COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Natural Heritage Committee Annual Report

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Presentation of the Committee’s annual report

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs: Tucker, Foley, Cilimberg, Benish, Scott Clark

 

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 6, 2007

 

 

ACTION:     X                            INFORMATION:   

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

      ACTION:                              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

On July 6, 2005, the Board of Supervisors authorized the creation of the Natural Heritage Committee. The Committee was described as:

 

“…an advisory committee that maintains the County’s Biodiversity Assessment; advises the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, and County staff on applying biodiversity information to land-use decision-making; and supports biodiversity education in the County.”

 

See the Natural Heritage Committee Fact Sheet (Attachment A) for more details on the Committee’s charge. The Committee has divided itself into four subcommittees to address major work areas (see the section titled “Mission, Goals, and Strategies” in Attachment B).

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal One: Enhance the Quality of Life for All Citizens: The existence of healthy living systems is an important factor in citizens’ quality of life.

 

Goal Two: Protect the County’s Natural Resources: Effective natural-resource protection requires science-based conservation planning.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Committee’s Annual Report for fiscal year 2006-07 (see Attachment B) has two purposes:

 

  1. To report on the Committee’s activities over the last year. These activities, summarized in the section titled “Progress to Date,” include development of a work plan to meet its charge (see Attachment B), as well as progress on the four major work areas in that plan:

 

§         Biodiversity Assessment – cataloging and analyzing the County’s biological resources, as a foundation for effective conservation planning

§         Rapid  Conservation – identifying biological resources within the County that are in need of conservation in the short term, and identifying appropriate tools

§         Education – finding methods to communicate natural heritage information to the public, and developing a communications plan

§         Strategic Conservation – developing a long-term conservation plan for biodiversity in the County

 

The report also includes the Committee’s goals for work in these areas in the upcoming year.

 

  1. To recommend specific sites for conservation (as a result of the Rapid Conservation subcommittee’s work, building on the October 2004 report of the Biodiversity Work Group). The Annual Report recommends six sites for conservation, and lists voluntary conservation tools (including conservation easements, land-purchase programs, and County assistance in funding natural resource management efforts, and stewardship-recognition programs--all in concert with education programs) that could be applied to protect them.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

There are no budget impacts directly related to the Annual Report. At future meetings, staff will report on the budget implications of any of the Committee’s conservation recommendations that the Board would like to investigate.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors accept the Natural Heritage Committee’s annual report, and direct Community Development staff to report to the Board on options for implementing the report’s recommendations for the six conservation sites.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

A.      Natural Heritage Committee Fact Sheet

B.      Annual Report – Albemarle County Natural Heritage Committee, Fiscal Year 2006-2007

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