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Oakland Vegetation Management Plan

The Vegetation Management (Plan) will cover more than 1,400 acres of City property plus treatment areas approximately 300 miles of roadside. Vegetation management activities conducted on these lands currently includes goat grazing on nine sites covering approximately 1,300 acres, vegetation clearing along 16 roadways (58 miles), monitoring for vegetation clearance along approximately 300 miles of road within the High and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (16.5 square miles), and brush clearance on critical City-owned properties (~332 acres). The Plan and EIR will evaluate these and additional vegetation management practices to reduce fire hazard.

Timeline

Adoption of Vegetation Management Plan

May 2024

Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report

Fall 2023

Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)

Winter 2023

Planning Commission Review & Decision on EIR

Winter / Spring 2024

Notice of Determination

Spring 2024

About

Overview:

In May 2024, The Oakland City Council formally adopted a 10 year Vegetation Management Plan. 

Adoption of the Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), which outlines a framework for managing fuel loads and vegetation on City-owned properties and along roadways in the City’s Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ), is an actionable step to reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic wildfire, such as the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. 

The Council also certified the Environmental Impact Report which provided formal approval to ensure that the City follows the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).  

The Adopted Vegetation Management Plan and certified Environmental Impact Report can be found here

Project Location:

The Vegetation Management (Plan) covers more than 1,900 acres of City property plus treatment areas along approximately 300 miles of roadside. Vegetation management activities conducted on these lands currently includes goat grazing on nine sites covering approximately 1,300 acres, vegetation clearing along 16 roadways (58 miles), monitoring for vegetation clearance along approximately 300 miles of road within the High and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (16.5 square miles), and brush clearance on critical City-owned properties (~332 acres). The Plan and EIR evaluate these and additional vegetation management practices to reduce fire hazard.
 

Background:

Since 1923, more than a dozen major wildfires have impacted the Oakland hills, resulting in extensive damage, economic harm, and loss of life. Most notably, the 1991 Oakland/Berkeley firestorm burned over 1,500 acres, destroyed more than 3,000 homes, caused the deaths of 25 people, and injured over 150 people. Most of the Oakland hills fall within High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ), as designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), where vegetation must be actively managed to reduce the threat and devastating effects of future wildfires. The FHSZs in the Oakland hills include areas described as the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), which are characterized by hot and dry fall seasons, high winds, dense flammable vegetation, steep and varied terrain, hill slope development, and limited accessibility for emergency responders.
 

Public Review and Comment Period:

The City of Oakland has published the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (Recirculated DEIR) for the Revised Draft Oakland Vegetation Management Plan (Revised Draft VMP). The EIR recirculation is due to revisions made to the Draft VMP since the prior 2020 DEIR was made available for public review. Key revisions to the Draft VMP include expanding the roadside buffer width from 30 feet to 100 where the City's focus would be to remove or thin dead or dying trees on City owned parcels adjacent to roadways in the FHSZs. This change in project activity required the City to reconsider the previous environmental analysis and findings, thus the reason for the project delay and distribution of a Revised Draft VMP and a Recirculated DEIR.

A hard copy of the Recirculated DEIR is also available for review by the public during normal operating hours at the Oakland Fire Department office at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3354, Oakland, CA 94612. The public review period is from Wednesday, September 20, 2023 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Comments on the Recirculated DEIR may be submitted in the following ways:

Email:

DEIR-comments@oaklandvegmanagement.org

Mail:

Montrose Environmental

Attn: Ken Schwarz, Principal, Revised Draft VMP Recirculated DEIR Comments

1 Kaiser Plaza, Suite 340

Oakland, CA 94612

Public Meetings:


In addition, the City of Oakland Planning Commission will conduct a public meeting on the Recirculated DEIR for the VMP on November 1, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.

For information about how to participate in this meeting, please visit: https://www.oaklandca.gov/boards-commissions/planning-commission/meetings.

 

 

 

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ATTN: Oakland Vegetation Management Plan