Parks and Recreation BoardNov. 28, 2022

7-1: Land Management Plan Presentation — original pdf

Thumbnail of the first page of the PDF
Page 1 of 8 pages

Land Management Planning for PARD Natural Areas Progress Update and Anticipated Timeline Briefing to Austin Parks Board November 28, 2022 Presenter: Matt McCaw Environmental Conservation Program Manager Land Management Program Background • A natural area is one with natural character, typically dominated by native plants and animals. • The majority of PARD’s ~ 17,000 acres are designated as natural areas. • These natural areas provide critical services such as mental health benefits, social well- being, climate regulation, clean air and water. • Most have not been managed to maintain ecosystem health. • They are degraded and therefore threatened by heat, drought, disease, and wildfire. • The need for comprehensive restoration of PARD natural areas has long been recognized by staff, partners, and the community. 26% Built/ mowed 74% Natural Areas Acres 0.2% Natural Areas 99.8% Built/mowed, programs, admin Budget Background safety standpoint. • The 2019 Wildfire Preparedness Audit highlighted this need from a public • Recommended that PARD create and implement land management plans with a priority on “high-risk properties.” • PARD has establish a land management program to do this. • This land management plan will help PARD achieve conservation goals in existing parks master/vision plans. • This land management plan will also help to address the following goals in the Climate Equity Plan: • Manage all natural areas under land management plans to improve resilience and reduce carbon emissions. • Achieve (and maintain) at least 50% citywide tree canopy cover by 2050. Timeline • RFP Published • RFP Close Date • Re-Bid RFP Published • RFP Close Date • Recommended Awardee Posted on Austin Finance Online • Project kickoff • Final draft anticipated • Board and Council approval 02/01/2021 03/04/2021 07/26/2021 08/24/2021 10/05/2021 January 2022 February 2023 Feb-Mar 2023 • Public outreach to 30+ stakeholder groups Summer-fall-winter 2022 Public Engagement • Before plan development: Plan • Parks master/vision plans, PARD Long Range Plan, Climate Equity • Wildfire Preparedness Audit, existing CAPP projects • Two presentations to PARB, City Council approval • During plan development • Targeted and general outreach to 30+ stakeholder groups • Austin Parks Foundation, PARKner groups, Adopt-a-park groups, Friends groups, conservancies, volunteer groups, neighborhood associations, Master Naturalist chapters • Involvement and briefings with key City staff: BCP, AFD, others • During implementation • Engagement with key stakeholder groups during prioritization, project planning, volunteer involvement, scheduling. Background Site analysis - 100% complete • Soils, hydrology, existing vegetation communities, endangered species, other elements Restoration strategies – 70% …that may be effective and appropriate for achieving management goals. Monitoring design – 50% …to evaluate progress. ~10-year document; 50-year horizon. Climate vulnerability analysis – 70% • Identify physical components of ecosystems that affect vulnerability to intense heat, drought, disease, and wildfire • Map these components • Will help prioritize work Management goals 70% Vegetation types expected to be most resilient in the coming decades. Implementation Key strategies • Woodland health • Reduce: Density, competition, fuel loading • Increase: Diversity, resource availability, sight lines • Prescribed fire • Improves diversity, reduces fuel loading, reduces restoration costs • Invasive species mgmt • Seeding, planting • Grassland restoration to date Prioritize work where climate vulnerability and Social Vulnerability Index are high. Requested Committee Action: • None at this time. • Anticipated presentations to PARB in early 2023. At that time, the requested action will be a recommendation to the City Council to vote to approve a resolution to direct City staff to begin implementation of the PARD land management plan. • Questions?