Special Conservation Management Plan

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  • DRAFT FOR REVIEW BY SANTA CLARA COUNTY STAFF

    Conservation Program and Associated Guidelines for the

    Special Conservation Areas Stanford University

    December 2001

  • DRAFT FOR REVIEW BY SANTA CLARA COUNTY STAFF

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1.0 BACKGROUND

    2.0 DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIAL CONSERVATION AREAS

    2.1 Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area 2.2 Matadero/Deer Creeks Special Conservation Area 2.3 Los Trancos/San Francisquito Creeks Special Conservation Area 2.4 I-280 Seismic/Slope Special Conservation Area

    3.0 EXISTING RESOURCES

    3.1 Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area Annual Grassland Oak Woodland Cultural Resources

    3.2 Matadero/Deer Creeks Special Conservation Area Riparian Woodland Other Vegetation Types Cultural Resources

    3.3 Los Trancos/San Francisquito Creeks Special Conservation Area Species of Special Conservation Interest Cultural Resources

    3.4 I-280 Seismic/Slope Special Conservation Area Cultural Resources

    4.0 EXISTING USES IN SPECIAL CONSERVATION AREAS

    4.1 Academic Activities 4.2 Golf Course 4.3 KZSU Radio Station and Other Antennas 4.4 Reservoirs 4.5 Water Diversions 4.6 Utilities 4. 7 Public Roads 4.8 Paved Private Roads 4.9 Unpaved Service Roads 4.10 Private Bridges 4.11 Recreation Routes 4.12 Equestrian and Agricultural Leaseholds 4.13 Boething Treeland Farms

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    Private Residences Palo Alto's Water Pumping Station Bay Area Cellular Communications Antenna

    5.0 MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES

    5.1 Management of Resources

    General Conservation of Biological Resources Survey, Inventory and Monitoring Foothills Reclamation Program Physical Structures Wildlife Enhancing Structures Guidelines for General Conservation

    Vegetation Management General Vegetation Management Livestock Non-native Species Control Sudden Oak Death Preservation of Local Genetic Stock Tree and Shrub Removal and Trimming Guidelines for Vegetation Management

    Management of Animal Resources California Tiger Salamander California Red-legged Frog Steel head Control of Non-native Species Guidelines for Management of Animal Resources

    Watershed Management Regional Efforts for Watershed Protection Erosion Control Flood Control Guidelines for Watershed Management

    Cultural Resources Management Guidelines for Cultural Resources Management

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    5.2 Management of Existing Uses

    Academic Activities Guidelines for Academic Activities

    Stanford Golf Course Guidelines for the Golf Course

    Water Reservoirs Guidelines for Water Reservoirs

    Water Di versions Guidelines for Water Di versions

    Existing Utility Lines Guidelines for Existing Utility Lines

    New Utility Lines Guidelines for New Utility Lines

    Paved Private Roads Guidelines for Paved Private Roads

    Existing Unpaved Service Roads Guidelines for Unpaved Service Roads

    New Unpaved Service Roads Guidelines for New Unpaved Service Roads

    Private Bridges Guidelines for Private Bridges

    Fences Guidelines for Fences

    Recreational Access Guidelines for Recreational Access

    Tenant Management Practices Guidelines for Tenant Best Management Practices

    Private Residences Guidelines for Private Residences

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  • 5.3

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    Public Safety

    Fire Control General Public Safety Guidelines Guidelines for Fire Control

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    LIST OF FIGURES

    2 - 1 Lower Foothills SCA 5

    2-2 Matadero/Deer Creeks SCA 7

    2 - 3a San Francisquito Creek SCA 8

    2 - 3b Los Trancos Creek SCA 9

    2-4 Interstate 280 Seismic I Slope Stability SCA 11

    4-1 Existing Uses in the SCAs Map Foldout

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    1.0 BACKGROUND

    Stanford University's Santa Clara County General Use Permit (2000 GUP) requires the development of a "Special Conservation Plan" for the areas designated in the Stanford Community Plan as "Special Conservation Areas." Condition K.7 states:

    "within 12 months of approved of the General Use Permit, Stanford shall submit to the County Planning Office for approval a Special Conservation Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Community Plan."

