The first Annual Public Meeting for the Carlsbad HMP was a big success! It was held on May 3, 2008 at the Discovery Center, adjacent to Agua Hedionda Lagoon, in Carlsbad. The purpose of the public meeting was to review the first three years of HMP implementation (covered in greater detail in the 2008 Annual Report); to bring together the public, City of Carlsbad, wildlife agencies, preserve managers, and local organizations; to give everyone the opportunity to discuss the status of the preserve system and HMP implementation; and to educate the public about management and monitoring of the native plants, animals, and habitats within the city.
The day started out with a hike into the Agua Hedionda Ecological Reserve, which is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). The hike was led by Mike Kelly (Kelly and Associates, specializing in habitat restoration), Christine Beck (CDFG), Warren Wong (CDFG), and Markus Spiegelberg (Center for Natural Lands Management). Participants learned about the plants and birds on the reserve, and all about the difficulties of managing invasive plant species, providing compatible public recreational opportunities, and enforcement.
The hike was followed by a short reception which allowed participants to wander among the exhibits. The exhibits included maps and information presented by the wildlife agencies, preserve managers, and local conservation organizations.
Next on the agenda were presentations given by Mike Grim (City of Carlsbad) and Markus Spiegelberg, which included an overview of the Multiple Habitat Conservation Plan (MHCP), Habitat Management Plan (HMP), a summary of acreage gains and losses within the preserve planning area, current status of the preserve system, management and monitoring activities that have taken place over the last three years, a summary of enforcement concerns and problem solving, and public outreach activities. Members of the public were then given an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. Download presentations given by the city and CNLM.
The 2008 HMP Annual Report, which covers years 1-3 of HMP implementation, will be available for public comment until the end of May. The city Planning Department and Preserve Steward will then review the comments and present the final report and comments to the City Council for approval.