About Buck Gully. Buck Gully is a natural, coastal canyon that occurs within the City of Newport Beach (City), Orange County, California (County). The canyon is bounded by urbanized areas, including single-family residences, roadways, and the Pelican Hills Golf Course. The watershed draining into Buck Gully encompasses approximately 1,200 acres and includes portions of the San Joaquin foothills. Ownership of the canyon has changed over the years from The Irvine Company, to the County, and finally the City. The City has a history of protecting, conserving and maintaining valuable open space areas that define the City’s urban form, serve as habitat for many species, and provide recreational opportunities to the public. In 2005, the City authorized the acceptance of certain scenic easements, a resource preservation easement, and fee ownership of reserve lands in Upper Buck Gully and the Newport Coast. The Upper part of the Gully, roughly inland of 5th Avenue in Corona del Mar, is publicly-held and owned by the City. Lower Buck Gully (coastward of 5th Avenue) is privately-held. The residences that abut the Gully from 5th Avenue coastward hold fee title to the property (generally) all the way down to the center of the creekbed.
NCCP. Large portions of Buck Gully are included within the 37,380-acre Reserve system of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) known as the Central-Coastal Subregion Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP). The City revised the Natural Resources Element of their General Plan to provide direction regarding the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources within their sphere of influence, which included Buck Gully. Under a contract with the City for resource management, in 2008 the Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) accepted management and operation responsibilities for the Upper Buck Gully reserve area (the public lands).
About the RRMP. As a signatory to the Central-Coastal Subregion NCCP/HCP, the City has certain obligations under the Implementation Agreement to ensure the appropriate management of Upper Buck Gully. These obligations are shared with the IRC and includes the preparation, approval, and implementation of a Resource and Recreation Management Plan (RRMP). The RRMP focuses on preserving and protecting the unique resources of Upper Buck Gully while integrating passive recreation uses, as appropriate. The RRMP, shown in the left column, describes existing conditions, public access and recreation management, the physical and natural resources management, and the monitoring and adaptive management of resources located within the habitat Reserve System.
Status. The Draft RRMP is under review by California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USWFS), and the Nature Reserve of Orange County (NROC) Board of Directors.
For information about Lower Buck Gully, specifically fire prevention issues, contact the Newport Beach Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division at 949-644-3106 or use this link: http://www.city.newport-beach.ca.us/FMD/default.htm
Updated Draft Plan - July 2009
Additional project information is available on the City's CIP Construction Map.