Posted by & filed under News.

We, the Board of Directors of Sonoma County Conservation Action, have been impressed beyond measure by the leadership and passion of our Executive Director, Kerry Fugett. It has been a joy to work with her as she developed into a powerful force in local environmental and social justice movements.


As in ecological systems, we are in continual growth and evolution, and today announce the departure of Kerry as ED of SCCA. At the same time, we are equally uplifted by this opportunity for her to relaunch the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy under Daily Acts in Petaluma.
For the last two and a half years, Kerry played a critical role in the development and growth of the organization. We are proud of her innumerable accomplishments, including:
  • Immediately stepped up during the wildfires to launch community powered disaster relief platform and form the Just and Resilient Future Fund helping raise over $300,000 to distribute to grassroots fire relief and resilience efforts.
  • Nimbly responded to the need to protect our watersheds post-fire by joining the Watershed Collaborative, bringing Chris Grabill and Amara Gromm onto the team to create the collaborative Watershed Protection Program with Russian Riverkeeper, Clean River Alliance, and Community Soil, mobilizing 300+ volunteers to contain debris from over 430 burned properties.
  • Spearheaded the Toxic Free Future campaign to eliminate synthetic pesticides from our schools and open spaces, successfully transitioning Santa Rosa City School District to prioritize non-chemical weed management methods.
  • Grew our membership and greatly scaled our technical capabilities and outreach tools.
  • Greatly expanded our partnership and collaborations through the formation of the Another World is Possible Coalition, mobilizing community members and turning out over 4,000 people at the Community Engagement Fair.
  • Doubled the size and fundraising accomplishments at the Annual Grassroots Gala.
  • A 75% win rate for our endorsed environmental candidates and issues in the 2016 election season, knocking on doors and reaching over 10,000 voters to advocate for our Community Separator renewal, Regional Parks, smart growth policies and candidates.
Over the next few months, we will be conducting a search to find the new Sonoma County Conservation Action Executive Director. It is our priority to find a passionate individual to lead, while ensuring a stable and effective organization.
The job announcement is posted on our website:, and we ask for your help in identifying candidates who can lead Sonoma County Conservation Action, be a spokesperson for our environmental community and ensure that equity is at the core of everything we champion.

We sincerely thank Kerry for her dedication, passion, creativity and energy which has strengthened Sonoma County Conservation Action as the premier environmental advocacy organization in the region. While she will be missed by staff, Board Members, partners and members, we look forward to continuing to work with her to drive change in our community as we bring on our next dynamic community leader.

As our environment faces increasing threats from the Trump administration nationally, and land use decisions locally, the importance our work in advocacy, supporting bold leaders and ensuring accountability is more critical than ever.
We look for a bold leader who can bring us together, ensure equity and environmental justice are core to what we do, and continue to broaden our partnerships and impact, growing SCCA’s role as the trusted environmental leader in Sonoma County.
We please share this job description with any friends, associates or other potentially interested people and encourage them to apply by March 16th.
“SCCA is proud, with our 26 year history of training change makers, to see Kerry step up in this moment to empower local leaders, to strengthen our partnership with Daily Acts, and to expand the ecosystem of inspired innovators in this collective movement,” 
— Neal Fishman, SCCA Board of Directors, President & Michael Allen, SCCA Board of Directors, Board Chair.

Neal Fishman
Sonoma County Conservation Board of Directors, Board President
Michael Allen
Sonoma County Conservation Board of Directors, Board Chair
P.S. Again, we have posted our job announcement on our website (, and are encouraging you to share it with prospective applicants. Our first deadline for submittals is March 16th, but the position will remain open until filled. Thank you!

Posted by & filed under Events, News.


We invite you to join us Saturday, June 23rd from 5:00 to 9:00 pm for a fantastic dinner catered by A La Heart at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa.


Come celebrate and share stories with Sonoma County’s environmental leaders and passionate community members. A La Heart will be serving a delicious three-course meal focused on locally grown, healthy ingredients.


Sponsorship/Ticket Levels:

  • Platinum $2,500 (10 tickets/1 tables)
  • Gold $1,000 (8 tickets/1 table) 
  • Silver $500 (4 tickets)
  • Bronze $300 (2 tickets)

General Admission Ticket Levels:

Advance General Admission $70 (before June 10th) | General Admission $80 (after June 10th)

Email to get your early sponsorship! 





