County Seeks Public Input on Development of North County Plan


The County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) preserves San Diego's native habitats and wildlife for future generations. The MSCP was established in 1997 in partnership with 11 other jurisdictions, the Wildlife Agencies, and various community stakeholders as a regional strategy to help preserve our region’s unique biodiversity while balancing recreation, development, and agriculture.

The overall effect of the MSCP is that it provides for large, connected preserve areas that address a number of species' needs at the habitat level rather than species-by-species or area-by-area. This creates a more efficient and effective preserve system that better protects rare, threatened, and endangered species in the region. The unincorporated county is split into three separate MSCP subareas; South County, North County, and East County. The South County Subarea Plan was adopted in 1998.

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On October 28, 2020 (6), the Board of Supervisors directed staff to continue development of the North County Multiple Species Conservation Plan (North County Plan) as a joint Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan to achieve many of the same environmental and economic benefits realized through the adopted County Subarea Plan (South County Plan). The North County Plan would extend the MSCP into the northern portion of the unincorporated county. 

Public Input into the North County Plan

A great deal of collaborative work has gone into development of the North County Plan. The North County Plan Stakeholder Working Group (formerly Steering Committee) was formed in 2017 and includes a diverse group of  stakeholders that represent the environmental, agricultural, recreational,  and development communities. The Stakeholder Working Group meets to review and discuss components of the draft plan, serving as a sounding board for their respective interest groups.

In alignment with the County’s goals to increase transparency in government, the County invited interested members of the community to attend and listen in at our recent Stakeholder Working Group Meeting that was held virtually on October 25th. A total of 49 individuals were in attendance including 19 members of the public. The County’s consultant, ICF, presented information on the draft plan area, preserve design, and covered species list. The discussion included the methodology that was used to refine and expand the previous plan area, assumptions that were used to develop the draft preserve design, and the various factors that were used to assess the species to be added to the covered species list within the expanded plan area.

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Comments from members of the Stakeholder Working Group included requests from the County to include an analysis on how the Climate Action Plan and Vehicle Miles Traveled regulations will tie into the North County Plan, confirm accurate mapping of grazing lands, and finalizing the County’s approach for analyzing which exemptions will be included in the plan, among others. You can access the presentation slides and watch the full meeting recording under the Public Outreach section of the North County Plan webpage.

Next Steps

The County will be holding virtual public workshops for the North County Plan to review the draft Plan Area boundary, preserve design, and covered species list with members of the public. The workshops will be held on November 30 and December 6, from 6 pm – 8 pm. The information will be the same for both workshops. We have provided two dates for multiple opportunities for the public to engage with staff. If you would like to attend, please visit the North County Plan webpage for more information.

You can also stay involved in the North County Plan project by subscribing to receive email notifications for important project notices and information. If you have any questions, want to request interpretation services, or want to provide written comments, please contact Chelsea Oakes at