Chaparral Part of Goleta Plan Discussion

The fate of chaparral woodlands will find a voice in larger discussions concerning water, housing, and traffic on July 22 as the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan goes before the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. While chaparral doesn’t occupy the Western psyche with as much majestic weight as a mossy oak grove, it’s an arguably vibrant plant community home to some of Santa Barbara’s coolest critters, including the Santa Ynez walking stick and the elusive ringtail cat. The problem, environmentalists say, is chaparral often falls beneath the blade of fire-season brush eradication, clearing the way for weeds both invasive and more flammable. Such clearance also rids mountainsides of the soil-stabilization network of roots chaparral provides.

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