4,500 Acres of Wilderness and Natural Open Space
Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park | Orange County, CA
Orange County Parks and LSA won the 2009 California Park & Recreation Society Achievement Award in the Maintenance Management and Operations category for the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Resource Management Plan (RMP) covering 4,000 acres of open space in Laguna Niguel. The planning effort supersedes the RMP and General Development Plan prepared for the park when it had a “regional park” designation. The RMP guides County resource management activities and fulfills the requirements of the Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) for the Central/Coastal Orange County NCCP Sub-region.
LSA reviewed available literature, conducted field work and interviewed key stakeholders to prepare an assessment of existing site conditions. The resource information was then used to identify opportunities and constraints and to develop management alternatives for the RMP. The RMP includes plans and policies for habitat preservation and restoration, protection of cultural and visual resources, and improvements for the trail network, including closing unauthorized trails and plans for several future trails that will make key connections.
Preparation of the RMP included an extensive public outreach effort including a series of workshops and a one-day field trip for the public to understand key issues for resource management. The public was given the opportunity to provide input on each phase of the planning process, from identifying opportunities and constraints, to evaluating plan alternatives and commenting on the Draft RMP.
LSA also prepared the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) in order to obtain CEQA clearance for the RMP. The IS/MND and the RMP were approved by the Board of Supervisors in August 2009.