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Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan

UPDATE November 19, 2014:

Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR Approved by State Park and Recreation Commission

On Friday, November 13, 2014, at its hearing in San Diego, the State Park and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR.  Also approved were four additional Commission Resolutions:  1) Expansion of the Cuish Cuish (East Mesa) Cultural Preserve from 500-acres to 1,533-acres; 2) Expansion of the Ah-ha’ Kwe-ah-mac’/Stonewall Mine Cultural Preserve from 430-acres to 1,780-acres; 3) Expansion of the Cuyamaca Meadow Natural Preserve from 683-acres to 1,030 acres; and 4) Adjustments to the boundaries of the Cuyamaca Mountains State Wilderness, reducing the overall acreage from 13,301-acres to 12,504-acres. Public comments received during the Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR comment period were considered and changes will be made to the Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR prior to final publication.  The FINAL General Plan/EIR will be posted to this webpage once completed in spring of 2015. Thank you to all the Park stakeholders, partners, agencies, elected officials, staff and general public who participated in the planning process and made significant contributions to this General Plan.

Notice of Determination Available

A Notice of Determination (NOD) for the Draft EIR was signed and approved on November 19, 2014 and was posted with the State Clearinghouse for a 30-day statute of limitations.  The NOD can be downloaded from a link on the right side of this webpage found under “Public Participation”.


Public Comments and Responses Document Now Available

Comments received during the Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR public review period as well as responses may be found in the “Maps and Documents” section at the bottom of this webpage.  Click on “Public Comments and Responses – CRSP Preliminary General Plan-DEIR” to view or download the document.

The Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR was available for public review and comment during the 45-day public review period which occurred from August 21, 2014 to October 6, 2014. All comments received by the October 6 deadline received a written response and will be included as part of the Final General Plan/EIR following approval of the General Plan by the State Park and Recreation Commission. Any changes to the General Plan/EIR  as a result of public and Commission review shall be incorporated.    Thank you to all who submitted comments.

Link to the Notice of California State Park and Recreation Commission Hearing and Briefing

The California State Park and Recreation Commission will meet on Friday, November 14th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in the Garcia Auditorium of the Caltrans District 11 building, 4050 Taylor Street, in San Diego. At the hearing the Commission will consider and take possible action on the Department recommendation to approve the General Plan and Environmental Impact Report for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

See the following link for the Notice and information about the Hearing and Briefing:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27195

Any person may file a statement regarding meeting items by writing to State Park and Recreation Commission, P.O. Box 942896, Sacramento, CA 94296-0001, by emailing P&RCommission@parks.ca.gov, phoning 916/653-0524, or by presenting oral or written statements at the Friday meeting at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.

Questions regarding the Commission Hearing and Briefing may be directed to:
P&RCommission@parks.ca.gov

Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR Now Available for Public Review

The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park - Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR was available for public review and comment during the 45-day public review period which occurred from August 21, 2014 to October 6, 2014.  All comments received by the October 6 deadline will receive a written response published in the Final General Plan/EIR.  Additional comments are welcome after the deadline, however they may not receive a written response.
                                                                                              Cover Page
Address all comments to:

MAILING ADDRESS:
ATTN: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan Team
California State Parks
Southern Service Center
2797 Truxtun Road, Barracks 26
San Diego, CA 92106

-or-

EMAIL ADDRESS:
enviro@parks.ca.gov
(Please type “Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan” in Subject line)

An electronic version of the General Plan/DEIR is available for viewing and downloading by clicking HERE.

Printed copies are available for viewing (not copying or borrowing) at the following locations:
• Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Park Headquarters (at Paso Picacho Campground)
  13652 Highway 79, Julian, CA 92036
  (760) 765-3020  Hours: M-F, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• California State Parks, Colorado Desert District
  200 Palm Canyon Drive
  Borrego Springs, CA 92004
  (760) 767-4037  Hours: M-F, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• California State Parks, Southern Service Center
  2797 Truxtun Road, San Diego, CA 92106
  (619) 221-7060  Hours: M-F, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Descanso Library
  9545 River Drive, Descanso, CA 91916
  (619) 445-5279
• Julian Library
  1850 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036
  (760)-765-0370
• Alpine Library
  2130 Arnold Way, Alpine, CA 91901
  (619) 445-4221
• Ramona Library
  1275 Main Street
  Ramona, CA 92065
  (760) 788-5270
• Pine Valley Library
  28804 Old Hwy. 80
  Pine Valley, CA 91962
  (619) 473-8022

Proposed Boundary Adjustments to the Cuyamaca Mountains State Wilderness
California State Parks is proposing to adjust select wilderness boundaries and decommission particular areas of existing wilderness at the Park.  To view a map and description of proposed changes go to “Maps and Documents” at the bottom of this webpage and click on “Click HERE" for Cuyamaca Mountains State Wilderness – Proposed Boundary Adjustments Map and Description”.  We welcome your questions and comments about this proposal – email them to the address shown at right. 

