|State Parks recommends approval for inadequate Nisene
The California Department of State Parks is recommending approval of a seriously-flawed
Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR for the Forest of Nisene Marks. This plan goes
before the State Parks and Recreation Commission on August 22 in San Jose.
||Illegal bike trails erode soil
in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.
The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club has submitted comments to the Commission
regarding the inadequacy of the Draft Plan. The level of analysis in the plan
is insufficient to determine the impact of designated uses and development on
habitat and species within the park.
The plan contains no comprehensive biological inventory of the park. Without such
an inventory, it is impossible to determine the need for special designations
such as natural preserves.
There is no modern carrying capacity analysis nor cumulative impacts analysis
for expansion of visitor facilities and use of trails by bikes. This results in
a piecemeal or segmented plan which State Parks is calling a Tiered Plan.
Segmented plans violate the California Environmental Quality Act and are used
by developers to install more than would be allowed if the projects were presented
at the same time.
Trail plan omitted
The Draft Plan does not include a trail plan in an obvious attempt to avoid the
issue of whether mountain bikes would be allowed on trails above the steel bridge.
A trail plan should be included and should be science-based with consideration
of impacts on soil erosion, and sensitive habitat and species. The intention of
the Marks Family to keep the property in a natural state should be honored.
During public hearings in 2001 and 2002, there was considerable public input asking
that trails within the park remain peaceful, safe for hikers and free of mechanical
transport. The Marks deed specifies that the Forest of Nisene Marks be preserved
as a natural preserve and be used for camping, nature study, hiking
and associated activities. State Parks should honor that deed.
Copies of the Preliminary General Plan/DEIR are available for review at: State
Parks Santa Cruz District Office, Aptos Public Library, Santa Cruz City Library,
and on the internet at www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=21501.
How to help
Attend the Park and Recreation Commission Hearing in San Jose, on August
22. Contact Sandy Henn, firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-2843 for carpool information.
Attend the tour of Nisene Marks with the Park and Recreation Commission
on August 21. Contact Louis Nastro, LNastro@parks.ca.gov or (916) 653-0524 for
information regarding the tour. If you cannot attend the entire tour which includes
other parks, ask what time the tour will arrive at Nisene Marks and join it there.
It will be important to attend this tour in order to hear what State Parks is
telling the Commissioners.
Send written comments with your concerns regarding the Preliminary General
Plan/DEIR to: Ruth Coleman, Secretary, State Park and Recreation Commission. P.O.
Box 942896, Sacramento, CA 94296-0001, FAX (916) 653-4458. Ask that a comprehensive
biological inventory be conducted and that proposed uses be based on protecting
threatened and endangered species and sensitive habitat revealed by this inventory.
Ask that a trail use plan be included and that trail uses be based on protecting
biological resources. And remind the Parks Commissioners that Herman and Andrew
Marks specified in the deed that the property be preserved for all time
as a natural preserve, and that the property shall be held in its
natural state . . . limited to camping, nature study, hiking and associated activities.
< back to all issues