PLEASANTON RIDGE REGIONAL PARK

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					PLEASANTON RIDGE REGIONAL PARK

    Northern Area Interim Land Use Plan
                     (Draft – August 2008)




         Planning/Stewardship/GIS Services Department
                East Bay Regional Park District
                    2950 Peralta Oaks Court
                   Oakland, California 94605
                                                        DRAFT
                              PLEASANTON RIDGE REGIONAL PARK
                            NORTHERN AREA INTERIM LAND USE PLAN


                                            TABLE OF CONTENTS


I.   INTRODUCTION                                                                         1
     A. Overview                                                                          1
     B. Purpose                                                                           1
            Purpose                                                                       1
            Land Use Consistency                                                          1
     C. Plan Summary of Actions Needed for Initial Public Access                          1
            Resource Management                                                           2
            Cultural Resources                                                            2
            Grazing and Fuel Management                                                   2
            Trail / Road Access                                                           2

II. BACKGROUND                                                                            3
    A. Park Location                                                                      3
    B. Parkland Classification                                                            3
    C. Setting                                                                            3
           Figure 1 - Location Map                                                        4
           Figure 2 - Vicinity Map                                                        5

III. EXISTING CONDITIONS                                                                  6
     A. Overview                                                                          6
     B. Natural Resources                                                                 6
            Topography, Geology and Soils                                                 6
            Climate, Hydrology and Water Resources                                        6
            Figure 3 - Existing Conditions Map                                            7
            Vegetation                                                                    8
            Figure 4 - Vegetation Map                                                     9
            Wildlife                                                                      10
            Special Status Species                                                        11
            Table 1: Special Status Wildlife Species - Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park     12
            Invasive Species                                                              12
            Agricultural Activities – Grazing and Fuel Management                         13
     C. Land Use                                                                          13
            Site History and Cultural Resources                                           13
            Land Ownership / Other Plans                                                  14
     D. Access and Circulation                                                            17
            Park Access                                                                   17
            Existing Staging Areas                                                        17
            Existing Roads and Trails System                                              17
            Proposed Regional Trails                                                      18
     E. Utilities / Infrastructure                                                        18




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IV. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERIM USE                                             19
    A. Resource Management                                                      19
           Vegetation, Grazing and Fuel Management                              19
           Wildlife Management                                                  19
       Cultural Resources                                                       20
           Figure 5- Land Use Plan                                              21
    B. Public Access – Recreational Use                                         22
           Staging Areas                                                        22
           Trails                                                               22
           Proposed Trail Names                                                 23
    C. Public Safety                                                            24
           Staff Presence and Park Patrol                                       24
           Emergency Vehicle Access                                             24
           Fire Response                                                        24
    D. Operations                                                               24
           Staffing                                                             24
           Cost Estimate for Interim Improvements                               25

V. CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA) COMPLIANCE                       26

VI. FUTURE STUDIES                                                              27
    A. Resource Management                                                      27
    B. Cultural Resources                                                       27
    C. Grazing and Fuel Management                                              27
    D. Public Access – Recreational Use                                         27

APPENDICES
Appendix A Locally Noteworthy Wildlife Species - Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park 31
Appendix B References                                                           32
Appendix C Report Preparation                                                   33




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                                                    I.       INTRODUCTION



A.        OVERVIEW

          This Interim Land Use Plan (ILUP) identifies the initial (first phase) actions required to protect
          resources and accommodate public access to land bank parcels that are contiguous to the northern
          boundary of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. The land bank property refers to property that the
          District has acquired that has not been opened for public use due to the need to eliminate unsafe
          conditions, the need to protect natural or man-made resources, and/or or the need to acquire
          contiguous land to provide access to the site.

          The ILUP describes the north Pleasanton Ridge area within the broader context of Pleasanton Ridge
          Regional Park providing a discussion of natural and cultural resources, grazing and fuel management
          programs, and access to the internal road and trail system.

          The northern Pleasanton Ridge area will be managed as one parkland unit as part of Pleasanton Ridge
          Regional Park. As staging areas become available contiguous to additional land bank parcels north
          and east of this study area, a more comprehensive public land use planning process will be initiated.


B.        PURPOSE

          Purpose

          In accordance with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD or District) 1997 Master Plan, the
          purpose of the ILUP is the identification of the minimum actions required to address: 1) protection of
          park resources, 2) safe public access, and 3) operating guidelines for transitioning the property from
          land bank status to publicly accessible parkland.

          Land Use Consistency

          The EBRPD Master Plan (1996) and updated 2007 Master Plan Map define the vision and mission of
          the EBRPD. The Master Plan provides policies and guidelines for achieving the highest standards of
          service in resource conservation, management, interpretation, public access and recreation. This ILUP
          will result in an expansion of existing parkland and as such is consistent with the 1986 Ridgelands
          Regional Park Feasibility Study for Pleasanton Ridge, the EBRPD Master Plan (1997) and 2007
          Master Plan Parkland and Trails Map.


C.        PLAN SUMMARY OF ACTIONS NEEDED FOR INITIAL PUBLIC ACCESS

          A summary of the recommendations contained within this ILUP is provided below. These
          recommendations focus on: 1) refining existing resource management practices to further promote
          habitat enhancement and species diversity; 2) promoting the expansion of safe public recreational
          access within Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park into the northern land bank area; and 3) addressing
          operational needs in connection with opening the land bank property to the public.




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          Resource Management

          The wildlife habitats in this ILUP are categorized as California annual grasslands, Coast Live
          Oak/California bay woodlands, shrublands, and riparian/ponds. Many of these habitat areas contain
          special status plant and wildlife species that must be protected according to state and federal species
          resource preservation laws. Additionally, as the majority of the project study area is contained within
          a Conservation Easement /Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank (PRCB) established in 1999, the
          District will continue to manage wildlife habitats within the ILUP area in accordance with the Bank
          Establishment and Management Plan incorporating best management practices for managing regional
          wildlife resources, and state and federal laws protecting rare, threatened, and endangered species.

          Cultural Resources

          Cultural resources within the ILUP area are associated with historic homesteading and ranching.
          These resources will be added to the District’s Cultural Resources Atlas. To ensure protection of
          unknown sensitive areas, the ILUP recommends that pedestrian archaeological surveys be conducted
          prior to initiating future activities involving ground disturbance.

          Grazing and Fuel Management

          The Park District utilizes seasonal rotational livestock grazing (both sheep and cattle) for managing
          the grasslands and for reducing fire risk in high fire hazard open space lands. Livestock grazing goals
          include: 1) encouraging and enhancing native grassland and wildflower communities, 2) minimizing
          wildfire potential and brush encroachment, 3) controlling and managing invasive weedy vegetation,
          4) enhancing wildlife habitat, 5) and maintaining open landscapes and viewsheds.Llivestock grazing
          will continue as the primary vegetation management practice.

          Trail / Road Access

          The Foothill Staging Area located along Foothill Drive will continue to serve as the primary access to
          Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, including the ILUP study area. Limited secondary access for local
          Pleasanton residents is provided from the City of Pleasanton’s Augustin Bernal Park Staging Area
          and Longview Road.

          Pass-through gates will be installed to accommodate public trail access to the northern reaches of the
          North Ridge and Sinbad Creek Trails and a portion of the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail will be
          opened as a result of this action. A service road, which runs from the ridge through Cook Canyon,
          will be opened as an out and back trail. Access to more northerly and easterly land bank parcels will
          be gated and/or signed until appropriate access can be determined as part of the future Pleasanton
          Ridge Regional Park Land Use Plan.

          No new trails or staging areas will be constructed as part of this ILUP.




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                                                      II.    BACKGROUND



A.        PARK LOCATION

          The ILUP area is contiguous with the northern boundary of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. As with
          the rest of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, this predominantly undeveloped land is part of the
          Calaveras Ridge system that separates the San Francisco East Bay communities (including the City of
          Hayward) from the increasingly urbanized Tri-Valley San Ramon–Livermore Valley area, which
          includes the cities of Pleasanton and Dublin to the east and north respectively. (See Figure 1 –
          Location Map and Figure 2 - Vicinity Map)

          Major perimeter roads providing regional access to the park are Interstate 580 and Dublin Canyon
          Road to the north, Interstate 680 and Foothill Road to the east and Palomares Road to the west.
          Primary access to the ILUP area is provided from the main staging area located off Foothill Road by
          way of a multi-purpose trail system that accommodates hikers, equestrians, bicyclists, people with
          dogs and service vehicles.