Mountain Bike Stakeholder Group Meeting #2
A second mountain bike stakeholder group meeting was held May 22, 2014 at the California State Parks Southern Service Center offices at NTC Liberty Station, Barracks 26, 2797 Truxtun Road, San Diego, CA 92106. CSP staff heard and discussed comments from two mountain bike representatives regarding proposals from the Administrative Draft General Plan. Notes from the meeting can be found at the bottom of this webpage under “Maps and Documents”.

Equestrian Stakeholder Group Meeting #2
A second equestrian stakeholder group meeting was held May 27, 2014 at Denny’s Restaurant, 665 N. Mollison Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92021. Six equestrians and three CSP staff participated in discussing equestrian comments about the Administrative Draft General Plan. Notes from the meeting can be found at the bottom of this webpage under “Maps and Documents”. For more information or to provide input, please contact equestrian liaison Terry Jorgensen (Back Country Horsemen and Ramona Trails Association) at tlh9749@yahoo.com.

Documents and public comments from the 3rd Public Meeting held November 12, 2013 at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley Hotel are available for viewing and/or download at the bottom of this webpage under the heading “Maps and Documents”.  Click on “Click HERE for 3rd Public Meeting Maps, Documents and Presentations” to access the documents.  These documents include the Highlights of the Preferred Alternative, as well as public verbal and written comments about the information presented at the meeting.

Highlights of the Preferred Alternative:
The document entitled "Highlights of the Preferred Alternative" is available for viewing and/or downloading at the end of this webpage under the heading "Maps and Documents".  To access the document, click on "Click HERE for 3rd Public Meeting Maps, Documents and Presentations". You may review the "Highlights" document to become familiar with the Preferred Alternative of the Management Zones Map and Matrix as well as some draft General Plan proposals.  This document was available as a handout at the 3rd Public Meeting held Tuesday, November 12, 2013.

THIRD PUBLIC MEETING:  The third and final public meeting was held Tuesday, November 12, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley Hotel, in the Cabrillo Room, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA 92108.  A presentation of the Preferred Alternative Plan was made followed by a public comment period.  California State Park planning team staff was in attendance to answer questions and take comments.  See "Maps and Documents" section below to view meeting invitation, agenda, draft preferred alternative management zone map and matrix.  Thank you to all who attended.

Public Meeting 3                  Public Meeting 3

Mountain Bike Stakeholder Group Meeting #1
A mountain bike stakeholder group meeting was held on August 13, 2013 at the California State Parks Southern Service Center offices at NTC Liberty Station, Barracks 26, 2797 Truxtun Road, San Diego, CA 92106.  Four mountain bikers and two California State Park staff participated in discussing issues of importance to mountain bikers.  Information about the meeting is contained in the meeting agenda and notes which can be found at the bottom of this webpage under "Maps and Documents".

Equestrian Stakeholder Group Meeting #1
An equestrian stakeholder group meeting was held June 25, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Ramona Community Center in Ramona.  Eight equestrians and three California State Park staff participated in discussing issues of interest to equestrians.  Information about the meeting is contained in the meeting agenda and notes which can be found at the bottom of this webpage under "Maps and Documents".  For more information or to provide input, please contact equestrian liaison Terry Jorgensen (Back Country Horsemen and Ramona Trails Association) at tlh9749@yahoo.com.

Environmental Impact Report to be prepared:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and will combine it with the Draft General Plan for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  An Initial Study (IS) has been prepared providing a preliminary review of potential impacts associated with changes that may be proposed to the Park as called for in the Draft General Plan. The IS as well as a Notice of Preparation (NOP) indicating that an EIR will be prepared may be viewed and/or downloaded under the Public Participation heading on the right hand side of this page.

The NOP and IS has been made available to agencies that CDPR has determined may have an interest in commenting or acting as a responsible or trustee agency through the CEQA process. A 30-day review process began April 9, 2013 for responsible or trustee agencies to provide specific information regarding their area of statutory responsibility.

Comments from the public are also welcome regarding the IS as well as other potential impacts associated with changes proposed by the Draft General Plan. The changes proposed are not yet completely defined, but shall be further defined as progress on the Draft General Plan continues.

The combined Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR will be made available for a 45-day public comment period once they are completed (most likely Spring 2014).  Please check back to this webpage for updated information.

2nd Public Meeting - The second Public Meeting was held May 23, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley, "Cabrillo" Room, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA 92108. See "Maps and Documents" section below to download maps, documents, and presentations from the second public meeting.                                           
 
Initial Public Outreach Summary:  A document summarizing the public input received from the first public meeting and on-line visitor survey can be found in the "Maps and Documents" section below.  Check this out for a good introduction to the General Plan public outreach process, summary of public responses and issue themes, planning process hierarchy, as well as other useful information.

