This fall MMWD is beginning the environmental review process for the district’s Draft Wildfire Protection and Habitat Improvement Plan (WPHIP). Formerly known as the 2012 Draft Vegetation Management Plan, MMWD has renamed the plan with the launch of the environmental review process to avoid confusion with the district’s 1995 Vegetation Management Plan. The new name also more accurately reflects the plan’s purpose. This new plan addresses fire hazard reduction and biodiversity protection on the 22,000 acres of watershed land managed by MMWD with drinking water protection as the number one priority.
The main goals of the Draft WPHIP, which will replace the 1995 Vegetation Management Plan, are:
- To protect Marin’s communities, water supply and natural resources from catastrophic wildfire;
- To preserve habitats, plants and animals into the future;
- To prepare for and adapt to future changes.
The next step in the environmental review process is the scoping period, during which MMWD will accept comments on what should be included in the environmental review. The 30-day scoping period begins today, November 1, with a scoping meeting at San Rafael City Council Chambers set for Thursday, November 15, 7:00-9:30 p.m. The scoping period ends December 3.
The environmental review process will lead to the release in 2013 of a draft environmental impact report (EIR), which will include an assessment of the potential impacts of implementing various alternative approaches or of continuing the current program without changes. The draft EIR will also recommend the alternative approach that best protects the water supply, Mt. Tamalpais and the communities in MMWD’s service area.
More information on the draft WPHIP is available on MMWD’s website.