Posted by & filed under News.

by Chris Grabill, SCCA Board Member


More than 100,000 acres burned in the October wildfires, including hundreds of homes along Sonoma County’s streams and creeks. This scale of disaster has a sizable and devastating effect on our water sources.

As winter rains pick up, they add the serious danger of hazardous materials entering our waterways, soils, and groundwater.

The burn area includes 617 streams and creeks, each with numerous damaged home sites in water runoff zones. Clean up efforts are moving as quickly as possible, and we are grateful for Cal Fire’s efforts — but the enormous extent of the fire damage often means that high priority hazards can be overlooked.

For example, days before our first rain, electrical wires lay scattered in Mark West Creek, along with arsenic- and creosote-pressure treated wood debris from 38 different bridges.

Based on our local knowledge, relationships with landowners, and our direct link to state cleanup agencies, SCCA members helped to target and mobilize State Agencies to get the toxic debris removed in a matter of days, just before the rains hit.

This is difficult and intricately detailed work, beyond the capacity of any single agency or organization. Every single dwelling site needs our attention, compassion for the owners and our help to contain the most immediate threat from of toxic ash and rain runoff into waterways.

We have a narrow window to prevent mass contamination through this rainy season, and it will need us all to step up. This means closely coordinating all actions. Grassroots groups move nimbly, but government which tends to be slower, has the resources.

We need to communicate consistent best practices as a community and align our monitoring efforts. If we want to build community trust, and protect ourselves and natural ecosystems from toxins, we must not work in silos. We simply don’t have the time for it.

This is where grassroots shines. And we’ll need your help.

Take an Action! To volunteer go to or contact us to learn more.

Posted by & filed under News.

By Neal Fishman, SCCA Board President 12/2/17

In a matter of a week, over 15,000 family, friends and neighbors lost their homes to the largest wildfires in California history. And now, six weeks later, the second wave of impacts are hitting.

While fire survivors navigate a complex bureaucracy that regulates rebuilding, renters are displaced daily as rent prices soar in an already compromised housing market. Every day, Sonoma County Conservation Action takes regular calls from fire survivors who need help to mitigate toxic runoff and erosion around their property. Their anxiety over toxic exposure is palpable. Sadly, this disaster’s impact is not yet fully realized.

Part of Sonoma County’s beauty is the enormous amount of goodwill that springs up in the face of tragedy. As a grassroots organization built on people power, we know the capacity of our community when effectively mobilized.

But leveraging this outpouring of support requires channeling it, and quickly. So far, donated goods have sat in storage as families scrambled daily for basic necessities. Without effective needs management systems in place, these resources would be lost.

To bridge this clear gap, SCCA spear- headed the launch of Sonoma- This is a locally- managed, people-powered disaster relief platform, used across the nation in communities like ours when they face enormous devastation from hurricanes, fires or other natural disasters.

We knew that the County and survivors would need a nimble, simple and bilingual tool to keep everyone in- formed, to quickly distribute donated goods and to communicate to volunteers. We foresaw the need to match requests to resources in real-time across dozens of organizations and agencies, through a shared platform.

Kerry Fugett, our ED, contributed her database background, and combined it with our SCCA network, to help guide the energized volunteer launch team of six as we kicked off the site’s implementation. Over a week of daily conference calls and never-ending texts passed before we even met in persons.

Through the SonomaCounty.Recovers. org website, we are able to offer personal support to displaced folks. With over 50 organizations sharing this platform, we’ve collectively helped over 1,200 people, received thousands of donations, and signed up over 2,800 volunteers seeking to contribute to our local recovery efforts.

Over 25 years of grassroots organizing prepared our response to this unique and tragic disaster — we have empowered our community by connecting people to action.

Normally we are pushing them to the polls to support good candidates, or to town halls to advocate for better policy; we used that same methodology to put them in touch with their ailing neighbors, our shared watershed recovery efforts, and the community that needs their attention, skills & goodwill.

We have impressive strength as individuals, but our power when we organize and work together is astounding. This recovery support system is stronger than any of us alone, and is the first step in helping retain our community while building a network needed for bouncing back. ◊


Take an Action! To learn more or request support, donate or volunteer, visit

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By Jane Nielson, SCCA Board Member, 12/2/17

“We live in an ecosystem which has evolved to burn,” notes Michael Gillogly, Pepperwood Preserve ranch manager, as he considers that much of the preserve’s 900 acres of grasslands were burned.

