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, and Clark

 

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   No

 

AGENDA DATE:

September 3, 2008

 

ACTION:               INFORMATION:   X

 

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.”

 

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 2007-08 (see Attachment A) has two major purposes:

 

1.         To report on the Committee’s activities over the last year. These activities, summarized in section II (“Annual Progress and Activities”), support the four major areas of the Committee’s work 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.

 

2.         To recommend an outline for the Biodiversity Action Plan called for in the Natural Resources & Cultural Assets chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. Appendix A of the Report contains a draft policy that could be adopted into that Plan.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

There are no budget impacts directly related to the Annual Report. However, the Annual Report contains requests for staff support and funding to meet the Committee’s work needs (see Section III of the Report). Due to budget constraints, the Community Development Department is currently focusing on mandated tasks and Strategic Plan priorities, and is therefore providing only minimal staff support to the Natural Heritage Committee.

 

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 responding to the Committee’s recommendations.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

A.      Annual Report – Albemarle County Natural Heritage Committee, Fiscal Year 2007-2008

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