The Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership (ESP Partnership) was established before the passage of Measure C as a collaboration of fire agencies and the environmental community in Marin whose purpose is to assist the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) in delivering its work in an environmentally sound manner.
This approach represents a new, proactive, and collaborative way for agencies to work with environmental stakeholders. By understanding each other’s priorities and concerns, fire agencies and environmental stakeholders can create a more productive partnership that includes fewer surprises and more trust.
For the past two years, the ESP Partnership has met regularly to draft a set of recommended best practices for vegetation management in wildlands, defensible space, and carbon management. These recommendations have been included in an Ecologically Sound Practices for Vegetation Management document dated June 9,2022. The living document describes proposed practices for the MWPA to consider adopting as best practices for future projects, above and beyond legal requirements.
On June 16, 2022, the MWPA Board of Directors accepted the document as non-binding guidance for MWPA activities. A companion Environmental Manual is forthcoming coinciding with the new fiscal year.
While residents should work with their local fire agency and defensible space inspectors as the ultimate authority, the ESP Partnership document supplements and summarizes ecologically sound best practices related to the creation of defensible space. Among other recommendations, the document encourages residents to choose plants wisely and use native plants rather than invasive ornamental plants; maintain vegetation appropriately, especially near the house, while keeping ecologically sound practices in mind; and develop fire-resilient wildlife habitat corridors. Additionally, the document lists a variety of sources for more information.