The October Tubbs wildfire is not a new phenomenon, it overlaps the 1964 Hanly fire, the 1996 Porter Creek fires, and north of Calistoga, the 1960 Morrison and 1982 Silverado fires. Outlines of the Pocket fire, north of Geyserville, and the Atlas fire in Napa and Solano Counties, replicate areas that had burned in 1960s, 1980s, 2008, and 2013 fires.

In Sonoma Valley, the huge Nuns fire covered more territory than older burns in that area, but only two 1960s–1990s fire zones lie outside its footprint. An exception is the great 2015 Valley fire, which burned from Cobb to south of Middletown, and largely affected lands that had gone untouched by fire for more than a half-century.

Similar conditions present for each of these fires over the last decade spotlight two clear elements: high temperature and high wind speed conditions. Early on October 9th, wind speeds up to 77 miles per hour were recorded on a hilltop in Napa County, close to the estimated origin of the Tubbs Fire.

These and other data suggest that hot fires are likely to sweep across areas of north-coast California on a semi-regular basis—perhaps with about a 30 or 40- year periodicity.

The lifestyles of indigenous people conformed better to this natural fire cycle: building smaller and simpler dwellings of lightweight materials, and moving village sites seasonally. Indigenous people also set fires in woodlands to keep forests open and accessible, and to encourage food and medicinal plant growth.

We now need to examine the likelihood that wildfire will always be a fact of life in Sonoma and neighboring Counties. Rising temperatures due to climate warming may increase the frequencies and the heat of cyclic fires.

Based on past fire frequencies and threats, fire researchers and local leaders need to study if and how American construction and living patterns might adapt to the natural cycle of fire in lands that may not be tamable. ◊

Posted by & filed under News.

By Megan Kaun, Nichole Warwick, Lendri Purcell


California will restrict farmers’ use of certain pesticides near schools ac- cording to a new rule announced this November. Taking effect Jan. 1, farmers will no longer be allowed to spray certain pesticides within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and li- censed daycares from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week.

While we are thrilled to see this statewide progress, locally we continue to experience the use of toxic pesticides in our public spaces and schoolyards. Sonoma County, now more than ever, needs to hold onto this vision of a toxic free future.

With contamination from ash and hazardous debris in runoff from burned areas, our watershed needs even more protection. This disaster reinforces the danger of depending on toxic materials in our everyday lives, because ultimately, they will end up in our environment.

Since SCCA launched the Toxic Free Future campaign in June, we have met with the department heads of key County departments responsible for public land management. These include the Agricultural Commissioner, Water Agency, Regional Parks, General Services and Public Works.

We’ve also met with multiple supervisors and continue to work directly with staff to move forward a County wide centralized pesticide management plan. We need to create transparent reporting, identify a reduction goal and outline a work plan to reduce synthetic pesticide use.

We also are working with the Assistant Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools, André Bell, to also reduce synthetic pesticide use at schools.

Over two hundred community members joined our panel discussion at Susan Moore’s No Name Women’s group in September. Erin Mullen from Landpaths proved that large scale land management with- out synthetic pesticides is possible. Mara Ventura from North Bay Jobs with Justice spotlighted the disproportionate impact of pesticides on low income landscapers and mi- grant workers. Nichole Warwick from Daily Acts shared her story of surviving environmentally caused cancer and the environmental health impacts affecting children in Sonoma County. Supervisor Lynda Hopkins offered her perspective as an organic farmer, and Megan Kaun ignited hope as a mom turned super activist.

In this month’s Made Local Magazine article, Supervisor Hopkins asked, “How do we make it normal not to spray chemicals into our ditches, which by the way runs straight into our creek, and from our creeks into our river where our kids play?”

We agree that we have to redefine “normal” and get these toxics out of our environment and homes, for our health and for the health of our planet.

Take an Action! 

Go to our Toxic Free Future campaign page to learn more and email your elected officials today!

Volunteer by signing up on


Posted by & filed under Archived Events, News.

As we grapple with the trauma from the recent wildfires, it’s important we create space for our community to come together.

