North Coast Chapter Of The
California Native Plant Society

April 16, 1999

Planning Commission

City of Arcata

736 F St.

Arcata, CA 95521

RE: Comments on Resource Conservation and Management Element of the General Plan

Dear Members of the Planning Commission,

I am writing on behalf of the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). CNPS is a nonprofit organization of over 10,000 amateurs and professionals dedicated to the preservation of California's diverse flora. CNPS conducts a variety of educational programs and conservation efforts all focused on long-term protection and preservation of native flora in its natural habitat. The North Coast Chapter represents over 250 members in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity and western Siskiyou Counties.

In reviewing the Draft Arcata General Plan: 2020, we were happy to see in chapter 4,"Environmental Quality and Management," that policy RC-1b addresses the issue of non-native plant species. We applaud the City’s efforts to control the spread of invasive pest plants and, where appropriate, to restore native vegetation. In keeping with this intent, we would like to propose a few modifications to the language of policy RC-1b to strengthen it (proposed wording in italics, proposed deletions shown with strikethrough):

RC-1b Non-native plant species. Some non-native plant species, such as pampas grass, Himalaya berry, scotch broom, blue gum eucalyptus, English ivy, holly, and cotoneaster, are invasive exotics that can and do displace native species. The presence of these non-native species reduces the area’s natural diversity, biological integrity and aesthetics. Only native species, or species demonstrated to be non-invasive, shall be used in public landscapes and are to be strongly encouraged in private landscapes.

Only plants native to coastal northwestern California shall be planted on public lands in and adjacent to areas designated "Natural Resource" on the General Plan Land Use Element map and "environmentally sensitive habitat areas" as defined in RC-1d. Where possible, native plants derived from local genetic stock shall be used. Landscaping with native plant species will also be encouraged in other areas, both public and private, throughout the city.

Non-native plants known to be invasive shall not be planted in any public landscape and shall be strongly discouraged from private landscapes. The City shall develop and maintain a list of non-native invasive plant species that are known or potential problem pests in the local area. The City shall provide public information on invasive species, which explains why they are a problem and recommends effective but non-toxic eradication measures. Non-native plants shall be controlled where they are displacing native species.

We would be happy to assist in your planning efforts by reviewing educational materials developed by the City pertaining to this issue. Enclosed is a list of native plants suitable for planting in Arcata, with notes on their attributes and growing needs. The City may reproduce this list (with proper citation of the CNPS North Coast Chapter) for distribution to the public. Please call me at 445-7223 (work) or 839-0307 (home) if I can be of further assistance.


 Pete Haggard, Native Plant Gardening

California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067
Last updated April 1999