Claremont Canyon's many landowners take responsibility

DO YOU KNOW THAT CLAREMONT CANYON has many landowners? The two major landowners are the University of California, which owns the upper 150 acres of our mostly wildland canyon and the East Bay Regional Park District, which owns the lower 208-acres (including Gwin Canyon) best known for the dramatic Stonewall-Claremont hiking trail. Both agencies have their hands full with the responsibility of protecting natural values of these lands while assuring a reasonably fire-safe environment.

Other public landowners in Claremont Canyon share in this responsibility, including the City of Oakland, which owns the 13-acre John Garber Park at the bottom of the canyon and EBMUD, which owns three water tanks in Claremont Canyon and several acres of tree-covered ridgelands that are contiguous to hundreds of additional acres of open space in EBMUD’s Siesta Valley watershed.

There are also many private landowners in Claremont Canyon, including AT&T and the Pacifica Foundation, both of which own radio towers on the east side of Grizzly Peak Boulevard, and several hundred private homeowners.

All landowners, both public and private, share in the responsibilities of understanding our Mediterranean-style ecosystem in which we live and doing what we can to prepare for the inevitable next wildfire.

To this end, the Conservancy applied to the California Fire Alliance once again for a federal grant to work in concert with our neighbors in the canyon. Our stated goals are to enhance cooperation among all landowners, both public and private, and to work together towards a wildland-urban interface that is reasonably fire-safe. Fire Alliance grants are highly competitive and we will not know for several more months whether we will be funded. Our application last year was not funded but we were encouraged to try again.