Big Basin Redwoods State Park General Plan

PARK AND RECREATION COMMISSION APPROVES GENERAL PLAN

On Friday, May 17, 2013, the State Park and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the General Plan for Big Basin Redwoods SP. The Commission also approved an amendment to the West Waddell Creek State Wilderness adding 390 acres to the state wilderness located in Big Basin.

The approved General Plan and Environmental Impact Report, incorporating final revisions and Commission resolutions, is currently being prepared for publication.


Notice of Determination
 - Notice expired 6/21/13

Big Basin Redwoods GP Newsletter Cover

On June 18, 2012, the California State Parks released to the general public and public agencies the Preliminary General Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Report for Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The proposed general plan will guide future management direction at the park. It contains a comprehensive and integrated set of parkwide goals and guidelines for the long-term management of the Park that focus on protection of environmental resources, enhancements to visitor use and opportunities, and improvements to administration and operations of the park. In addition, the general plan includes proposed park development and designates appropriate land uses.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that is included in the Preliminary General Plan contains the environmental analysis of potentially significant effects of the proposed project. Together, the Draft EIR and the Department’s Response to Comments (RTC) constitute the Final Environmental Impact Report for the project. The focus of the RTC is on the disposition of environmental issues that have been raised in the comments, as specified by CEQA Guidelines Section 15088(b), but also includes responses related to planning considerations of the Preliminary General Plan.


Preliminary General Plan/ EIR Document and Map Files

You can view or download the Preliminary General Plan/DEIR text and maps from the following links listed below:

Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR
Final EIR/ Response to Comments

Figure 1     Regional Map 
Figure 2     Location Map
Figure 3     Land Use & Facilities
Figure 4     Land Use & Facilities – Park Headquarters Area
Figure 5     Coastal Zone
Figure 6     Regional Fault Map
Figure 7     Watersheds and Streams
Figure 8     Vegetation Communities
Figure 9     Wildlife Habitat
Figure 10   Natural Resource Sensitivity
Figure 11   National Historic Landmark with Contributing Elements
Figure 12   Historic Resources NRHP Multiple Property Documentation, Park Headquarters Area
Figure 13   Lower Sky Meadow Residence Area – National Historic District
Figure 14   Headquarters Area (Governor’s Camp) 2011
Figure 15   Headquarters Area (Governor’s Camp) 1954
Figure 16   Headquarters Area (Governor’s Camp) 1941
Figure 17   Headquarters Area (Governor’s Camp) 1924 
Figure 18   Preferred Alternative – Park Headquarters / Sky Meadow
Figure 19   Preferred Alternative – Saddle Mountain and Highway 236
Figure 20   Preferred Alternative – Waddell Beach and Rancho del Oso
Figure 21   Preferred Alternative – Little Basin
Figure 22   Preferred Alternative – Wilderness and Backcountry
Figure 23   Tsunami Inundation Risk
Figure 24   Sea Level Rise – 100 Yr Storm Comparison of Current & Yr 2100 Inund. Areas
Figure 25   Sea Level Rise – Mean High Tide with 55 inches of Sea Level Rise 


PLANNING BACKGROUND

Regional Planning Approach
The Big Basin Redwoods State Park General Plan is being developed as part of a regional planning effort, along with the recently completed general plans for Butano State Park and Año Nuevo State Park. These parks share many natural and cultural characteristics, and have similar visitor demographics. Each one also has its own outstanding features and visitor opportunities. This planning process recognizes the potential for regional collaboration between these and other nearby public lands in resource protection, recreation, interpretation, and park management.

Three public workshops were held during the early planning stages. Participants learned about the planning process, reviewed the resource data, and provided input on issues, concerns, and recommendations for the park’s future. Using this input, the planning team has been developing alternative concepts and preliminary plan guidelines for public review.

Notices and Newsletters were sent out to announce meetings and report on planning progress:

April 2013 Public Hearing Notice - May 17, 2013
June 2012   Newsletter – Notice of CEQA Public Review

Mar. 2011    Public Meeting Notice and Newsletter
Feb. 2010    Newsletter
Aug. 2003    Newsletter
Sept. 2002   Special Anniversary Update Newsletter
Dec. 2001    Newsletter
Sept. 2001   Newsletter

The General Plan also serves as a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In fulfillment of CEQA guidelines, California State Parks filed the Big Basin Redwoods SP Notice of Preparation and the Notice of Availability for the General Plan/EIR.



PUBLIC PARTICIPATION in the PLANNING PROCESS

March 26, 2011 Planning Workshop – Preferred Alternative

A General Plan workshop was held on March 26, 2011 at the Felton Community Hall. The planning team provided details on the long range goals and preliminary planning proposals (Preferred Alternative) and received public comments and suggestions for the future of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. This meeting was attended by 75+ people who endured the wet weather and challenging road conditions for this opportunity to review the materials and talk with the rangers and planning staff. A number of letters and emails were also received expressing their support and/or concerns for future protection of old growth redwoods and opportunities for improved facilities and expanded use. A summary of public comments is available for review by clicking here.


February 4 & 6, 2010 Public Meeting

A General Plan Public Meeting in an open house atmosphere was held on February 4 and February 6, 2010. The public commented on the Alternatives presented for the future of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The planning possibilities for the future of Big Basin as presented in the three alternative plans received mixed reviews. The two public meetings were well attended and the feedback that we received expressed continued interests for park access and trails to support equestrians, bicyclists, hikers; also with concerns by individuals, neighbors and representatives from various organizations for the protection of redwood forests, wilderness areas, historic buildings, and long-term management of and stewardship of park resources.   A summary of public comments is available for review

February 2010 Public Meeting Notice
February 2010 Newsletter
Summary of Alternative Planning Concepts

Alternative Highlights:
Alternative #1 Highlights
Alternative #2 Highlights
Alternative #3 Highlights

Alternative Concept Diagrams (maps):
Big Basin Alternative #1
Rancho del Oso (RDO) Alternative #1
Big Basin Alternative #2 
Rancho del Oso (RDO) Alternative #2 
Big Basin Alternative #3 
Rancho del Oso (RDO) Alternative #3

PowerPoint Presentation


SURVEYS
A survey was taken shortly before the Feb. 4 and Feb. 6, 2010 public meetings from a select audience who had camped at Big Basin Redwoods SP in 2009. Campers were primarily from outside the region, but not for all responders. This information assisted the General Planning Team to understand what activities campers like to do or expect to do at Big Basin. As of March 17, of the 6578 people who were sent the survey by e-mail, 1831 completed it (almost 28 percent - a high return). Since this survey was sent to campers, as expected, the activity that most respondents wanted to do was "camping" (96 percent), followed by "hiking" (83 percent), "relaxing in the outdoors" (75 percent), and "walking for pleasure" (62 percent). To see the complete survey results, click here.

California State Parks
Planning Division
One Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-8870
 
plan.general@parks.ca.gov

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