Stewardship Natural Resources
Trends related to this theme: Non-native invasive plants are threatening natural resources by reducing the diversity of native species and impacting wildlife habitat. Deer populations continue to exceed carrying capacities and threaten the sustainability of forests through overbrowse of regenerating trees. Because of these threats, the need to actively manage natural areas (rather than just setting them aside) has become widely recognized. In addition, new policies and regulations have an impact on stewardship activities. More comprehensive and stricter stormwater regulations will change how we develop parks and require innovative stormwater treatment, retrofit and stream restoration projects on parkland. The County's tree canopy policy and tree preservation ordinance have stewardship implications as a great portion of the County's forested lands are in public park ownership.
Countywide objectives related to this theme:
- Protect and improve existing corridors, linkages and watersheds; provide new linkages between remaining public and private natural areas; and designate permanent resource protection zones on parkland that define appropriate uses and development.
- Protect water resources through the development and implementation of watershed plans and stream restoration efforts.
- Conduct natural resource inventories and assessments and develop site natural resource management plans where appropriate and feasible. Consider funding needs for these efforts as part of the capital planning process.
- Ensure existing forested areas are sustainable (to include managing deer populations) and expand tree canopy where appropriate on parkland.
- Define and implement non-native invasive plant best management practices and expand invasive management efforts.
- Utilize innovative practices in construction of recreational facilities and buildings to minimize impacts to the environment and demonstrate stewardship.
District-level Natural Resource Stewardship strategy suggestions focus on: managing threats and actively managing existing natural resources as appropriate to each district.