Update: The Vital Lands Initiative in Sonoma County is re-launching after a delay due to the North Bay fires. Join Greenbelt Alliance in reviewing the draft plan during a series of public workshops beginning in March 2018.
If you love the rolling hills, coastal bluffs, redwood forests and rich farm and ranch land of Sonoma County, now is your chance to share what favorite landscapes you’d like to protect forever! Whether you live in Sonoma or like to visit the area, we hope you’ll join us to engage in the new Vital Lands Initiative of the Sonoma County Agricultural Protection and Open Space District.
You can help decide which are the most important lands to protect with the $22 million raised each year by the quarter-cent sales tax for open space added to purchases made in Sonoma County. We recommend participating in a public workshop or writing an email or letter to say what lands you think need protection along with the threats you see to these lands.
Here are a few of the things we would like to see:
- Community separator easements in perpetuity around every town and city.
- Ag lands permanently protected for food production close to communities.
- More urban open space.
- Wildlife corridor easements.
- Groundwater and forest lands protected in perpetuity.
- Tight limits on the privatization of public lands.
- Public access zones that define what type of recreation is acceptable where.
At a recent public workshop in Healdsburg, we gathered to listen, learn, and think about the future of our precious natural and working lands. We watched a new short film about the founders of the Open Space District nearly three decades ago, featuring Greenbelt Alliance board member Dee Swanhuyser. We also heard about the 110,000 acres protected to date (10 percent of Sonoma County), and then met in small groups with district staff before visiting stations with maps, asking questions, and completing comment cards. All in all, this public workshop was a resounding success and we hope to see you at the next one!
- Attend a Vital Lands Initiative Community Meeting.
- Check out the Press Democrat’s article on the Vital Lands Initiative.
- Sign-up to receive email updates about the initiative here.
Contact Regional Director Teri Shore for additional ways to get involved and learn more!
Photo: Eugene Kim via Flickr