In 1991 the Oakland Hills firestorm burned more than 1,500 acres, destroyed more than 3,000 homes, and killed 25 people. Since that time, the City of Oakland has sought ways to manage vegetation at the wildland-urban interface. In 2016, Horizon was hired by the City to develop a vegetation management plan, lead public outreach and coordination for the plan, and conduct CEQA compliance.
One of the primary goals of the plan is to identify vegetation management strategies to reduce fire hazard risk to people and structures and along critical access/egress routes. The vegetation management plan addresses vegetation management activities that occur on City-owned parcels, covering more than 1,400 acres of City property as well as 300 miles of roadside. City park lands represent a large portion of the plan area. The plan considers potential environmental effects and identifies opportunities to enhance ecological functions. Horizon conducted vegetation and biological resource surveys and prepared habitat maps and a biological resources report. Areas with high ecological value were considered for conservation and enhancement practices.
The draft vegetation management plan has been completed and provided for public review. Horizon is now preparing an EIR for the plan’s CEQA compliance and is also completing an extensive outreach program to obtain input from the public and key stakeholders. Outreach efforts include on-site meetings with stakeholders, public meetings on the draft Plan, workshops with community groups, and phone interviews to better understand and integrate local community efforts into the City’s vegetation management planning process and final plan.