The Bay Area’s Priority Conservation Areas

Almost exactly one year ago, Plan Bay Area was adopted. Last week, the Bay Area made its strongest regional commitment yet to protecting our natural and agricultural lands.

On Thursday night, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) unanimously approved the new and improved Priority Conversation Area Program. Plan Bay Area is the vision for how our cities and towns will grow, and the Priority Conservation Area Program is a critical tool for helping our region conserve the lands that provide clean air and water, locally produced food, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation.

Here’s why we’re so excited about the revised program:

  • Formalizes science-based criteria for Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs) and makes the designation process more transparent
  • Rolls all 101 existing PCAs into the new program
  • Facilitates collaboration between cities and open space districts to create new PCAs
  • Works in conjunction with Plan Bay Area’s Priority Development Area Program
  • ABAG also called for significant new funding to support the program

Greenbelt Alliance and our partners, The Nature Conservancy, the Bay Area Open Space Council, and the American Farmland Trust, helped guide the creation of the stronger PCA criteria. Now, the next step is to use these criteria to identify lands that need to be safeguarded and adopt them as new PCAs.

The unanimous adoption of the new program shows that the conservation of our natural and agricultural lands is a priority for the region that transcends politics. The new program equips the Bay Area with the ability to protect the lands that need it the most and to tangibly improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents.

3 Comments on “The Bay Area’s Priority Conservation Areas

  1. How do we know Utilities, Developers, Mall Builders, etc. that have consistently swallowed up land in the past won’t do this again if this plan is as great as you are advertising it as?

    Basically: Have you really taken into account what has gone on already?

  2. The problem I have is “Who decides” how the land is to be saved (and used) and how the decisions are made? What about private property rights? Our country was founded on the principle of unalienable individual rights and private property rights. This sounds like Sustainable Development. The Ford Foundation claims that under “Sustainable Development” “almost 90% of grants” is directed toward the creation of “community rights” over natural resources. Community rights is nothing than government telling us they want 90% more control over the citizens lives and resources, using the community as the excuse. This is Marxist, socialist and communist central planning thinking, not American thinking. Can you explain how individual and private property rights are respected and protected under One Bay Area. Thank you, Kevin Eggers

  3. Well, I guess the above poster opposes the Keystone Pipeline where eminent domain is being used to take over farmers’ lands in Nebraska and other states.

    Conservation groups, on the other hand, usually negotiate with willing sellers.

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