Vegetation and Biodiversity Management

Reducing fire risk, controlling invasive species, and restoring native habitat on open space lands.

Marin County is a regional and national leader in ecologically sound open space vegetation management. Throughout Marin County are 34 open space preserves that harbor unique species and ecosystems and provide visitors a chance to experience some of the most treasured landscapes in northern California. Vegetation management goals:

  • Protect sensitive habitats
  • Reduce fire fuel hazards
  • Manage invasive plants
  • Provide safe and sustainable recreation opportunities

Crew removing fallen tree Sheep herder with grazing animals and herd dog Early Detection, Rapid Response team identifying invasive plant species Firefighters burning brush piles 


Because of Measure A, vegetation and biodiversity management capabilities have significantly expanded. Marin County Ordinance 3760 puts boots on the ground, by funding the Tam crew and Foundry crew in collaboration with Marin County Fire. It also supports Conservation Corps North Bay crews, and other contracted services, including substantial numbers of seasonal grazing animals. This provides an array of tools to draw upon in the effort to reduce fire fuel, maintain emergency access, reduce invasive plant species, create healthier habitats, and support safe recreation in Marin County preserves.

  • Marin County Fire Tam Crew takes on pile-burning and management of large eucalyptus as their fire fighting schedule allows.
  • Marin County FIRE Foundry Crew reduces understory fuels, clears dead and woody debris, and manages invasive species.
  • MCOSD maintenance crew perform routine maintenance, such as mowing and removing hazards.
  • Contracted tree specialists support tree hazard mitigation and removal of down trees.
  • Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB) assists on a variety of projects – clearing brush, weed whacking, and removing debris.
  • Sheep, goat, cattle, and horse grazing are used strategically in different areas of county preserves.
  • Contracted service crews are hired as needed to work in high priority areas.
  • Early Detection, Rapid Response team conducts surveys for invasive plants throughout all Marin County preserves.

Vegetation Management Open Data

MCOSD maintains information and visualizations about open space vegetation management, including the interactive work map below, on the County of Marin Open Data portal.


In March 2020, Marin voters funded the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA), a new agency to lead the development of fire adapted communities in Marin. The MCOSD engages in an ongoing collaboration with MWPA and Marin County Fire, as well as other regional fire agencies, to maximize the effectiveness of resources and establish vegetation management priorities.

Marin County Parks is a One Tam partner. Recent initiatives include the Marin County Vegetation Mapping and Land Cover Data site. Aerial imagery, QL1 lidar, topographic, vegetation, and other landcover data across Marin County is now available to support a variety of applications including vegetation management and monitoring, habitat modeling, change detection, fire and flood preparedness, and more. Data is available free for the county as whole, by watershed, or specific areas.

For questions about the Vegetation and Biodiversity Management program contact Vegetation and Fire Ecologist Sarah Minnick.