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Sonoma County Conservation Action is turning 25 this year! To celebrate a quarter of a century of fighting for Sonoma County’s environmental heritage, we celebrated on June 18th with our members and amazing community, we awarded our Environmental Leaders Jared Huffman, US Congress 2nd District, Ted Eliot, former US Ambassador, and Cea Higgins of Surfrider Foundation.

We are incredibly thankful for our sponsors, members, supporters and friends. You make this possible.

THANK YOU

 Our photographer, Patricia Brunelle, has made her photographs available for download online, check them out by clicking HERE!

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Thank you to our Gala Sponsors!

25 More Years!

SSCA Board President Neal Fishman & Maxene Spellman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 551, Jackson Family Winery, Service Empoloyees Unternational Union Local 1021, Rick Theis & Carolyn Johnson

Community Separators

Guy Conner, US Congressman Jared Huffman, Robert Jacob, SCCA Board Member Jane Nielson & Howard Wilshire, Warren Watkins & SCCA Board Member Janis Watkins, Assemblymember Jim Wood

SMART Transit Equity

SCCA Board Chair Michael Allen, Marc & Jeannie Khan, Eleanor Kneibler, North Bay Labor Council AFL-CIO, North Bay Organizing Project, David Schonbrunn

Coastal Access

Jack Tibbett, Lucy Kortum, Barbara & Jake MacKenzie Rohnert Park City Council member, State Senator Mike McGuire, Petaluma Tomorrow, SCCA Board Member Anne Seeley & Brien Seeley, Sonoma County Water Coalition, James Winston

Localized Compost

Chris Rogers, Marea Canizzaro, Alan Siegle, Beth Martinez, Daniel Gurney, David Grabill & Dorthy Battenfeld, SRJC Trustee, Sebastopol City Mayor Sarah Glad Gurney & Daniel Gurney, SCCA Board Member Edward Sheffield & Beth Dadko, Greenbelt Alliance, Hank Flum, Kenneth Wells, L Willard Richards, Margaret Fishman, Margaret Spaulding, Matthew & LaRee Maguire, Sara Sharp Goldstein, Beth & Hugo Martinez, L. Willard & Nancy Richards, SOAR Inflatables, Sonia Taylor, Sonoma County Water Coalition, Veronica Jacobi, Russian Riverkeeper, Julie Combs Santa Rosa City Council, Chris Coursey, Margaret Spaulding, Kenneth Wells

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Hello Conservation Action Community!

 

Today we celebrate National Voter Registration Day with a important civic information! First, If you have not registered to vote, and have the capability to do so, we ask that you go to the Secretary of State’s online portal to register today. Now with that out of the way, here are a series of key election dates that we ask everyone to keep in mind. Your vote is important to the future of Sonoma County’s conservation and environmental health, so we want to make sure you have all the information you need.

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Election Timeline

  • September 29th: First day that sample ballots arrive.
  • October 10th: Absentee Ballot voting opens.
  • October 24th: The last day to register to vote. Registration must either be post marked or electronically filed no later than this date.
  • November 1st: The deadline to request an absentee ballot if you are already registered to vote.
  • November 8th: Election Day! If you are not able to return your absentee ballot by mail, you must return your ballot in person at either the Registrar of Voters Office, or any polling place in Sonoma County. This must take place no later than 8 p.m. on election day.
  • November 11th: The last day to receive a VBM ballot in the mail that was post marked no later than November 8th.

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For more information, check out the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters website, or the California Secretary of State’s website.

 

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Sonoma County Community Separators

Supervisors Unanimously Approve Community Separator Ballot Measure and Designations

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Today the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to renew longstanding protections for green buffers between towns and cities for another 20 years with a ballot measure requiring a countywide majority vote in the November General Election.

The Community Separator Protection Ordinance will extend existing protections for rural open space and agricultural lands designated as community separators by preventing conversion to shopping malls, housing tracts or resort hotels without a vote of the people.

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The supervisors also added lands to the existing eight community separators and established a long overdue community separator between Healdsburg and Cloverdale.

“This is the most important greenbelt policy measure in Sonoma County in decades,” said Teri Shore, Regional Director for Greenbelt Alliance in Santa Rosa.  “It will preserve what we have and hold back sprawl for the next generation.”

 

Community separators have protected Sonoma County from the sprawl seen elsewhere and, combined with Urban Growth Boundaries, form the backbone of city-centered growth policies dating back more than two decades.

No taxes or fees are part of the ballot measure nor does it change existing land use or property taxes.

 

The Community Separator Protection Ordinance will protect a total of 53,576 acres of rural open space and farmlands from subdivision and sprawl. The community separators remain in place whether or not the ballot measure passes. View interactive map on county website.

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An independent campaign committee has formed to pass the ballot measure, Keep Our Community Separators.

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By Kerry Fugett, Executive Director

 

Stepping into Dennis Rosatti’s role as Executive Director can certainly be described as “big shoes to fill”. But I am ready for this challenge and am extremely honored and excited for the opportunity to take those shoes and stretch them out. To keep those shoes knocking on 50,000+ doors a year, educating and building our community to achieve a healthy quality of life and ecologically thriving environment in Sonoma County.

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The environmental movement is shifting, as we stand on the shoulders of those before us, we must open our arms and acknowledge the impacts of social pressures affecting our environment. Longstanding, unsolved problems are festering: affordability of housing, stagnant wages, crumbling infrastructure, the impacts of climate change, and a generation who wants to call Sonoma County home but struggles to find a salaried job locally. This all affects our environment: carbon emissions from long commutes and increasing traffic, development pressures on open spaces, our local coastal access being used as a quick fix to state level funding problems.    While there is no shortage of problems, there is equally no shortage of solutions. Our community is filled with brilliant minds, passionate groups of millennials thinking outside the box, and advocates for our environment. The crucial piece is that we build the right alliances and push to have our values and voices represented in local government.