B.        PARKLAND CLASSIFICATION

          Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is classified as a Regional Park according to guidelines defined in the
          1997 Master Plan for park size and types of recreational use planned. The portion of North
          Pleasanton Ridge covered under this ILUP will expand the overall acreage of this regional park.


C.        SETTING

          The northern portion of Pleasanton Ridge covered under this ILUP includes 14 parcels of
          undeveloped, steeply wooded ridges that rise abruptly to elevations of more than 1,600 feet above the
          San Ramon Valley and Livermore plain. The ILUP area adds 1,097 acres to the existing 3,039 acres
          of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park owned and managed by the District for public use.

          Pleasanton Ridge serves as the primary western visual backdrop for the tri-valley area. The pastoral
          character and topographic diversity of the park affords sweeping, panoramic ridge top views of the
          visually prominent peaks and ridgelines of the Diablo Range and the Las Trampas/Pleasanton/Sunol
          Range, as well as sheltered remote, deep-canyon stream sites.

          The landscape of the ILUP area is characteristic of California's northern coast range and inland valley
          with expansive grass covered grazing lands, steep and rolling hills and valleys, and meandering tree-
          lined drainages with oak/bay woodlands that function as sub-regional corridors for the movement of
          wildlife connecting major open space areas, such as regional parks, wilderness areas, and watershed
          lands. The steep terrain of much of the ILUP area also contains potentially hazardous conditions such
          as landslides, and earthquake fault zones.




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                                                   III.      EXISTING CONDITIONS



A.        OVERVIEW

          This section describes the setting of the ILUP area taking into account: toypography, geology and soils;
          climate and hydrological resources; and natural and cultural resources. The information was derived
          from site visits and field surveys conducted by the Planning/Stewardship and Operations staff, and
          background information from the Hayward Hills Area Study (City of Hayward 1971), the Ridgeland’s
          Regional Park Feasibility Study (Planning Collaborative 1986), the Pleasanton Ridge Conservation
          Bank Establishment and Management Plan (Wildlands, Inc. 1998), the Cultural Resources Constraints
          Analysis for the Proposed Pleasanton Mitigation Banking (Jones & Stokes 1998), and the Phase I
          Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment Report Pleasanton Ridge Property, Hayward, California
          (Keinfelder 1995). Figure 3- Existing Conditions Map shows existing site features.


B.        NATURAL RESOURCES

          Topography, Geology and Soils

          Pleasanton Ridge is part of a chain of ridges that define the western boundaries of Livermore and
          Amador Valleys between the City of Dublin to the north and the Town of Sunol to the south. Primary
          features include Main Ridge, Sinbad Creek Valley, and Cook Canyon. The project site lies at the
          northern terminus of Sunol and Main ridges. This area contains a complex formation of ridges and
          canyons that create the headwaters of seven stream systems. Roughly 50% of the land area is
          classified as unstable and is subject to debris flows, soil creep, erosion and faulting (Ridgelands
          Regional Park Feasibility Study, 1986). Unstable lands are significant as they create problems for the
          construction and maintenance of parking lots, roads and trails, water and sewer lines and other
          potential park facilities that may be considered in the future. Examples of extensive erosion that is
          resulting in damage requiring road repair and trail stabilization can be found along Cook and Sinbad
          service roads. This erosion is adding sediment to the riparian areas and accelerating the filling of
          ponds; water quality is thus reduced (Morrison, Ph.D., California State University, 1998). The
          majority of the soils within the project area are agriculturally unsuitable except for pasture and range
          because of the steep slopes, rapid runoff and shallow depth of bedrock.

          Climate, Hydrology and Water Resources

          A Mediterranean climate is the overarching regional macro climate. This climate type is characterized
          by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Mean annual precipitation is 22 inches along
          Pleasanton Ridge, increasing to 24 inches to the west of Sinbad Creek, and declining to about 16
          inches at the foot of the ridge to the east (Rantz, 1971). Most of the precipitation occurs as rainfall
          (occasional snow occurs at the higher elevations) between November 1st and April 30th.

          Within the ILUP area seven creeks/canyons originate at the site; Cook, Sinbad, Gold, Hedd, Devany,
          Tehan and Palomares. The major surface water sources consist of annual or ephemeral streams that
          flow only during winter and spring months. Cook, Sinbad, Gold and Hedd Creeks and one of the
          Palomares Creek tributaries have segments shown on the USGS Dublin Quad sheet as intermittent
          streams. Other creeks on the site have minor on-site tributaries, none of which are identified as
          intermittent on the Dublin Quad [Bank Establishment and Management Plan, 1998]. The creeks

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          exhibit varying stages of disturbance. Sinbad Creek, which provides potential habitat for foraging,
          movement and dispersal habitat for red-legged frogs breeding in the adjacent pond, is the most
          disturbed of the creeks, due in part to the unpaved road that runs up the valley [Bank Establishment
          and Management Plan, 1998].

          In addition there are some scattered low production springs and three constructed stock ponds in
          Sinbad Valley. There are also a number of ponds within the intermittent drainages developed
          specifically to create habitat for red-legged frog as part of the conservation management plan
          established for the conservation easement/PRCB. While surface water is scarce, stream channels and
          localized water sources are integral to the ecology serving as critical habitat for a variety of riparian
          plant and animal species.

          Due to the subsurface conditions and the size of the project site, depth to groundwater is expected to
          vary across the site from within a few feet of the surface to depths greater than 50 feet (The
          Ridgelands Regional Park Feasibility Study, 1986). Based upon the surface topography, the
          groundwater flow at the site is assumed to flow southeast along Sinbad Creek to the north along Hedd
          Canyon and to the southwest along Cook Canyon (Kleinfelder, Inc., 1995).

          Vegetation

          The 1,097-acre land area described in this ILUP contains three major plant communities consisting of
          California Annual Grassland (with some native perennial grasses present), assorted Shrublands (with
          variable composition), and Coast Live Oak / California Bay Woodland. Two other communities,
          Riparian and Ponds, also occur in much smaller areas (Refer to Figure 4 – Vegetation Survey Map).

          The grasslands generally occupy the hills and ridges and cover about 548 acres. The oak/bay
          woodlands total about 481 acres and occur in the tributary drainages and on the associated side
          slopes. Small shrublands comprise about 67 acres and are sparsely scattered among the more
          dominant grassland and oak/bay woodland vegetation. Riparian and wetland plant communities are
          found along portions of creeks/canyons in and around various ponds, and among springs and seeps.

          California Annual Grassland. The grassland is commonly referred to as the California Annual
          Grassland type as California’s original perennial grasslands have been largely replaced by
          Mediterranean annual grasses that were introduced in the 16th century. This vegetation community
          occurs primarily on ridgelines and upper elevations of the drier westerly facing slopes. The
          Pleasanton Ridge grasslands flora can vary from little more than a dominant cover of non-native
          grasses, such as at the head of Sinbad Creek where the land had been severely overgrazed and
          portions cultivated since the early 1900s, to a diverse mixture of native and non-native grasses and
          wildflowers farther found away from the former homestead on the east side of Sinbad Creek. The
          most common native perennial grass is purple needle grass (Nassella pulchra).

          Coast Live Oak / California Bay Woodland. Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)/ California bay
          (Umbelluraria californica) woodlands are widespread on steep north and northeast-facing slopes and
          in the drainages. This plant community is dominated by coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) and
          California bay (Umbelluraria californica). California bay (Umbelluraria californica) tends to
          concentrate in the drainages, with coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) along the edges of the California
          bay (Umbelluraria californica), with some intermixing of the two species on the drier portions of the
          slopes. In openings, especially under the oaks (Quercus agrifolia), some common shrubs appear




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          including poison oak (Toxicodenderon diversiloba), two snowberry species (Symphoricarpos albus
          var. laevigatus) and (Symphoricarpos mollis), and hillside gooseberry (Ribes californicum). The
          herbaceous understory vegetation is typically sparse, especially under the dense bay. Native grasses
          may occur in small amounts and other shade-loving plants of woodland environments may also be
          present.

          Shrublands. This ecological zone consists of scrub vegetation growing in patches on the sides and
          crests of ridges and near the bottoms of ravines and creeks. Common shrubs found in these areas
          include coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis), California toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), bush monkey
          flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), California sagebrush
          (Artemisia californica), ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor), and coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica).
          Lower profile plants – purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra), brome grasses (Bromus spp.), and
          annual fescues (Vulpia spp.)– sprout among the shrubs. More shrubland plants are indigenous to
          California than in the grassland-area. While the planning area does not contain any areas of
          predominant shrublands that are not subsumed within another ecosystem such as woodland or
          grassland, the shrubland areas serve as a valuable habitat edge component to both woodland and
          grassland species. Additionally, these shrublands represent habitat that has been identified by the U.S.
          Fish and Wildlife Service as suitable for the State and Federally threatened Alameda whipsnake,
          which has been documented on site (Swaim, 1996).