Park Statistics:  See this page for a succinct highlight of park information and statistics.  It can be downloaded from the "Maps and Documents" section below.

Visitor Survey:  Thank you to all who have participated in the on-line Visitor Survey.  Over a two month period, we received 1457 completed surveys!  Your opinions about current and desired facilities, activities, and programming will help shape the General Plan.  See "Maps and Documents" section at the bottom of this page for a link to the survey results. 

1ST PUBLIC MEETING:  The first of three public meetings to discuss the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan was held Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Viejas Casino – DreamCatcher Showroom. See "Maps and Documents" section below to download maps, documents and presentations from the 1st public meeting. 
     
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST:  If you would like to receive email updates about the project, please click on the following link to send us your name and email address: enviro@parks.ca.gov

stonewall peak view
View of Lake Cuyamaca and North Peak from Stonewall Peak (CSP Files)
June 2012

ABOUT THE GENERAL PLAN

California State Parks is conducting a comprehensive update of the General Plan for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  A General Plan is a broad-based policy document that establishes a long-range vision and goals.  A General Plan also provides direction on future types of improvements, services, and programs.  An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The EIR will evaluate potential environmental effects associated with the adoption of the General Plan.

The current version of the General Plan was adopted in 1986.  The purpose of the General Plan update is to revise the plan to reflect changing conditions and issues, include additional state park lands that are now adjacent to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and to update the vision, goals, and policies set forth in the Plan.  Public input will be used to help guide the development of the General Plan update.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN THE GENERAL PLAN PROCESS


Because the general plan takes a comprehensive look at the park and involves an in-depth public outreach process, it is one of the best times to provide input.  Your comments and ideas will help to shape general plan proposals, providing guidance and direction for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park into the future .  If you would like to stay informed and/or get involved in the general plan process, take these steps:
• Join our mailing list (see link below) so you can receive email updates with information, meeting announcements, and links to documents;
• Attend and provide input at public workshops;
• Contact us at enviro@parks.ca.gov to give us your ideas and comments;
• Provide us your comments about the Draft General Plan and other general plan maps and documents once they are available and posted to this webpage;
• Check back to this webpage periodically for recent news and updates;

PROCESS AND TIMELINE


The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan is a two-year, comprehensive planning process that involves understanding existing issues, conditions and resources, developing and evaluating land use alternatives, formulating a vision and goals for the park, preparing a comprehensive planning document, and involving the community in a public outreach program.  Following is a graphic diagram of the planning process and general time frames:

Timeline
For full sized document please click HERE

INTRODUCTION TO CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (CRSP) is located approximately 50 miles east of San Diego in a mountainous area consisting of oak woodland forest, pines and expansive meadows.  It sits astride the crest of the Cuyamaca Mountains in the Peninsular Ranges, with Cuyamaca Peak at 6,512 feet, standing tall within the park boundaries. To the east, lies Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) while to the south is the small rural community of Descanso and generally the remaining areas are surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest with a few exceptions of private parcels in the Descanso Valley and near the Cuyamaca Reservoir.  State Highway 79 runs generally through the Park.

The Park was acquired for the California State Park system in 1933 and classified as a State Park in 1962. The Park encompasses approximately 24,700 acres, of which, 13,100 are designated as Wilderness and 3,200 are either Natural or Cultural Preserves. This Park features recreational experiences that are close to a large metropolitan area but yet at the same time feel well removed from urban life, with over 100 miles of trails and several major campgrounds and numerous wilderness, cultural, and historic interpretive opportunities.

In 2003, the Cedar Fire burned 24,600 of the 24,700 acres in the Park, resulting in numerous park facilities being destroyed or damaged - from historic structures such as the Dyar House, to the loss of a popular family equestrian campground at Los Caballos in the northern part of the park.

The Park is currently under the stewardship of the Colorado Desert District and the Montane Sector of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

MAPS & DOCUMENTS

Click HERE for Public Comments and Responses - CRSP Preliminary General Plan/DEIR
Click HERE for Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR
Click HERE for Resource Inventory Documents
Click HERE for Park Information and Statistics, and Initial Public Outreach Summary
Click HERE for 1st Public Meeting Maps, Documents, and Presentations
Click HERE for Visitor Survey Results
Click HERE for 2nd Public Meeting Maps, Documents, and Presentations
Click HERE for Equestrian Stakeholder Group Meeting #1 Agenda and Notes
Click HERE for Mountain Bike Stakeholder Group Meeting #1 Agenda and Notes
Click HERE for 3rd Public Meeting Maps, Documents, and Presentations
Click HERE for Equestrian Stakeholder Group Meeting #2 Notes
Click HERE for Mountain Bike Stakeholder Group Meeting #2 Notes
Click HERE for Cuyamaca Mountains State Wilderness - Proposed Boundary Adjustments 
Map and Description