing the total acres in the Service Plan area to nearly 19,000 acres • new programs and expanded workplans to meet new program goals
• increasing public access demand (both for new facilities and use of existing ones)
• increased resource monitoring and reporting responsibilities
• expanding stewardship role to balance agricultural uses and public access with management of sensitive coastal habitats for endangered species These factors are described and analyzed in more detail in the CMP, and together represent greatly expanding responsibilities for both field and support staff.
Summary of CMP Recommendations
Increased workload associated with the challenges identified is anticipated in both the Natural Resources and Land & Facilities Departments. Impacts will be felt in the Visitors Services Department in their ability to effectively provide patrol and manage new and increasing public access. Within Project Planning and Delivery, the Planning Department would be impacted in their ability to plan for public access and help deliver capital projects important to the ongoing development of public access and facilities in coastal preserves. To address these needs, the following actions are recommended in the CMP:
• Create a separate Visitor Services Coastal Field Unit
• Develop a new Coastal Office
• Provide staff housing on Cloverdale Ranch
• FOSM Update
• Propose increased staffing in four departments
Establishment of a dedicated Coastal Field Unit –
A new Coastal Field Unit that is largely independent from the Skyline Field Unit is recommended to dedicate Ranger staff solely to coastal lands within the coastside area to effectively manage the expanded (and expanding) acreage and public use.
Having a District Coastal Field Unit dedicated to the coast will also improve relationships with coastside neighbors, partners and communities by dedicating a core team of rangers to specifically serve the coastal geographic region and establishing a greater physical presence on the coast with frequent opportunities for relationship building through neighborly interactions, impromptu encounters at local service sites, frequent observations of District ranger vehicles, ranger assistance in local medical/emergency calls, etc.
The Coastal Field Unit staffing model would be similar to the Skyline Field Unit, composed of one Supervising Ranger, one Lead Ranger, and five Rangers.
From 12,662 acres in 2021 to 18,964 acres in 2023
Midpen is governed by a seven-member publicly elected board of directors. Board members serve a four-year term, and represent a geographic ward of approximately equal populations.