          Riparian and Ponds. These hydrophilic plant communities are associated primarily with the
          creeks/canyons of Cook, Sinbad, Gold, Hedd, and Devany. Typically these canyon drainages contain
          running water until late spring or early summer, after which time the flow of water subsides and
          appears as pools at intervals along the stream course. Minor on-site tributaries transport water for
          only short periods during and after heavy storm events. Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), Willow
          species (Salix spp.), Western sycamore (Platanus racemosa) and several other species representative
          of the surrounding plant community occur along these stream courses often intermixed with coast live
          oak (Quercus agrifolia)/ California bay (Umbelluraria californica) woodlands.

          Wetland habitat is associated with the three constructed stock ponds in Sinbad Valley. All of these
          ponds are contained within the area of the Conservation Easement/PRCB.

          Wildlife

          The ILUP area exhibits considerable wildlife habitat diversity as a result of the pronounced variation
          in physical features (e.g., elevation, solar aspect, exposure, soils, vegetation) and sheer size of the
          surrounding relatively undisturbed open space. Oak-bay woodlands dominant east and north-facing
          slopes, while south and west facing slopes are largely compromised of grassland with wooded or
          brushy ravines. Each of these habitat types supports a wide variety of native species, some of which
          are migratory, using the area on a seasonal basis, while others are year-round residents.

          Wildlife: California Annual Grasslands. The California ground squirrel is one of the most obvious
          animals associated with managed grasslands. The burrows they create provide underground retreat
          sites for amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and insects. In addition, ground squirrels make up the
          bulk of the diet of the golden eagle and other large predators.

          Wildlife: Coast Live Oak / California Bay Woodland. Lush woodland habitat composed of coast live
          oak (Quercus agrifolia)/ California bay (Umbelluraria californica) supports many nesting, roosting
          and foraging birds including the ash-throated flycatcher, Bewick’s wren, Hutton’s vireo, black-
          headed grosbeak, dark-eyed junco, Western bluebird, oak titmouse, band-tailed pigeon, orange-
          crowned warbler, and Anna’s hummingbird. These woodlands are also home to a number of
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          amphibians and reptiles including yellow-eyed salamanders, arboreal salamanders, California slender
          salamanders, sharp-tailed snakes, Northern alligator lizards and Skilton’s skinks.

          Wildlife: Shrublands. The shrublands found along the rocky slopes contain California sagebrush
          (Artemisia californica), bush monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), and poison oak (Toxicodendron
          diversilobum). Shrublands provide productive and varied wildlife habitat supporting reptiles such as
          Western fence lizards and Skilton’s skinks. This combination of prey, exposed rock, grass and brush
          covering east, southeast, south and southwest facing slopes creates a habitat mosaic of California
          sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and mixed sage covering approximating 15 acres of the
          conservation easement/PRCB area known to support the Alameda whipsnake, a state and federally
          threatened species (Swaim, April 1996).

          Wildlife: Riparian and Ponds. The park’s major drainage is Sinbad Creek, which serves as one of the
          tributaries to Alameda Creek. Native amphibian species, which breed in the creek, include California
          red-legged frog, California newt, and Pacific tree frog. Raccoons, deer, squirrels, herons and wild
          turkeys use the creek as a source of drinking water and food. The willows (Salix spp.) and Western
          sycamores (Platanus racemosa) that line the canyon creeks support an array of insects, which in turn
          provide food for foraging and nesting neotropical songbirds, such as violet-green swallows,
          Swainson’s thrush, and Wilson’s warbler.

          Special Status Species

          Special status species include those listed by the Federal or State governments as rare, threatened,
          endangered or candidate for listing known to occur, as well as plants considered significant State rare
          or endangered (1B - California Native Plant Society). The ILUP refers to these plants and animals as
          special status or listed. These species have varying degrees of legal protection under both Federal and
          California Endangered Species Acts, and recognition under the California Environmental Quality Act
          (CEQA). Species of special concern are designated by the California Department of Fish and Game
          (CDFG).

          Special Status and Notable Species: Plants. One species identified at the site (Northen 1997), Bristly
          Linanthus (Linantus acicularis), is a California State CNPS List 4.2 plant (Watch List, Fairly
          endangered in California). CDFG also considers the following plant species, known to occur in or
          near the planning area as Sensitive: San Joaquin saltbrush (Atriplex joaquiniana), Mt. Diablo
          Helianthella (Helianthella castanea), and Congdon’s Tarplant (Hemizonia parryi ssp. congdonii).
          Four other plant species identified at the site are considered to be locally significant by the East Bay
          Chapter of the California Native Plant Society: Snapdragon (Antirrinum vexillo-calyculatum ssp.
          Vexillo-calyculatum), California Aster (Lessingia filaginifolia var. californica), Phacelia (Phacelia
          nemoralis ssp. nemoralis), and Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardi fimbriata) (Northen 1997). Refer to
          Appendix A for a list of Locally Noteworthy Plant Species in the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
          ILUP Area.

          Special Status and Notable Species: Wildlife. Based on a review of the California Natural Diversity
          Database (CNDDB), a state maintained inventory of rare plants and animals, and surveys conducted
          during the months of December 2007 through April 2008 by EBRPD biologists, the ILUP area
          contains habitat that may support 17 special status wildlife species (see Table 1). Special status
          species within the area include the California red-legged frog, golden eagle, Cooper’s hawk,
          California horned lark, loggerhead shrike, and Western pond turtle. The Park District’s stewardship
          staff monitors these species and maps their locations. In keeping with District policy these sites
          within the ILUP area may be closed, as necessary, on a seasonal basis to provide greater wildlife
          protection.
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                 Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated an area west of Foothill Road (e.g.,
                 Pleasanton Ridge and other private rangelands) as “critical habitat,” for the Alameda whipsnake. This
                 designation as critical habitat, potentially limits future development that might harm the snake’s
                 habitat.


                    Table 1: Special Status Wildlife Species - Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
                                                                                       FEDERAL    STATE
CLASS           COMMON NAME                             SCIENTIFIC NAME                STATUS1    STATUS1   OCCURRENCE2
Amphibians      Frog, California Red-legged             Rana draytonii                 FT         CSC       K/B
Amphibians      Salamander, California Tiger            Anbystoma californiense        FT         CSC       P
Birds           Eagle, Golden                           Aquila chrysaetos                         CSC/CFP   O
Birds           Falcon, Peregrine                       Falco peregrinus               Delisted   SE/CFP    P
Birds           Falcon, Prairie                         Falco mexicanus                           CSC3      P
Birds           Harrier, Northern                       Circus cyaneus                            CSC3      P
Birds           Hawk, Cooper's                          Accipiter cooperii                        CSC3      O
Birds           Hawk, Sharp-shinned                     Accipiter striatus                        CSC3      P
Birds           Kite, White-tailed                      Elanus leucurus                           CFP3      P
Birds           Lark, California Horned                 Eremophila alpestris                      CSC       O
Birds           Owl, Burrowing                          Athene cunicularia                        CSC       P
Birds           Shrike, Loggerhead                      Lanius ludovicianus                       CSC       O
Birds           Warbler, Yellow                         Dendroica petechia brewsteri              CSC       P
Mammals         Badger                                  Taxidea taxus                             CSC       P
                Bat, Townsend's Western Big-
Mammals         eared                             Corynorhinus townsendii                           CSC           P
Reptiles        Turtle, Western Pond              Clemmys marmorata                                 CSC           K/B
                                                  Masticophis lateralis
Reptiles        Whipsnake, Alameda                euryxanthus                       FT              ST            K/B*
 1
        Status definitions and governing agencies as follows:
 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service                            California Fish and Game Commission
 FE Listed as endangered by the Federal Government         SE     Listed as endangered by the state of California
 FT Listed as threatened by the Federal Government         ST     Listed as threatened by the state of California
 FSC Federal Species of Concern                            CSC Species of Special Concern
 FC Federal Candidate                                      CFP Fully Protected Species
                                                           CP     Protected Species
 2
   Occurrence: O=observed during our surveys, K=known to occur, P=potential to occur U=unlikely to occur, B=breeding
 confirmed, and R=rare species/migrant
 3                                              4
   Rookeries or nesting only                       Wintering * 1 animal captured on ALC land 1996, Swain (CNDDB Record)
 Source: East Bay Regional Park District 4-8-08 /CNDBB 2008


                 Invasive Species

                 Invasive Plants. Noxious invasive weeds are not predominant within the ILUP area. Yellow starthistle
                 (Centaurea solstitialis) is perhaps the most common invasive thistle and is found in scattered
                 locations on sunny slopes as is Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus). Scattered plants of purple
                 starthistle (C. calcitrapa) are found along disturbed roadside sites. Other annual and biennial weeds
                 include milk thistle (Silybum marianum), poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), bull thistle (Cirsium
                 vulgare) and scattered stands of black mustard (Brassica nigra).