This is why we are particularly grateful to be able to invite you to our Holiday Party on Monday, December 18th at 5:30pm.Come enjoy a delicious potluck provided by our Board Members, warm company among SCCA Members and love from our community.

All you have to do is show up! 

Address: 540 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa. Across from the Odd Fellows Hall

Time: 5:30 p – 8:00 p


Posted by & filed under News.



OES Hazardous Waste and Debris Removal Fact Sheet

Questions have circulated about how to most quickly and effectively proceed with toxic waste clean up as rains approach.

This work is essential as Adobe Creek and Mark West watershed, among others, are at risk of toxic runoff.

The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) has just provided the most up-to-date information (10/25/17) for homeowners and residents affected by the fires.

It lists and answers frequently asked questions as well as cleanup start dates in different counties and jurisdictions. This is an official government document.



Posted by & filed under News.


By Kerry Fugett, 10/16/17

The devastation that hit Sonoma County residents, students, small business owners, workers and our environment during the recent wild fires has been enormous. With well over 7,000 structures destroyed, our community has had to come together like never before.

As a leader in grassroots mobilization, Sonoma County Conservation Action stepped in on day one to help our community stay informed, work together and develop a platform for long term relief coordination.

To do this, we helped launch the website.

What is is a locally-managed bilingual website that works with local organizations, government and volunteers to help fire victims meet their individual needs without delay.

By leveraging the national community-powered disaster relief platform, we were able to start pulling together thousands of volunteers and donations in a matter of days, matching them to real-time needs in our community…by the minute! 

With over 50 local organizations working together on the backend of this site, we have already been able to meet over 150 individual needs in our community.

How does work?

With over 40 trained volunteer “matchers” on the backend, we are actively matching individual needs to resources in real-time as they are submitted on the website.

Fire victims can easily use the site to log a need for assistance, goods or services.

Community members can offer a donation or sign up to volunteer, noting their specific skill set and availability.

This easy sign-up process, multi-organizational collaboration and up-to-date recovery information makes this the most powerful site for helping meet the individual needs of our community following this crisis.

Simple, nimble and accessible, it has forever changed how communities can collaborate to support each other during and after a crisis.

How can you get involved?

If you know of an organization involved in disaster relief, invite them to use this tool! It’s free of charge and available to our local non profits to facilitate coordinate and collaboration. They just need to go to and apply as a representative of a local organization.

If you are interested in volunteering as a community need “matcher”, please email with “Matcher” in the subject line. Donations can also be logged on this site.  When a need is submitted that matches your donation offer, we’ll make the connection!

Together, we can not only re-build our community, but we can create a more resilient, equitable and networked community and healthy ecosystem.


Posted by & filed under News.

UPDATE: 10/15/17 – Vetoed by Governor Brown. Veto Message:

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 649 without my signature. 

This bill establishes a uniform permitting process for small cell wireless equipment and fixes the rates local governments may charge for placement of that equipment on city or county owned property, such as streetlights and traffic signal poles. 

There is something of real value in having a process that results in extending this innovative technology rapidly and efficiently. Nevertheless, I believe that the interest which localities have in managing rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill. 


California State Senate Bill 649 is speeding toward passage by the California legislature and would take away local control and public input when installing small cell wireless facilities in our cities and towns.

We have joined over 295 cities and 47 (out of 58) counties, and dozens of health, environment, consumer, and justice organizations representing millions of Californians in opposing SB 649. SB 649 could harm California.

Peer-reviewed published science shows radiation is harmful to people, and nature and children are especially vulnerable. SB 649 would eliminate local control and public input.  It would allow unlimited access to deploy refrigerator-size equipment on utility and light poles, and sidewalks with no safety oversight.

Cities would have no recourse to remove a tower even if every resident complained. 

Please take a moment to do a few quick things:
1) Call your Assembly member now. It’s best to call the District Office. Find your Assembly
member by putting in your address, and then clicking on the link that comes up for the
Assembly (not Senate).

2)Call Assembly Member Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher, the chair of the Appropriations Committee (916) 319-2081 and Anthony Rendon, the Speaker Tel: (916) 319-2063 and tell them NO ON SB 649

3) Call or write to Gov. Jerry Brown and ask him to veto the bill when it comes to his desk:
Governor Jerry Brown Fax: (916) 558-3160
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173 Email:
Sacramento, CA 95814