Balancing Fire Concerns and Habitat Preservation in the City

Goleta has historically been a community at-risk of wildfire. It is also home to many natural resources, including the Ellwood Mesa, where thousands of monarchs migrate each winter.

In October, the City of Goleta hosted a public workshop to discuss the status of two plans that  address these issues: the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan. The Community Wildfire Protection Plan was developed alongside the Habitat Management Plan to ensure each plan balances the safety of our community with the desire to preserve our natural resources.

The plan provides guidelines on how to actively manage the areas that are at greatest risk for fire. Once this plan is adopted by the City Council and the City obtains the necessary permits, the City of Goleta will implement the plan beginning with the highest priority areas and continue in order of wildfire risk. Treatment priority is determined by the expected size and behavior of flames in relation to its proximity to structures and natural resources.

The purpose of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan is to determine the number of monarchs that spend the winter at the Ellwood Mesa, assess the health of their habitat and develop a plan to maintain and improve the health of identified groves. This plan is scheduled for presentation to the City Council in June 2012.

For more information on these plans, contact Dan Nemechek,Senior Planner, at or call 961-7544.