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          Invasive Animals. Introduced populations of invasive, exotic animals are detrimental to native species
          and can cause severe impacts on the overall ecology of a community. Currently, several exotic,
          invasive animals occur within the ILUP area. The list includes red fox, feral pigs and bullfrogs.

          Red fox, originally brought to California for farming and sport hunting, have gone feral and entered
          the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985. These non-native predators have a severe impact on ground
          nesting birds, and compete with native grey fox.

          Feral pigs, originally brought into California for sport hunting, have also gone feral and are having an
          adverse impact on ground dwelling vertebrates, as well as plants. The destructive rooting behavior of
          these pigs alters the landscape making it inhospitable for some native plant and wildlife species.

          Exotic, invasive bullfrogs are having a severe impact on native amphibian species, especially the
          California red-legged frog. The ponds within the Sinbad Creek corridor may contain a population of
          large-mouth bass and blue gills that could also have an impact on amphibians breeding in the ponds.

          Agricultural Activities – Grazing and Fuel Management

          Pleasanton Ridge has probably been grazed since the Rancho period in the late 1700’s, though
          information did not appear in the literature until the 1860’s when two and possibly three homestead
          occupation sites were identified within the ILUP area. The remnants of one homestead ranch are still
          visible today at the upper limits of the Sinbad Creek watershed and the land surrounding the main
          ranch area still exhibits the effects of over grazing and the resulting soil compaction from the past.

          Grazing continues to be the primary management tool for fuel suppression and vegetation control of
          the grasslands in the ILUP area. These grasslands are currently moderately grazed seasonally during
          the early spring by cattle. The grazing reduces the buildup of thatch, which encourages the species
          diversity of the native and naturalized forbs. Until recently these cattle were rotated between the
          ILUP area, which has a small and larger pasture, and two larger adjacent grazing units on private land
          on the west side of Sunol Ridge. Because of the historic poor condition of the main grazed area near
          the old homestead at the head of Sinbad Creek, spring grazing (January to May) with cattle has been
          recently temporarily curtailed in the ILUP area to allow for periods of rest and gradual recovery of the
          grassland resources. This will allow the native grasses to recover and produce seed.

          Existing stock ponds in Sinbad Valley developed to provide a water source for livestock may also
          provide a source of water for fire suppression during the winter and spring, although they may not be
          available during the peak summer/fall fire season as the ponds typically go dry during these months.


C.        LAND USE CONTEXT

          Site History

          The following summary of historical use and cultural resources is based research and on-site
          investigations undertaken for and documented in the Ridgelands Study (1985), the Cultural Resources
          Constraints Analysis for the Proposed Pleasanton Mitigation Banking (1998), and the Phase I
          Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment Report Pleasanton Ridge Property, Hayward, California
          (Keinfelder 1995). The results of these surveys revealed a number of sensitive resources from the
          historical period, but no remnants of any Native American (Costanoan/Ohlone Indian Tribe) village
          sites within the project area.

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          The ILUP area was never part of a Spanish/Mexican land grant ownership system (though much of
          the surrounding area was divided under this ownership system (Sutter 1998). Information regarding
          homesteads/ranching in the Pleasanton Ridge area did not appear in the literature until the 1860’s.
          Historic resources associated with 19th and 20th century homesteading and ranching include fences
          demarking former ranch sites, stock ponds and building remnants. Roads included historic wagon
          roads never improved for automobile use, as well as some dirt roads developed as recently as the
          1970s as part of a proposed subdivision. Most of these historic and modern roadways continue to be
          in service today.

          By 1878 the land within the area of the Conservation Easement/PRCB was owned by at least four
          individuals; the largest holding was owned by Charles McLaughlin, a railroad contractor and land
          speculator (Thompson and West 1878, Chavez 1989).

          According to a 1995 interview with a Cook family member, Cook’s grandparents purchased their
          home site in 1905 and lived there for approximately 30 years. Charles Cook was a well-known and
          highly regarded sheep breeder and rancher who emigrated from England, owned ranches in Wyoming
          and Nebraska, and bought 500 acres in Palomares Canyon. He settled in Castro Valley with his wife
          and had eight children. Two of the sons, Charles and Chester, ended up living on the Palomares
          Canyon ranch. Chester lived at the foot of Cook Canyon and Charles lived further south at the other
          end of the ranch. Charles' piece extended across Palomares Road, which may have been the site of a
          dairy at one time. A road had been constructed by the time the Cook homestead was established that
          passed by Cook House. This road terminated at the present day Palomares Road which connects
          Sunol to Castro Valley, Hayward, and San Leandro (General Land Office 1866). The Cook family
          retained title to the land until 1963; however the land was then leased from the new owner by the
          Cook family until approximately 1970.

          Another unknown family was responsible for a former homestead that was abandoned more than
          sixty years ago near the head of Sinbad Creek. The building remnants associated with old homestead
          consist predominately of corrugated metal sheets and piping, steel piping and plywood. The concrete
          foundations for both the residence and the shed are still present, but the strucutres have deteriorated to
          the point that they now present a hazard to the public.

          After 1970, the land was owned by various individuals until the property was purchased by Mr.
          Rhodes partnership in 1981 solely for cattle grazing. It was then sold to Shea Homes, which had
          intended to purchase the property to develop into a residential subdivision. In 1995 American Lands
          Conservancy purchased approximately 645 acres of the ILUP area and established it as a conservation
          easement/PRCB.

          Land Ownership

          Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park consists of 3,039 acres of District
          lands that are open to the public, as well as a number of land banked parcels. This interim land use
          plan addresses 1,097 acres of the northern portion of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park that is currently
          in land bank status.

          The ILUP area is largely undeveloped open land. The grassland areas that functioned as ranchland
          prior to acquisition by the District continue to serve as livestock range, while the steep brush and
          oak/bay woodland slopes have been retained in their natural state. A number of ranch roads
          maintained by the District cut across the ILUP area.


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          Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank (PRCB). In 1995 American Land Conservancy (ALC)
          purchased 11 parcels (APNs 085A-3275-002-03, 04; 085A-3300-002-03; 941-2400-001-03, -04, -07,
          -08, -10) now contained within the ILUP area from Palomares Ranch Estates. In partnership with
          Wildlands, Inc. and Shea Homes, ALC established the Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank on the
          property to protect it from subdivision for housing development and to preserve important natural
          resources. This land area is comprised of approximately 645 acres with headwaters to seven stream
          systems containing high value habitat for both red-legged frog and Alameda whipsnake.

          The concept for establishing a conservation bank is to set aside land with significant natural resource
          values required for the continuance of listed species to be managed in perpetuity to protect those
          natural values. In turn “credits” are awarded for the special habitat values that the property possesses.
          These credits can then be sold on the open market to developers who are required to mitigate by
          preserving off-site lands with similar habitat values, in this case for core populations of red-legged
          frog and Alameda whipsnake. In the case of the PRCB, guidelines for establishing these credits are
          detailed in the Biological Inventory of the Proposed Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank, Alameda
          County, California (1996, revised 1997). Potentially, the District could use these credits when
          required to mitigate for parkland improvements requiring permits.

          The PRCB was established in 1999 upon recordation of a perpetual conservation easement which sets
          forth a number of special management provisions for protecting and restoring natural resources within
          its boundaries with the intent of protecting and expanding populations of special-status species.
          When the District subsequently purchased the land, it assumed the obligations of the conservation
          easement and of the Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Agreement. This agreement was originally
          established between American Land Conservancy, Wildlands, Inc., the California Department of Fish
          and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the permanent protection of California red-
          legged frog and Alameda whipsnake. The condition of purchase which obligates the District
          specifically states that:

               “[The] Grantee shall not intentionally cause a material impairment of the habitat value
               of the Conservation Bank, materially reduce the value of the Reserved Credits or cause
               the termination of the Conservation Agreement.”