    The Community Plan policies to be addressed by this conservation plan include:

    Description and Intent (SCP-LU 30) The Special Conservation Areas designation applies to lands south of Junipero Serra Boulevard which is deemed unsuitable for development due to natural resource constraints. Accordingly, no physical development other than that which supports conservation efforts may occur in these areas. It may include areas with the following environmental constraints:

    Steep or unstable slopes; Seismic or other geologic hazard zanes; Riparian areas extending 150 feet from the top of creek banks; and, Sensitive habitat areas, particularly for special status species.

    Allowable Uses (SCP-LU 31) The use of these areas is limited to conservation activities and habitat management, field environmental studies, and appropriate agricultural uses. Recreational use may be allowed if it is consistent with the particular environmental constraints of the area. Access for recreational use may be restricted.

    Development Policies (SCP-LU 32) No new permanent development in the form of buildings or structures is allowed, other than construction, modification, and maintenance of improvements to support conservation efforts. Existing non-conforming uses are allowed to remain, in accordance with the County's requirernents for non-conforming structures.

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    SCP-LU 33 Stanford shall prepare a Special Conservation Plan for the Special Conservation areas. The Special Conservation Plan shall be submitted to the County Planning Office for approval. The plan will provide management guidelines addressing the following goals:

    Habitat management iiitlzin the areas for 25 years; Control of invasive, non-native species; Control of erosion; Avoidance ~f undisru rbed areas; Public safety; Appropriate access; and Minimization of human-caused impacts.

    The plan will contain measures specific to California tiger salamander, red-legged frog, and steelhead habitat; riparian habitat; and geologic and seismic hazard areas. The plan will consider such activities as resource conservation, construction of facilities to support conservation activities, access, vegetation management, and best management practices for Stanford lessees located in Special Conservation Areas.

    Stanford proposes to meet this requirement using an adaptive management approach that begins with the set of programs and guidelines described below. Management of the Special Conservation Areas must be dynamic and flexible to adapt to changing conditions, new technologies and experience. It is anticipated that an adaptive management program will be more successful in conserving biodiversity over the long-term than a proscriptive plan.

    It should not be construed that conservation planning at Stanford is limited to topics and areas discussed in this document. The Special Conservation Areas at Stanford as defined by Santa Clara County are a portion of the areas where Stanford conducts conservation activities. If a comprehensive Habitat Management Plan (HCP) is adopted for lands including the SCAs, its guidelines for habitat management would supercede those provided below. It should also be noted that these Special Conservation Areas were not defined solely on the basis of biotic resources and that other considerations were incorporated; e.g. soil stability.

    The basic objectives of the Special Conservation Area (SCA) designation are to protect important biological, archaeological and hydrological resources and to prevent potentially hazardous conditions in areas of steep or unstable slopes. To meet these objectives and work within the existing land use constraints, Stanford will manage the SCAs for controlled multi-use with emphasis on conservation.

    In keeping with the University's mission to pursue excellence in teaching and research, Stanford will manage the SCAs as academic resources as well. The use of these areas for teaching and research activities has yielded important knowledge concerning the biological

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    and cultural resources they contain. These academic activities are a critical element of the adaptive management strategies outlined below.

    In 1998, Stanford established the Foothills Working Group to address management and conservation goals in Stanford's lower foothills, which includes substantial portions of all four SCAs. This group includes representatives from the Center for Conservation Biology, Public Safety, Facilities Operations, Stanford Management Company, Planning Office, and Government and Community Relations. The Foothills Working Group interprets and oversees access and operational policies and the Foothills Reclamation Program. In the future, it will implement the guidelines provided in this program and make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Land and Buildings, who is responsible for management of all Stanford lands.