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Join Conservation Action for a float down the Russian River with Don McEnhill, the Russian Riverkeeper & RiverKeeper Executive Director!

 

Learn about current water and river issues, and how we can do our part to help protect this incredibly valuable resource.

 

Paddle down the beautiful Middle Reach of theRussian River. This remote 6.5 mile journey will take us through an intimate and rarely accessed part of the river; providing the opportunity to see the river’s abundant wildlife in a new light!

 

Key Details!

Date: Thursday, July 21st

Slide Scale Donation: $50-100

RSVP: Email Kerry@conservationaction.org for tickets

Arrival Time: 3:45 pm

Start Time: 4:00 pm (we will leave on time, so don’t be late) 

Meeting Location: Wohler Bridge Parking Lot, Corner of Wohler & Westside Roads, Outside Forestville

 

Click here for more information about the Russian River, and the continuing efforts of the Russian River Keepers to protect it.

P.S.

Canoes are provided for you and are sponsored by Russian River Adventures!

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What Is It?

A County-Wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) that intends to provide a regional framework for addressing climate change. The plan builds on Sonoma County’s historic practice of reducing Green House Admission through a combination of regional standards and local autonomy.

 

The Climate Action Plan is being developed through a collaboration with the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA), working groups from each local jurisdiction, as well as a stakeholder advisory group, among others.

 

Why Now?

As cited by the RCPA, climate emissions in Sonoma County have declined since the 1990s. The concern is that these losses are expected to turn into gains, by 2020, if further action isn’t taken. This is why the current planning process is focused on near and long term goals.

  • By 2020, reducing Green House Gasses by 25% below 1990s levels
  • By 2050, Reducing Green House Gasses by 80% below 1990s levels

 

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The Proposal

  • California State Parks has proposed a plan to create Fee Collection locations along the Sonoma County Coastline.
  • The proposal would allow for $8 day passes for entrance into some locations, while having $3 hourly parking fees in others. There would be a low income pass, and a credit system, but none of these elements have been concretely laid out.
  • The plan has been re-submitted to the Coastal Commission for approval after the County unanimously rejected it.

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Sonoma County Has Its Faults: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Story

 

V1 Sonoma County Has Its Faults-A Rock 'n' Roll Story

Join us for Dr. Jane Nielson’s explanation of the origin of our geologic hazards, why we always have to account for their effects, and how best to protect yourself and your family.

Knowledge is power and being informed of the realities of living in Sonoma County is essential, as our communities rapidly grow and expand.

  • Do you know how many faults cross Sonoma County? There are 2 dangerous active faults, and many other fault breaks that could be hazardous…and they’re still finding more
  • Where in the County do you expect the greatest shaking to occur?
  • Do City and County Planners aim to reduce hazards for new developments? Not necessarily…

Dr. Jane Nielson, who holds B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geochemistry and petrology, and has worked 18 years as a field and research geologist for US Geological Survey, explains Sonoma County’s unique geological history and how it impacts us moving forward.

Thursday March 24th at 6:00pm at the Sebastopol Grange

To buy tickets now, go to  conservationaction.brownpapertickets.com

 

 

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Dear Friends, Members and Supporters,

 

I am writing to announce my departure from Sonoma County Conservation Action. We are looking for someone great to take my place! The Executive Director job posting is found on our website

Dennis Rosatti

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved in the leadership of Conservation Action the past 13 years. When I discovered Sonoma County, I was awestruck with the biological diversity, the coast, the redwood forests, and the amazing community of people. The working agricultural landscape, vineyards, parks and open spaces coexisting with urban areas and little towns, all within an hour or so of the great City of San Francisco, almost seemed too good to be true.

Conservation Action offered me the job as a canvasser that turned into a career as not only a non-profit program manager and eventually executive director, but as a full-time environmental activist. I was given the chance to use my education, my skills and my passion, putting it into action on a local level where we were able to realize results. I learned about electoral politics, relationship building, coalition building with like minded organizations and people, and the nurturing of ideas in the political sphere of local and regional government.

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Key areas of concern

  1. Budgetary Ambiguity Over

    • Projected revenue from the proposal,
    • Insight into use patterns and the feasibility of raising the projected revenues,
    • Costs associated with the proposed pay stations,
    • System maintenance costs,
    • How money will be used, and if there will be additional services for the community.
  2. Equity Barriers

    • Could create 2-tier access, with low income members of the community having to look for beaches with free access.
    • Sonoma County, compared to Southern California, has significantly less public transportation options to the coast.
    • Adding additional shuttles to the coast could cost more than $300,000 per year. If this option were to be explored, who would pay for it, and how would that factor into the proposal’s revenue goals?
    • Will this fee plan unduly penalize the transportation needs of the disabled?
  3. Incongruent Values: Demand Pricing Model

    • It is unnacceptable to charge people more on sunny days, holidays, and other designated peak use periods.
    • Variable charges may have negative effects on tourism, hurting the local economy as a consequence.
  4. Environmental Impacts

    • The proposal has not addressed the possibility of direct or indirect environmental impacts.
    • Two different pay station types have already been proposed. What type of pay station is being proposed now? What are the power, size, and maintenance requirements? What will the overall environmental footprint look like?
    • If the proposal increases roadside parking, what will the affect be from environmental erosion and subsequent habitat displacement?
  5. Public Safety

    • Does the proposal take into account any possible changes in traffic patterns as a result of people searching for free parking?
    • Does the proposal take into account the increased likelihood of fires from cars parked on the side of the road?
    • Does the proposal consider the possibility of increased accidents between cyclists and motorists search for roadside parking?