          Key components of the conservation easement agreement and the PRCB as set forth in the Pleasanton
          Ridge Conservation Bank Establishment and Management Plan (1998) are intended to enhance and
          preserve the biological and physical characteristics of the site through the implementation of
          conservation measures directed at improving and protecting: watershed integrity; water quality; native
          vegetative cover and diversity; native species diversity and richness; quality of foraging, refugial,
          breeding, and dispersal habitat; and connectivity with adjacent habitats. Specific activities may
          include:
                   Seasonal grazing rotated through the property creating a regime of high intensity/ low
                   duration grazing to benefit the vegetation
                   Fencing any remaining open areas along the site perimeter and some fencing along streams to
                   limit cattle within riparian drainages
                   Repairing erosion in Cook and Sinbad Creeks along with road repair and trail stabilization
                   Replanting degraded stream corridors with natives collected on site and propagated
                   Enhancing existing ponds (and creating new ponds) by desilting and revegetating the edges
                   and rebuilding dams and spillways
                   Developing and implementing a prescribed burn program
                   Controlling bull frogs
                   Controlling predators such as red fox and feral pigs

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                     Monitoring and maintaining check dams
                     Initiating school and educational programs to highlight habitat and rare species management

          The Bank Establishment and Management Plan (1998) also includes recommendations pertaining to
          the existing service roads. These recommendations call for maintaining these roads for the purposes
          of: 1) monitoring and managing habitat enhancement and restoration activities; 2) guiding the
          movement of the public on and through the site and indicating through signage that restoration work
          is in progress; 3) making the site available to local schools on a limited basis for group visits for
          conservation education school visits; and 4) making the site available for university level study and
          research opportunities (as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department
          of Fish and Game).

          To receive additional conservation credits for the restoration activities (and create an endowment to
          fund ongoing management), the restoration work would need to be documented in an annual
          Accounting and Management Report. This report would then be submitted to the U.S. Fish and
          Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game. The contents of the report would
          likely include:
                   A description of the status of biological resources on property
                   An accounting of any conservation credit funds received
                   Results of any biological monitoring or studies conducted on the property
                   A description of management actions taken on the property
                   A description of any problems encountered in managing the property
                   A description of management actions that District will undertake in accordance with the Bank
                   Establishment and Management Plan in coming year.

          The special management provisions for protecting and restoring natural resources within the PRCB
          place constraints on the types of uses that can occur within the easement area. However, the bank
          instrument also potentially provides a valuable tool to facilitate District projects. By utilizing
          available conservation bank credits to mitigate for project impacts, the District can make
          improvements to degraded resources and existing infrastructure, thereby enhancing habitat for
          endangered species and adding recreation trail opportunities. The District is in the process of
          reevaluating the PRCB status to determine what it would take to activate the “crediting” process to
          facilitate the implementation of habitat and recreation recommendations within the conservation
          easement area of the ILUP area.

          Other Parklands and Open Space. The majority of the ILUP area is within the City of Hayward’s
          jurisdiction with most of the remainder located within the unincorporated area of Alameda County.

          The eastern boundary of the park is contiguous with the City of Pleasanton and all of the existing and
          proposed access points into the park are located within the City of Pleasanton. These include:
          Augustin Bernal Park, “The Preserve” and Moller Ranch Open Space and Longview Drive. Access
          from Augustin Bernal Park and Longview Drive is limited. No access exists, or is proposed, from
          “The Preserve” or Moller Ranch Open Space to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park as part of this ILUP.

          Future connections to Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District (H.A.R.D.) Rodeo Grounds and
          EBRPD Dublin Hills Regional Park located north of the study area are proposed via the Calaveras
          Regional Trail (see discussion below).




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D.        ACCESS AND CIRCULATION

          Park Access

          Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is served by a combination of interstate highways, local collector
          roads and neighborhood streets. Major highways that provide access to the park from the East Bay
          and the Central Valley are Interstates 580 and 680. Local exits include Bernal Avenue and Sunol
          Boulevard. Dublin Canyon, Foothill and Palomares Roads are perimeter collector roads that parallel
          the north, east and west boundaries of the park respectively.

          Existing Staging Areas

          EBRPD Foothill Staging Area. The Foothill Staging Area located along Foothill Drive serves as the
          primary access to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. This staging area is located approximately eight
          miles south of the ILUP area boundary. Connections to the ILUP area are provided via the North
          Ridge and Sinbad Creek Trails, which are linked by a number of cross-trail connectors. The Foothill
          Staging Area also serves as an access point to the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail.

          EBRPD Garms Land Bank Parcel. This property was purchased by the District for the express
          purpose of developing family picnicking and day camping, as well as providing access to Tehan Falls
          and the ILUP area. Design and development of this District staging area will be addressed in the Land
          Use Plan that will be developed for the entire regional park in the future (also refer to Section VI -
          Future Studies, Public Access – Recreational Use).

          City of Pleasanton’s Augustin Bernal Park. This 237-acre park is located on the western edge of the
          City of Pleasanton along the border of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park within the Golden Eagle
          subdivision. A City-District operating agreement allows for a critical connection between southern
          and northern areas of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park through Augustin Bernal Park that would
          otherwise not be connected.

          Access to this city park is through a manned gated entry located at the intersection of Foothill Drive
          and Golden Eagle Way. Use of this staging area is limited to residents of the adjoining Golden Eagle
          subdivision and persons with a driver’s license demonstrating City of Pleasanton residency.
          Additionally, non-residents can apply for a one week pass at the City of Pleasanton Department of
          Parks and Community Services, Monday through Friday, 8a.m. to 5p.m. One non-resident pass
          admits a vehicle, bicyclist or hiker. The City’s Activities Guide further explains these procedures. The
          staging area contains parking, restrooms, park interpretive displays and the Golden Gate Trailhead.
          The Golden Gate Trail connects to the Ridgeline Trail. It is approximately 6.5 miles from this
          trailhead to the ILUP area.

          Existing Roads and Trails System

          The ILUP area includes a number of trails and former ranch roads. These include:
                 An existing, unpaved 2.9-mile road section that completes a loop connecting the Sinbad
                 Creek Trail and North Ridge Trail
                 A service road that runs from the Sunol Ridge through Cook Canyon
                 Two roads that parallel the east and west ridgelines of Hedd Canyon and extend to Devany
                 Canyon
                 Cowing Road, which is accessed via Palo Verde Road
                 A service road that runs easterly from the ridge to connect with the former Tehan (Schwartz)
                 and Garms properties.
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          Proposed Regional Trails

          The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail as depicted on the District’s 2007 Master Plan Parkland and
          Trails Map is proposed to traverse the length of the ridgeline of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
          including the land bank parcels. Within Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park the Calaveras Ridge
          Regional Trail overlays the route of the Thermalito, Oak Tree, Ridgeline, and Sinbad Creek Trails
          through the currently-open portions of the park. It will continue north through the ILUP area along
          the Sinbad Trail. This regional trail will eventually connect Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness to Las Trampas
          Regional Wilderness and Briones Regional Park through Pleasanton Ridge and Dublin Hill Regional
          Parks covering a distance of approximately 29 miles.


E.        UTILITIES / INFRASTRUCTURE

          Remnants of 19th and 20th century homesteading, and ranching activities include fences, ranch roads
          and stock ponds. In 1970 additional roads were constructed as part of a proposed residential
          subdivision that was never developed. These facilities continue to be used by the District to support
          routine and emergency service and range management needs. There are no telecommunications
          towers or structures or other service or recreational facilities existing on the site.




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                                    IV.        RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERIM USE



          The ILUP recommends the following actions to open the northern land bank area to the public while
          continuing to provide for: the protection of natural and cultural resources and wildlife; safety of park
          users and staff; and efficient operation of the park. Also refer to Figure 5- Interim Land Use Plan
          Map.


