San Rafael Hill is where I often spent my lunch hour hiking. The City of San Rafael owns the majority of the open space on the hill directly above Downtown San Rafael. I believe the area is well studied because of the direct proximity to Mission San Rafael & the numerous mentions of San Rafael as the type locality for various species in reference books.
MAP -map of the hill showing Public lands, trails, possible future trails & a proposed development on the old quarry property. I think the proposal is dead now but I'm sure there will be another. The private land includes some of the most beautiful natural areas on the hill.
IDEAS -some brainstorming ideas for a Vegetation Management Plan in outline form.
HERBICIDES -as much as I prefer low impact organic methods, the Gorse (painfully prickly, yellow flowered exotic invasive shrub) infestation will never be controlled without herbicides. This is a compilation of some research I did on the web. The Fire Department has hired the California Conservation Corps to clear some of this brush & after a year's time, the cut back Gorse comes back more vigorous than ever. The infestation is supposed to have begun after a fire in the 1950's. Large areas of the hill are impassible & devastated by solid stands of Gorse. It is still spreading.
I've since recieved notice of community folks on the north coast who are pulling gorse with success: http://www.mcn.org/1/caspar/Gorse/default.html That takes real dedication because the spines go straight through blue jeans.