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    2.0 DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIAL CONSERVATION AREAS

    The Special Conservation Areas (SCA) are generally depicted on Figure 2.2 of the Stanford Community Plan. In most cases, more precise boundary lines of the SCAs are defined in the text of the Community Plan (e.g., 150 feet from the top of the creek bank is a defining line for the riparian SCAs) or follow portions of fairly accurately mapped features (e.g., a portion of one of the SCAs follows part of the Cali fomia Tiger Salamander Management Zone boundary identified in the "Management Agreement for the California Tiger Salamander at Stanford University" dated June 1998; portions of other SCAs are identified in a 1979 U.S.G.S. Report addressing seismic conditions). The following text descriptions (and accompanying aerial photograph-based maps) should help remove ambiguities pertaining to what areas are identified as Special Conservation Areas. For ease of later discussions, the Special Conservation Areas are divided into four separate areas: 1) Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area, 2) Matadero/Deer Creeks Special Conservation Area, 3) Los Trancos/San Francisquito Creeks Special Conservation Area, and 4) the I-280 Seismic/Slope Special Conservation Area. While there are similarities between these four SCAs, they are spatially discrete and each has unique biological and physical characteristics. Each also has different management requirements.

    On land covered by easements, rights-of-way, or fee title ownership to entities other than Stanford University, (including but not limited to the City of Palo Alto Utilities Division, County of Santa Clara Roads Division, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Caltrans) the University cannot control or limit the actions of those entities. All of the Special Conservation Areas described here are located in the Stanford Foothills Development District.

    2.1 Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area

    This 230-acre area is located south of Junipero Serra Boulevard and extends approximately halfway to Interstate 280 (I-280) (Figure 2-1). The southeastern and southwestern boundaries of this SCA follow the California Tiger Salamander Management Zone and the County easement along Junipero Serra Boulevard. The northwestern boundary extends beyond the boundary of the California Tiger Salamander Management Zone including golf course areas that are not part of the CTS Management Zone. Along the west side, the Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area boundary follows the Academic Growth Boundary (as defined in the Stanford Community Plan). There is a significant non-Stanford in-holding (approximately 7 acres) within the Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area; one of the San Francisco Water Department's regional water supply routes bisects the area. This unincorporated Santa Clara County land does not belong to Stanford and is not covered by this conservation program. Approximately 15 acres of the Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area is within the leasehold of the Carnegie Foundation and is included in this conservation program.

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    Figure 2-1. Lower Foothills Special Conservation Area

    1" = 600' 0 600 1200 Feet

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    2.2 Matadero/Deer Creeks Special Conservation Area

    The main part of this 90-acre Special Conservation Area is the riparian zone associated with Matadero and Deer creeks. This SCA includes lands in unincorporated Santa Clara County, south of the Academic Growth Boundary and generally located in an area south of Foothill Expressway (Junipero Serra Boulevard) and north of I-280 (Figure 2-2). This riparian zone is defined as being all the lands within 150 feet of the top of the creek bank, and the creek channel. As with Figure 2.2 in the Community Plan, Figure 2-2 should be considered a schematic map - the lines indicated on the aerial photo-based map are generally accurate to 5 meters, but if there are specific questions as to the precise location of the boundaries, the location of the top of the bank should be surveyed and the 150 foot line sited accordingly.

    A second part of this Special Conservation Area encompasses two areas identified as "unstable" slopes by a 1979 U.S.G.S. report. 1 These areas were deemed unstable on the basis of soil type and slope. As these two areas are adjacent to or partially within the Matadero/Deer Creek riparian zone, they were combined with the riparian-based areas to form a continuous management unit.

    A narrow strip of land under the jurisdiction of the City of Palo Alto crosses though the Matadero/Deer Creeks SCA. While the policies of the Stanford Community Plan do not apply to this area, Stanford will voluntarily apply the management guidelines to that portion of the City of Palo Alto, within 150 feet from the top of the creek bank.

    2.3 Los Trancos/San Francisquito Creeks Special Conservation Area

    As with the Matadero/Deer Creeks Special Conservation Area, the 80-acre Los Trancos/San Francisquito Creeks SCA includes the riparian zone (defined as being all the lands within 150 feet of the top of the creek bank, and the creek channel), located in unincorporated Santa Clara County, and south of the Academic Growth Boundary. This area is generally located along the Santa Clara/San Mateo counties boundary from the Sand Hill Road bridge over San Francisquito Creek to Arastradero Road (Figures 2-3a and 2-3b ).

    As in the Community Plan, Figures 2-3a and 2-3b should be considered a schematic map...

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