What's chaparral? If chaparral is not a recognizable resource, like a forest or meadow, citizens do not understand its value. This is why chaparral education is so important. If we don't know what we've got 'til it's gone...
California Ugly. Chaparral being consumed by expanding development in San Marcos, California. Although development and growth are an important part of any economy, so is preserving native open space for families to enjoy nature. Children need natural places to roam and families need natural places to play.
The San Marcos Decapitation. The most significant geographic symbol for the city of San Marcos in San Diego County is the beautiful, chaparral covered mountain you see in the background. The large bulldozed ridge top (Double Peak) has unnecessarily scarred this landscape forever. The Decapitation is part of the San Elijo Hills development project on the other side. Note brownish, cleared area above the house on the lower right. Another example of poor land management. Closer views of these areas can be seen below.
Close up of the San Marcos Decapitation looking south from Highway 78.
Backside of the San Marcos Decapitation. This view is looking north from Black Mountain in Rancho Penasquitos. Most of the south facing mountain side is being graded for buildings and associated infrastructure for the San Elijo Hills development project. Homes need to be built for growing communities, but natural open space is crucial to create a healthy family environment.
Close-up of excessive clearing of chaparral. The area behind the large, white house has been improperly managed ("cleared") and demonstrates the kind of environmental damage that can occur when individuals or government agencies overreact. This area is now full of non-native weeds which are much more flammable than the surrounding, native chaparral. This kind of mix increases the chance of a wildland fire. For details on proper vegetation thinning around homes see our "Protecting Your Home" subpage under "Fire and People."