The SB South Coast Herbivory Project will implement ~3000 acres of fuel reduction through the use of prescribed herbivory (sheep, goats, or appropriate livestock) to reduce fuel loads in a cost effective and ecologically sound manner. The project includes 37 prescribed herbivory fuel treatments located along the south coast of Santa Barbara County (SBC). Combined acreage of the 37 treatments is approximately 2250 acres. The project will aim for a minimum target of 1000 acres treated per year. The treatments are located predominately in areas dominated by grass and sage vegetation. These fuel treatments are strategically located adjacent to critical transportation corridors and wildland urban interface (WUI) areas. The project goal is to reduce flammable fuel loading to mitigate the potential for high intensity wildfire and reduce the potential for wildfire ignitions. The project is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council (SBCFSC) in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD). Additional information such as maps, timelines, and updates can be found at the Project Webpage.
CAL FIRE awarded a Fire Prevention Grant to the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council to fund the SB South Coast Herbivory Project. The Fire Prevention Grants are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment —particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Serving as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; California Public Resources Code [PRC] Section 21000 et seq.), Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD) must comply with CEQA prior to implementing the proposed vegetation treatment activities. SBCFD has evaluated the proposed treatments for CEQA compliance as later activities covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), using the Project-Specific Analysis (PSA) Checklist. The PSA and Attachments can be accessed here:
- PSA for the SB South Coast Herbivory Project
- Attachment A – Standard Project Requirements and Mitigation Measures Checklist
- Attachment B – Project-Specific CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations
- Attachment D – Biological Technical Memorandum
- Attachment E – Soils Maps
- Attachment F – Prescribed Herbicory BMP’s
- Attachment G – Other Completed SPR’s and MM’s
Consistent with CEQA Guidelines Section 15168(c)(2), if the potential environmental impacts of a proposed vegetation treatment project are determined to be covered by the environmental impacts analyzed in the PEIR, the project may be approved using a finding that the project is within the scope of the PEIR. Such a finding would constitute CEQA compliance under the PEIR. The PEIR identified the range of environmental impacts associated with vegetation treatment projects and required implementation of standard project requirements (SPRs) and mitigation measures (MMs) to address and minimize these impacts. In accordance with the PEIR, all relevant SPRs and MMs would be incorporated into the project. No additional CEQA review is required for a project that is consistent with the PEIR. The PEIR is available for public review at https://bof.fire.ca.gov/projects-and-programs/calvtp/.