File #: 2022-1040   
Type: Regular Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/7/2022 In control: Regional Parks
On agenda: 10/4/2022 Final action:
Title: Co-Management Agreement with Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) for Tolay Lake Regional Park
Department or Agency Name(s): Regional Parks
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Agreement

To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): Sonoma County Regional Parks

Staff Name and Phone Number: Bert Whitaker, 707-565-3064

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): First, Second




Co-Management Agreement with Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) for Tolay Lake Regional Park



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Authorize the Chair of the Board and Director of Regional Parks to enter into a Co-Management Agreement for Tolay Lake Regional Park in partnership with the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria for a twenty-year term. (First and Second Districts)



Executive Summary:

The purpose of this Co-Management Agreement by and between the County of Sonoma by and through the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department (Regional Parks) and the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria (FIGR) for Tolay Lake Regional Park (Tolay) is to implement and facilitate co-management between the parties. The Parties agree to work together in good faith to implement and advance the co-management of Tolay Park.


This will include collaboration and consultation as co-managers, that respects the FIGR’s status as a sovereign nation, and recognizes traditional ecological knowledge as beneficial and influential in the co- management of Tolay Park.  Co-management of Tolay Park includes but is not limited to, park operations and administration; cultural and natural resource management activities; land use and management activities; interpretation, education and community engagement programs; the Tribe’s access and use of Tolay Park resources; emergency response; and the development of projects of mutual interest.



Tolay Lake Regional Park (Tolay) is approximately 3,434 acres is size, located about 5 miles southeast of the City of Petaluma and was opened to the public in October 2018. The Park Master Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors on October 9, 2018 represents a collaborative effort between Regional Parks and FIGR to guide the development of park improvements, provide public access, ensure cultural resource protection, offer culturally relevant interpretive programs, and restore and enhance the parks diverse natural resources.


Regional Parks and FIGR have been co-managing Tolay Park with regular discussions, onsite tours, training sessions and consensus-based collaborations. The youth educational programs have been reimagined and will be taught by FIGR and Parks staff and will integrate land stewardship and the use of culturally significant plants. The use of prescribed fire and sheep grazing is being implemented to better tend the cultural landscapes of the park, and projects are ongoing to provide an audio tour for visitors and a new gathering area that will support expanded interpretation that is highly accessible and inspiring.

Regional Parks and FIGR have been working together since 2005 to develop protocols and procedures to protect cultural and tribal cultural resources and to promote awareness of the unique Native American tribal history associated with Tolay Lake. In 2010 both parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the interim protocols regarding communications and procedures for tribal monitoring and treatment of cultural resources within the park. In 2011 the Tribe and Regional Parks established a “cooperating agency” relationship for participation in the development of the park master plan, and that agreement was extended through October 9, 2019.


On October 8, 2019, the FIGR and the County entered into an Interim Co-Management Agreement in order to develop a long-term co-management agreement. Regional Parks, as the lead agency, has been working to develop the Historic Property Treatment Plan (HPTP) and adopt an Implementing Memorandum of Agreement in coordination with FIGR and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Regional Parks and FIGR have invested resources and worked collaboratively to protect and preserve historic sites, tribal cultural resources, sacred sites, and the natural resources in Tolay Park through environmental and cultural resource protection, site stewardship, and education and interpretation. Regional Parks and FIGR have also designated staff and resources to implement the purposes identified in the Co-Management Agreement.


The proposed Co-Management Agreement, with a 20-year term, identifies five areas of engagement that will serve as the foundation for co-management under this agreement.


1.                     Access and Use of Park Resources

2.                     Cultural Resource Stewardship

3.                     Traditional Ecological Knowledge

4.                     Operations and Administration

5.                     Interpretation, Education, and Community Engagement


Regional Parks and the Tribe will jointly develop policies and procedures to co-manage the areas of engagement while also collaborating in the preparation and review of project proposals of mutual interest.


Strategic Plan:



Prior Board Actions:

October 8, 2019, Board approved Interim Co-Management Agreement

October 8, 2018, Board approved Tolay Lake Reginal Parks Master Plan and Environmental Impact Report and extended the Memorandum of Agreement for the Tolay Lake Regional Park Master Plan and Environmental Review Process through October 9, 2019.

August 9, 2011, Board approved Memorandum of Agreement for the Tolay Lake Regional Park Master Plan and Environmental Review Process.

October 26, 2010, Board approved Memorandum of Understanding for the Tolay Lake Regional Park Interim Plan.


Fiscal Summary


FY 22-23 Adopted

FY23-24 Projected

FY 24-25 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

The annual cost for management and maintenance at Tolay Lake Regional Park is approximately $650,000.  These costs are funded with a combination of park-driven revenues (like parking and use fees and the Tolay Fall Festival), as well as contributions from General Fund/TOT, Measure M, and Parks fees.  Activities and expenses implementing co-management at Tolay are included in the current FY 22-23 adopted budget.


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Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: