An issue that is just starting to attract attention is the draft plan by the Marin Municipal Water District for managing vegetation on their watershed lands on Mt. Tam. The problem, in a word, is Broom. French Broom . . . Scotch Broom . . . these aggressively invasive weeds, painfully familiar to every Marin homeowner, are invading the slopes of Mt. Tam, creating a fire hazard, threatening native species and dimming the future of everybody’s favorite recreation area.
The challenge for MMWD is how to battle the Broom with a limited budget: What are the most important (and realistic) objectives? How do different strategies impact water quality? How do we encourage native species to replace the Broom we remove? And the big one, most likely to provoke controversy: what should be the role of chemical herbicides in this management program?
MMWD released its first public draft of the management plan in September, and right now, they are going through the scoping process for an Environmental Impact Report. Here’s a story on the issue from the Marin IJ; here is where you can download the Draft Management Plan and sign up for notices of future meetings and documents; and here is where to view the PowerPoint slides from the scoping meeting.