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Arana Gulch Panorama

Arana Gulch is an open space located on 67 acres at the eastern border of the City of Santa Cruz. The eastern half of the property features the riparian corridor of Arana Gulch Creek and a tidal wetland where the creek drains into Monterey Bay at the Santa Cruz Harbor. The western half is a remnant of coastal prairie grassland that supports the Santa Cruz tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia) (SCT), a federally Threatened and a CA State Endangered species. A steep and narrow intermittent drainage called Hagemann Gulch crosses the property on the western boundary.

Habitat Management Plan

>Implementation of the Arana Gulch Master Plan required the City to obtain a coastal development permit (CDP) from the California Coastal Commission (CCC) because a portion of the planning area lies within the designated Coastal Zone. The CDP (3-11-074) includes both standard and special conditions. The Arana Gulch Habitat Management Plan (HMP) was developed to satisfy the special conditions of the CDP. The purpose of the HMP is to provide for the restoration, enhancement, and long-term management of the Arana Gulch habitat Management Areas as self-sustaining and functioning habitats in perpetuity. The Management Areas include: the Coastal Prairie/Tarplant Management Area, the Arana Gulch Riparian and Wetland Management Area, and the Hagemann Gulch Riparian Woodland Management Area.

Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG)

The HMP describes an Adaptive Management framework to guide the process of improving habitat conditions at Arana Gulch. The adaptive management framework recognizes that effective resource management and land-use decision-making requires sound scientific information.The Adaptive Management Working Group (AMWG) has a central role is the framework to guide the City on the implementation of HMP activities; The working group serves at the pleasure of the City with the approval of the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission.

Establishment of the Arana Gulch AMWG has been conducted by the City of Santa Cruz to meet the first requirement of the CDP special conditions. It is comprised of a group of cooperative and committed stakeholders interested in the outcomes of decision-making and in the technical process of managing target conservation resources.  The initial composition has been approved by the CCC Executive Director. The City of Santa Cruz has allocated funding to support implementation of the HMP.


Voting members:

Susan Bainbridge, Researcher, Herbarium 
Melissa Farinha, Biologist, CA F&W
Lena Chang, Biologist, US F&W
Tim Hyland, Ecologist, CA State Parks
Kate Huckelbridge, Ecologist, CA Coastal Commission
Grey Hayes, Consultant (CNPS)
Kathy Lyons, Biologist, Biotic Resources Group

Alison Stanton, Research Botanist

City Staff:
Mike Ferry, Planning Dept.
Mauro Garcia, Parks and Recreation Dept.

CA Coastal Commission (non-voting member)
Susan Craig, Supervising Coastal Planner
John Dixon, Ecologist

Alternate Member:
Suzanne Schettler, Revegetation Specialist, Greening & Assoc. 


Arana GulchArana Gulch
On June 2 and 3, 2014, the City's contractor performed a second mowing at Arana Gulch. The mowing was part of a vegetation management process developed by AMWG.  On June 14, 2014, volunteers, working alongside City staff, will be raking and removing the remaining thatch in historic Tarplant areas from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.


July 16, 2014 | 9:00 am - 2:00 pm | Planning Dept. Conference Room

November 2014 (proposed)


AGWG meeting agenda- April 2013

AGWG meeting minutes - April 2013

AMWG Agenda - July 2013 

AGWG meeting minutes - March 2014 (revised)



Arana Seed Bank study 

Arana Tarplant photos

Arana wildlife survey results

Arana Coastal Development Permit

MOU with CDF

Coastal Prairie Baseline Assessment- Summer 2013

Coastal Prairie Baseline Assessment Photos

Arana Adaptive Habitat Management Plan

Addendum to Final EIR Issued on June 6, 2006

Addendum to Final EIR Issued on July 10, 2006

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Last updated: 7/16/2014 9:34:43 AM