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Zoe Siegel

Announcing the Priority Conservation Area Program Refresh Final Report

Greenbelt Alliance has been working with Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and Association of Bay Area Governments (AGAB) on refreshing the Priority Conservation Area Program over the past year. This project, funded by a grant from the Sustainable Agricultural Lands and Conservation (SALC) Program and managed by the California Department of Conservation, supports a refresh of the Priority Conservation Area Program (PCA) planning framework. The refresh effort identifies recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the region’s conservation planning framework, and incorporates a wider range of policy concerns, such as equity and resilience to climate hazards.

Now, MTC and ABAG is seeking public and stakeholder feedback on draft final recommendations emerging from the PCA Refresh. Comments are due by March 31 with the ABAG Executive Board slated to consider the item in May 2024.

Learn more and provide public comments at abag.ca.gov/our-work/land-use/pca-priority-conservation-areas.

What is a Priority Conservation Area

Priority Conservation Areas are locations designated for the protection of natural habitats and the preservation of open space for future generations. This includes farming, ranching, recreational and resource lands. This effort emerged as a direct result of advocacy for greater open space protection and funding during the previous Plan Bay Area.

Why This is Important

PCAs were first envisioned in 2007. The current refresh effort is the first major update to this framework in 15+ years, shaping PCAs into a more usable land use planning geography while integrating equity and climate adaptation throughout the process

What’s New?

PCAs are categorized by four designations that recognize the vitality of the Bay Area’s natural systems, rural economy and the health of all residents:

  • Natural landscapes
  • Agricultural lands
  • Urban greening
  • Regional recreation

How Do I Learn More?

A Draft Final Report outlines a recommended suite of reforms to the PCA planning framework for regional policymakers to consider. The Draft Final Report is open for public review through March 31, 2024 before it will be considered by the ABAG Executive Board later this spring. You can email feedback on the Draft Final Report to mgermeraad@bayareametro.gov.

Click here to read the Priority Conservation Area Refresh Draft Final Report.
Click here to explore the Priority Conservation Area Refresh Online Mapping Viewer.

Photo by Karl Nielsen

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