North San Diego county has multiple cities with varying degrees of natural open space. Preserve Calavera aims to maximize and protect these spaces to facilitate wildlife movement and provide areas where people can enjoy nature.
Carlsbad’s Open Spaces
We have led the cause to save some of the priceless natural lands of Carlsbad. These natural lands are a key part of what makes this such a special place to live. But many of the areas are under immediate threat of development. We need to preserve the best of what we have left- places like the Buena Vista Creek Valley with the sacred El Salto waterfall. Places like Kato/Mandana that provide the critical link in the regional wildlife movement corridor. Places where our children can connect with nature and everyone can enjoy a quiet walk or hear the sound of a creek or the call of a bird. Open space gives us a high quality of life and preserves our property values. It is good for residents, businesses and visitors alike.
In 2002 the residents of Carlsbad passed Measure C with the supporting materials stating 40% open space will be preserved. This proposition authorized some of the millions of reserve funds to be allocated for the acquisition of open space and trails. In 2007 a City Council appointed citizen’s committee evaluated and prioritized the remaining lands. Ten years seems like long enough to do what the voters asked them to do- allocate these funds to a restricted account and preserve some of these lands before it is too late. Finally, in June, 2012, the Carlsbad City Council agreed to set aside $5 million for open space. We continue to educate the public and lobby the city council to use this money for natural open space acquisition while it is still available. We continue to wait for the city to move ahead on acquiring additional natural open space. To date no movement has been made by the city to acquire more natural open space with these funds. The city touts its “almost 40%” open space even though the discrepancy is in the hundreds of acres.
An additional requirement in Carlsbad is for the 25 Local Facility Management Zones (LFMZ; contiguous areas with shared characteristics) to have 15% open spaces beyond any hardline open space designated by the Habitat Management Plan (HMP). Click here for a map of open space within each LFMZ. More telling are the tables showing % open space/LFMZ after correcting for hardline open space where you can see that some zones are significantly below the 15% target.
Carlsbad has a Trails Master Plan (TMP) which is a blueprint for how city trails will be developed and managed in the future. Recently, the environmental report was released. Preserve Calavera submitted comments to the plan which can be viewed here.