A.        RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

          Vegetation, Grazing and Fuel Management

          While the ILUP area will add 1,097 acres to the park, it will not significantly alter existing fuel
          management practices. Grazing will continue to serve as the primary management tool for fire
          suppression in grassland areas although some changes in grazing timing and rotation will occur.
          Vegetation management will primarily be accomplished with a seasonal grazing program with cows
          and calves. The primary grazing period ILUP area will occur after the growing season is over in the
          early summer (June) and in the fall. Grazing during these periods of time clean up the remaining
          residual dry matter (RDM), reduce the potential fire hazard and incorporate the litter into the soil to
          encourage perennial grass germination and reestablishment. Depending on rainfall and temperatures,
          intermittent grazing will be allowed for short periods of time in the early spring (March-April) when
          conditions warrant the suppression of annual grasses and weeds. Grazing during this timeframe will
          provide light and added soil moisture for the native herbaceous wildflowers and perennial grasses
          prior to seed set. The cattle will continue to be rotated between the ILUP area, which has one small
          and one larger pasture, and the two larger adjacent grazing units on private property west side of the
          Sunol Ridge.

          Other supplementary actions will be explored further within the context of a comprehensive fuel and
          vegetation management program as part of the future Pleasanton Ridge Land Use Plan (See Part VI.
          Future Studies below)

          Wildlife Management

          The wildlife habitats in this ILUP area are categorized as California annual grasslands, Coast Live
          Oak/California bay woodlands, riparian/ponds, and shrublands. Many of these areas contain special
          status plant and wildlife species that must be protected in accordance with state and federal species
          resource preservation laws. Additionally, as the majority of the project study area is contained within
          a conservation easement/PRCB established in 1999, the District will continue to manage wildlife
          habitats within the ILUP area in accordance with the Bank Establishment and Management Plan
          developed for managing the Conservation Bank.

          All park activity (operations, interpretation, and resource management) will be conducted by the
          District in accordance with best management practices for managing regional wildlife resources, and
          state and federal laws protecting rare, threatened, and endangered species. The following
          recommendations and mitigation measures listed below may be implemented (Also refer to Figure 5-
          Recommendations).
                   Conduct seasonal closures, as required, and restrict human activity around raptor nests
                   (golden eagle and Cooper’s hawk)

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                     Manage the ponds, creeks and seasonal wetland areas to benefit the federally threatened
                     California red-legged frog and other native amphibians (e.g., Special Protection Feature
                     [SPF] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Indicators of optimal habitat conditions will be those that are suitable for
                     the California red-legged frog. Pond management may include dam repairs and dredging to
                     maintain water-holding capacity, stabilizing berms and spillways, re-contouring of the ponds
                     to provide both deep and shallow water habitats necessary for amphibian life cycles, and
                     managed grazing of the pond margins to maintain vegetation at optimal density. Studies
                     conducted by EBRPD Stewardship staff have shown a positive correlation between managed
                     pond vegetation and amphibian populations (Bobzien and DiDonato, 2007). The focus of this
                     work will be on wetland habitats surrounding the existing ponds and within one-half mile
                     buffers around the creeks adjoining the ponds. This half mile area is based on studies of
                     movements of the red-legged frog with radio telemetry that found that frogs can be found up
                     to 200 meters linear distance from wetland habitat (Galen Rathbun and Norman Scott-
                     U.S.G.S Biological Resources Division, Piedras Blancas Field Station). The restoration of
                     Sinbad Creek and adjoining Sinbad Trail and restoration of Cook Canyon and Cook Canyon
                     Trail is anticipated to provide additional benefits to California red-legged frog and other
                     native amphibians.
                     Manage the shrub habitat and rock outcrops to benefit the state and federally threatened
                     Alameda whipsnake and other native reptiles. (e.g., SPF 6, 7). Indicators of optimal habitat
                     conditions will be those that are suitable for the Alameda whipsnake (e.g., California
                     sagebrush (Artemisia californica) series and mixed sage series approximating 15 acres of the
                     conservation easement area (2.8 acres occurring in an area east of Main Ridge where the
                     Alameda whipsnake was confirmed in April 1996), and additional shrublands within the
                     ILUP area, and its’ prey items the Western fence lizard and Skilton’s skink. Managed
                     grazing, prescribed fire and other methods, where applicable and feasible, may be used to
                     maintain optimal vegetation density.
                     Monitor and manage special status animals and their habitats (see Table 1: Special Status
                     Wildlife Species Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park) in accordance with state and federal laws,
                     and guidelines to avoid impacts. When feasible, through funding and grant sources, projects
                     will be implemented to enhance values of existing wildlife habitats.
                     Monitor and manage non-native wildlife (red fox, wild pigs and bullfrogs) to reduce impacts
                     to native species. This may include restoration of existing ponds to eliminate bullfrog
                     breeding opportunities, trapping and removal of pigs and red foxes, and temporary hog
                     fencing around restoration sites to prevent rooting and damage.

          Cultural Resources

          While there are no known archaeological or palentological resources on the site, remnants of 19th and
          20th century homesteading and ranching from the American Farm period exist in the form of roads,
          fences, stock ponds and building remnants, the most visible of these being the hazardous remnants of
          long abandoned structures associated with a former ranch. This site, which may have been in used as
          late as the early 1970’s is located within the upper Sinbad Creek watershed north of an east-west
          fence line, which is a USGS section line between sections 15 and 22. Most of the roadways and some
          of the fence lines continue to be in service today. Hazardous structural remnants associated with the
          homestead ranch will be appropriately documented for inclusion in the District’s Cultural Resource
          Atlas for future reference and then demolished so as not to create an attractive public nuisance.

          This ILUP proposes no construction or excavation activities that would disturb any known or
          potential, but as yet undiscovered, cultural resources. Where maintenance of existing service roads
          may be required to retain the trail system in operable condition, this work will be performed in
          accordance with District best management practices to avoid impacts to cultural resources.
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                                                             21
B.        PUBLIC ACCESS – RECREATIONAL USE

          Staging Areas

          The Foothill Staging Area located along Foothill Drive will continue to serve as the primary access to
          Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park and will serve as the only District access to the ILUP study area.
          This staging area is open to the public between 8a.m.to 5p.m. November-March, 8a.m.to
          7p.m. March-April and 8a.m.to 8p.m. April-October. It is closed with a locked gate at all other times.
          Facilities at this staging area include:
                   Parking (50 vehicle spaces, six spaces that accommodate horse trailers and one handicapped
                   space)
                   Three restrooms, and two drinking fountains, five garbage cans, one fire hydrant, three 14-
                   foot wide powder river gates, and two self-closing, pass-through gates, and one bulletin board
                   A family picnic area with three permanent tables and ten portable picnic tables (there are no
                   barbecue grills).

          No improvements to the Foothill Staging Area are proposed as part of this ILUP area.

          Limited secondary access for local Pleasanton residents will continue to be provided from the City of
          Pleasanton Augustin Bernal Park Staging Area through a gated entry located at the intersection of
          Foothill Drive and Golden Eagle Way and from Longview Drive. Future access will include the
          former Garms property, and may include Devany Canyon, and various City of Pleasanton staging
          options. Walk-in access from adjacent neighborhoods will also be considered in the future Land Use
          Plan which will focus on the development of public access, as discussed under Future Studies.

          Trails

          Connections to the ILUP area from the Foothill Staging Area are provided via the Ridgeline Trail
          which passes through Augustin Bernal Park. North of this city park the Ridgeline Trail connects to
          the Sinbad Creek Trail. This south to north trail network traverses much of the length of Pleasanton
          Ridge Regional Park extending approximately eight miles north from the Foothills Staging Area to
          the ILUP area. The Sinbad Creek Trail and the North Ridge Trail are linked by a number of cross-trail
          connections, including the Mariposa Trail which provides a loop between the Sinbad Creek and North
          Ridge Trail as these two trails extend into the ILUP area. All of these trails are designated multi-use
          trails and accommodate hiking, horseback riding, biking and dogs off-leash under voice control.

          As the trails pass into the ILUP area they cross through gates used to contain cattle as part of the park
          grazing management program. These vehicle gates will remain in place and self-closing, pass-through
          gates will be added at the entry to the ILUP area on both the Sinbad and North Ridge Trail. A potable
          water line fed by City water services several drinking fountains along the north-south spine route, but
          does not extend into the ILUP. No extensions to this water system are proposed as part of the ILUP
          area.

          Anticipated Use. Given the rugged terrain and the distance between the existing staging areas(s) and
          the new park property, it is likely that the service roads/trails within the ILUP will be used primarily
          by skilled equestrians and bicyclists, and long-distance hikers and runners. Existing ranch roads will
          also continue to be used to manage grazing, natural resources and fuel loads.

          Proposed Access Improvements. The District will expand local and regional recreational trail uses
          within the ILUP area and limit use beyond this area through the implementation of the following
          actions (Also refer to Figure 5- Land Use Plan):
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                     Two self-closing pass through gates will be added adjacent to the two existing gates on the
                     southern boundary of the land bank property. This action will open the following routes for
                     public access: 1) a three mile loop, which will connect the North Ridge and Sinbad Creek
                     Trails; and 2) a 2-mile service road that runs from Sunol Ridge along Cowing Road and the
                     length of Cook Canyon; this trail will be opened and signed as an out and back (non-loop)
                     trail.
                     Access to more northerly and easterly land bank parcels will be gated and/or signed at
                     appropriate trail/road junctions (e.g., Cowing Road, the ridgeline ranch roads that run the
                     length of Hedd Canyon, the road in Devany Canyon, and the road that traverses the length of
                     the easterly land bank parcels) until appropriate access can be determined as part of the future
                     Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park Land Use Plan.
                     No new trails or staging areas will be constructed as a part of this Interim Land Use Plan;
                     however a future Land Use Plan will consider the development of additional staging
                     areas/access points and improvements to facilitate access to the northern portion of
                     Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.
                     Boundary, trail name, directional and regulation signs will be installed to direct and inform
                     park visitors and to manage the park boundaries.

          Proposed Infrastructure Improvements. The existing system of unpaved roads is to be maintained.
          Recommended modifications to the existing system described in Bank Establishment and
          Management Plan developed for managing the Conservation Bank include erosion control and
          streambank stabilization along Cook and Sinbad Creeks. These measures include:
                 Providing better definition and separation of the creek and roadbed within Cook Canyon by:
                     Directing flows off the road into the creek and the road bed
                     Controlling runoff by directing flows off the road into the creek
                     Stabilizing slopes where the road crosses or impinges upon the creek using local rock for
                     low flow crossings and biotechnical embankment stabilization where needed.
                 Realigning one segment of Sinbad Canyon Trail to increase its distance from the Creek,
                 decreasing the number of stream crossings of side drainages and reducing sediment loading in
                 the creek through better runoff management

          Maintenance of existing routes as required to retain the trail system in operable condition (e.g., minor
          grading, trenching and backfilling to restore the trail surface, the primary purpose of which is to
          reduce or eliminate erosion and sedimentation where sedimentation is threatening water quality of
          stream channels) will be performed in accordance to Streambed Alteration Agreement Renewal
          Routine Maintenance Agreement Alameda and Contra Costa County (CDFG 2005); East Bay
          Regional Park District, Regional Maintenance Activities, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Order
          No. R2-2004-0057 (RWQCB 2004); and Department of the Army Regional General Permit 13
          (USACOE 2005) to avoid impacts to wildlife and cultural resources.

          Proposed Trail Names

          Trail names of existing roads within the ILUP area as shown on Figure 5- Land Use Plan have been
          tentatively named based on the local history or significant topographic or natural resources of the
          property.




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                                                             23
C.        PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

          Staff Presence and Park Patrol

          The ILUP area is the expansion of an existing park. The property has been fenced and the area is
          already being patrolled. A security residence is located just north of the study area within Devany
          Canyon and the park staff office is located just east of the study area on the former Garms property.
          An additional presence is provided through the grazing management program with both the grazing
          tenant and park staff monitoring the site on a routine basis. In addition, the ILUP area will continue to
          be patrolled by helicopter as part of the regular patrol over the existing Pleasanton Ridge Regional
          Park.

          Park rangers will staff the Park performing routine maintenance and safety patrols. These measures
          will serve as security measures to deter vandalism, motorcycle and 4-wheel drive usage, poaching and
          hunting within the Park and potential trespass onto adjoining private lands. District Police officers are
          regularly deployed on patrol at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park and other parklands in the immediate
          area. These officers are deployed from the District’s Public Safety Headquarters in Castro Valley.

          Emergency Vehicle Access

          Emergency and maintenance vehicle ingress/egress to the parcels will be via existing ranch roads.
          These roads could provide emergency ingress for fire suppression vehicles as well as emergency
          evacuation routes for trail users. Existing emergency vehicle (EMV) access points include:
                  Cowing Road and a service road that runs the length of Hedd Ridge and then extends down
                  onto a road in Devany Canyon, which eventually connects to Dublin Canyon Road
                  The service road that traverses the length of the easterly land bank parcels
                  Santos Ranch Road, a paved road, which provide a links between the ILUP area and Foothill Road.

          Fire Response

          As with other areas of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, the study area is in a concurrent jurisdiction
          with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) so if a fire should occur,
          resources are available from the District as well as the CALFIRE Sunol Station. CALFIRE would
          respond to the Park from their Sunol Station within 15 minutes. The Livermore Pleasanton Fire
          Department (LPFD) would also send resources, as available, with a similar travel time. These are
          likely to be the first ground resources on scene, followed by EBRPD fire engines. In addition, the
          District has two helicopters, both of which are capable of delivering water and firefighters for initial
          attack of wildland fires. Fires within Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park would be within roughly ten
          minutes flight time from the helicopter base at Hayward Airport.

D.        OPERATIONS

          Staffing

          Operational support will be needed to prepare the properties for initial public access and to maintain
          them after the new section of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is opened to the public. Basic
          operational and maintenance services will include: fencing and gate installation, signing, litter pick-
          up, patrol, tenant oversight, and visitor information/outreach services. Other park staff tasks described
          to accomplish the ILUP are covered in existing budgeted positions. Current staffing for Pleasanton
          Ridge Regional Park is provided by four positions: one Park Supervisor, two 12-month Park Ranger
          IIs and one 9-month Park Ranger II. The 9-month Park Ranger II position also has operation and
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          maintenance responsibilities for Dublin Hills Regional Park, Vargas Plateau Regional Park and a
          portion of the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail north of Dublin Hills.

          All budget and funding needs associated with recommendations for improvements proposed in this
          ILUP will be addressed as a part of the District’s annual budget review process. The need for
          additional staff will be evaluated prior to opening this 1,097-acre unit.

          Cost Estimate for Interim Improvements

          Costs associated with opening the ILUP area to the public will include gate installation, signing, and
          visitor information/ outreach services as follows:

                     Gates (2 -self-closing trail use)               $ 2,700
                     Park Signs                                      $ 750
                     Park Brochure (1-30,000 run)                    $ 3,000
                                                             TOTAL   $ 6,450




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       V.         CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA) COMPLIANCE


          This ILUP has been prepared under the direction of the Planning/Stewardship Department for the
          purpose of opening existing land bank property to the public. The proposed project improvements
          would accommodate expanded recreation opportunities within Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park by
          opening existing service roads for public use. No new construction would result from this action other
          than minor improvements such as the installation of fencing, gates and signs.

          The project as proposed under this ILUP incorporates current and proposed resource management,
          grazing and fuel management practices defined under the Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank
          Establishment and Management Plan (1998) for the established conservation easement/PRCB and
          permitted under: 1) Streambed Alteration Agreement Renewal Routine Maintenance Agreement
          Alameda and Contra Costa County (CDFG 2005); 2) East Bay Regional Park District, Regional
          Maintenance Activities, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Order No. R2-2004-0057 (RWQCB
          2004); and 3) Department of the Army Regional General Permit 13 (USACOE 2005).

          Such activities include: maintenance of wildlife habitat areas, springs and ponds, and stream channels
          (clearing of debris), the primary purposes of which are to improve conditions for species that rely on
          riparian and pond habitat; minor grading, trenching and backfilling to restore the trail surface, the
          primary purpose of which is to reduce or eliminate erosion and sedimentation where sedimentation is
          threatening water quality of stream channels; and revegetation of disturbed areas with native plant
          species, the primary purpose of which is to improve habitat. All of these activities are covered under
          CEQA exemptions 15061(b)(3), 150301, 15304 and 15333. Authority cited: Section 21083, Public
          Resources Code. Reference: Section 21084, Public Resources Code.

          Therefore, the District finds that opening 14 aforementioned land bank parcels already under the
          District’s jurisdiction for public use is not a project under CEQA and is therefore exempt from CEQA
          review.




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                                                     VI. FUTURE STUDIES

A.        RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

          Prior to initiating any new park improvements involving disturbance of the ground surface and when
          adding new public recreational uses to the area, plant and wildlife surveys should be conducted and
          the findings documented to minimize potential impacts associated with development and human use
          on special status species. As detailed biological inventories have been compiled and documented for
          the area encompassed by the Conservation Easement, the focus of new studies would be on areas of
          the ILUP area located outside the Conservation Easement.


B.        CULTURAL RESOURCES

          The future land use plan will consider interpretive opportunities invoking the past agricultural era of
          19th and 20th century homesteading and ranching activity that formed the mainstay of the American
          Farm era. Additionally, pedestrian surveys of those areas that have not been previously surveyed will
          be conducted. Any resources identified as a result of these recommended surveys will be recorded on
          appropriate California Department of Parks and Recreation forms and their locations plotted on the
          USGS 7.3-miniute topographic map for the Dublin quadrangle. If it is determined that proposed
          project activities would have an impact on identified cultural resources, their significance will be
          evaluated in terms of eligibility for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources (Pub.
          Res. Code Section 5024.1).


C.        GRAZING AND FUEL MANAGEMENT

          The lands north and south of the ILUP grazing area do not have functional fences and are currently
          managed with sheep that are herded with moveable electric enclosures.

          When the final LUP is developed for the entirety of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park the grazing
          program will be reviewed, and a Grazing Unit Management Plan (GUMP) will be prepared. At this
          time a permanent fence system will be constructed consistent with the GUMP to allow for a more
          expansive internal rotation grazing program with cattle rather than using sheep. This will allow areas
          to be rested for short to long periods of time between grazing events.

          Supplementary actions set forth in the Bank Establishment and Management Plan that have not been
          initiated will be explored further within the context of a comprehensive fuel management program as
          part of the future Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park Land Use Plan. These actions include, but are not
          limited to, the establishment of a prescribed burning program in cooperation with CALFIRE.


D.        PUBLIC ACCESS – RECREATIONAL USE

          Eight parcels, five to the north and three to the east of the ILUP area, will remain in land bank status
          until suitable staging and trail connections can be established. Additional staging and access
          opportunities that will afford more direct access to the northern portions of Pleasanton Ridge
          Regional Park will be explored further within the context of a comprehensive public access program
          as part of the future Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park Land Use Plan (Refer to Figure 2 – Vicinity
          Map for the location of potential staging areas). Access options that will be explored include:

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               The service road, which extends from the ridge through the Tehan (Swartz) land bank parcel east
               to the Garms land bank parcel and ultimately Foothill Road. Potential staging areas that may
               connect to this route in the future include:
                        The Garms property, which was purchased by the District for the express purpose of
                        developing family picnicking and day camping, as well as providing access to Tehan
                        Falls and the ILUP area; in 1999 the developer of the Lemoine project (just south of
                        Garms Ranch) paid $145,000 to the District “for the development of a staging area, a
                        public entrance access road and related intersection improvements at the intersection of
                        West Las Positas, and Foothill Road to satisfy the Measure “F” requirement (per. com.
                        Janice Stern, City of Pleasanton 8-6-08).
                        The City of Pleasanton’s Laurel Creek Drive and Moller Ranch Road staging areas,
                        which provide access to “The Preserve” and Moller Ranch open space trail network. It is
                        approximately one mile from these two trailheads to the District park boundary, but
                        existing public trail easements do not currently provide a direct connection to Pleasanton
                        Ridge Regional Park. Both of these staging areas contain parking and signage. The
                        Laurel Creek Staging area also has restrooms.
               The service road within Devany Canyon (EBRPD owns east portion Devany Canyon road/trail in
               fee and holds a public access easement to west end of park boundary). This road is gated to
               preclude public access as there is currently no designated place to stage vehicles. A staging area
               in the vicinity of the eastern terminus of Devany Canyon service road could provide an
               opportunity for the public to use this service road to connect to the service roads that provide a
               link to the west and east ridgelines of Hedd Canyon.
               A connection between the City of Pleasanton’s Alviso Adobe Historic Park and Pleasanton Ridge
               Regional Park. This option will consider the use of the Adobe site for staging and potential access
               opportunities along public easements through private lands that separate the District and City
               parklands.




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                                                         APPENDICES




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                                                               APPENDIX A

                            Locally Noteworthy Plant Species - Pleasanton Ridge ILUP Area
                                                   COMMON                FEDERAL            STATE         CA CNPS                EB CNPS
 SCIENTIFIC NAME                                   NAME                  STATUS1           STATUS1        STATUS1                STATUS1
 Antirrinum vexillo-calyculatum ssp.
 Vexillo-calyculatum                               Snapdragon                                                                B

 Linanthus (Leptosiphon) acicularis                Bristly Leptosiphon                                    List 4.2           *A1
 Lessingia filaginifolia var. californica          California Aster                                                          B
 Phacelia nemoralis ssp. nemoralis                 Phacelia                                                                  B
 Woodwardi fimbriata                               Giant Chain Fern                                                          C
  1
           Status definitions and governing agencies as follows:
  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service                             California Fish and Game Commission
FE         Listed as endangered by the Federal Gov.          SE Listed as endangered by the state of California
FT         Listed as threatened by the Federal Gov.          ST Listed as threatened by the state of California
FSC        Federal Species of Concern                        CSC Species of Special Concern
FC         Federal Candidate                                 CFP Fully Protected Species
                                                             CP Protected Species

CA (California State) California Native Plant Society             EB (East Bay Chapter) California Native Plant Society
List 4.2 Watch List. Fairly endangered in Calif.                  *A1 State Level CNPS Watch List
                                                                  B High-priority Watch List (6-9 East Bay Regions)
                                                                  C 2nd-priority Watch List (10+ East Bay Regions)




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                                                 APPENDIX B - REFERENCES


Bobzien, S. and J. DiDonato. 2007. The status of the Ca. tiger salamander, Ca. red legged frog, foothill yellow
legged frog and other aquatic herpetofauna in the East Bay Regional Park District, Ca. EBRPD 2007.

California Department of Fish and Game. December 27, 2005. Streambed Alteration Agreement Renewal
Routine Maintenance Agreement, Alameda and Contra Costa County.

California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Francisco Bay Region. July 2004. East Bay Regional
Park District, Regional Maintenance Activities, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Order No. R2-2004-0057.

City of Hayward. Adopted by City Council on March 12, 2002, last amended June 27, 2006. City of Hayward
General Plan Appendix J Ridgelands Area Policies.

City of Hayward. 1971. Hayward Hills Area Study.

City of Pleasanton. 1996. City of Pleasanton General Plan.

City of Pleasanton. City of Pleasanton draft General Plan 2005-2025.

City of Pleasanton. Golden Eagle Subdivision Conditions of Approval – PUD – 85-15, Exhibit.

City of Pleasanton. July 10, 1990. Ordinance No. 1470, Approving the Development Plan for the Presley
Company of Northern California (PUD-89-21).

City of Pleasanton and East Bay Regional Park District. November 7, 1989. Pleasanton Ridge/Augustin Bernal
Park Operating Agreement.

Freeman, Lita D., Wolfe, Charles G, Kleinfelder, Inc. April 12, 1995. Phase I Preliminary Environmental Site
Assessment Report Pleasanton Ridge Property, Hayward, California, Keinfelder Job No. 10-3000-74.

Greiner Inc., Civil Engineers for submittal to the City of Pleasanton. July 17, 1995. Subdivision Map Tract
6618, Moller Ranch.
Hickman, J.C. (Ed.). 1993. The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California.

Jones & Stokes. 1998 . Cultural Resources Constraints Analysis for the Proposed Pleasanton Mitigation
Banking.

Morrison, Michael L., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Wildlife Biology, California State University, Sacramento.
January 27, 1998. Re: Site visit, Pleasanton Ridge property, American Land Conservancy.

Norton, Phillip T., Sonoma State University for American Land Conservancy. October 26, 1996, revised
February 15, 1997. Biological Inventory of the Proposed Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank, Alameda
County, California.

The Planning Collaborative. 1986. Ridgelands Regional Park Feasibility Study.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. September 2005. Department of the Army Regional General Permit 13.

Wildlands, Inc. 1998. Pleasanton Ridge Conservation Bank Establishment and Management Plan.
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                                          APPENDIX C - REPORT PREPARATION



This Interim Land Use Plan for Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park was prepared by the following District staff:
Julie Bondurant, Senior Park Planner, under the direction of Brian Wiese, Chief, Planning / Stewardship and
GIS Services. Project assistance was provided by the following District staff: Joe DiDonato, Stewardship
Manager, Dave Amme, Wildlife Vegetation Program Manager; David Riensche, Wildlife Resource Analyst;
Doug Bell, Wildlife Program Manager; Wilde Legard, Botanist; Lieutenant Jon B. King, Phil Webster,
Cartographer; and Patti Zierman, Senior Office Specialist; and by the following City of Pleasanton staff: and
Jim Wolfe, Director Parks and Recreation and Janice, AICP, Principal Planner.
.




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