Posted by & filed under Campaigns, News.

Sonoma County’s native oak forests and woodlands are under attack and we have a great opportunity to make a real impact in our county’s future.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is currently formulating their 5-year strategic plan and they must include real oak and forest land protections. For decades Sonoma County’s iconic oak forests have been excessively cleared in the name of development and vineyards. Much of this county-permitted cutting is being done without rigorous regard for the ecological importance of native oak and forest lands.

It’s proven that mature forests store significantly more carbon than younger trees. Oak forests sequester carbon in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter and in forest soils. Photo provided.
It’s proven that mature forests store significantly more carbon than younger trees. Oak forests sequester carbon in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter and in forest soils. Photo provided.

Oak woodlands destruction is an attack on Sonoma County’s wildlife and scenic identity. Residents of Sonoma County can make their voices heard and urge the Board of Supervisors to enact a moratorium on tree cutting, immediately. While vineyards are a landmark of our scenery, so are the native oak forests.

A moratorium on tree cutting is imperative for our native habitats as well as our ecological footprint as a county. If we are to really become carbon neutral by 2050, we need a moratorium on cutting until we have a clearer picture of the situation and have developed a realistic climate-oriented tree ordinance to regulate cutting in the future.

On September 17, 2019, the Board of Supervisors of Sonoma County declared a Climate Change Emergency and pledged to support a county-wide framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to pursue local actions that support, among other goals, to protect and enhance the value of open and working lands and increasing carbon sequestration. We need to hold our elected officials to their word via an immediate moratorium. Yes, we need to plant trees to sequester carbon and replace the trees we have lost, but we also need to protect our existing mature forests.

Native woodlands fight climate change with carbon sequestration, storing atmospheric carbon that would otherwise warm the planet. It’s proven that mature forests store significantly more carbon than younger trees. Oak forests sequester carbon in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter and in forest soils. The sink of carbon sequestered in forests helps to offset other sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, such as deforestation, forest fires, and fossil fuel emissions. We have a powerful tool to fight climate change “right in our backyard,” and we are chopping it down without a careful study of the repercussions.

Oak trees are a keystone species with over 100 species dependent on them. Oaks are the backbone of many different forest communities and provide immeasurable ecosystem services. Oaks are already plagued by sudden oak death in our region so there is absolutely no reason for us to be cutting down healthy, mature carbon sequestering trees that perform so many ecosystem-wide essential services.

Oaks are already plagued by sudden oak death in our region so there is absolutely no reason for us to be cutting down healthy, mature carbon sequestering trees that perform so many ecosystem-wide essential services. Larry Hansen photo.
Oaks are already plagued by sudden oak death in our region so there is absolutely no reason for us to be cutting down healthy, mature carbon sequestering trees that perform so many ecosystem-wide essential services. Larry Hansen photo.

Email our County Board of Supervisors and tell them you support a tree clearing moratorium at: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Contact-Board-of-Supervisors/

District 1 Susan Gorin – Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org

District 2 David Rabbitt – David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org

District 3 – Chris Coursey – Chris.Coursey@sonoma-county.org

District 4 – James Gore – district4@sonoma-county.org

District 5 – Lynda Hopkins – district5@sonoma-county.org

To get involved or for more information, contact Aja Henry at aja@conservationaction.org

Aja Henry is a Humboldt State graduate and Assistant Field Manager with Sonoma County Conservation Action, she is taking the lead in Conservation Action’s efforts toward tree preservation and climate change resilience in Sonoma County.

Posted by & filed under News.

Call to Action – Protect Sonoma Oak and Forests Lands

Tell the Board of Supervisors to Place a Temporary Moratorium on Tree Removal in Sonoma County

For decades Sonoma county’s iconic oak forests have been excessively cleared in the name of development without rigorous regard for the ecological importance of native oak and forest lands. Currently we do not know how many acres of Oak forests are being cut down every year.

We are urgently asking the Board of Supervisors to immediately enact a temporary ordinance prohibiting destruction of oak woodlands, pending study of climate, fire, watershed, and habitat impacts.

 

What You Can Do

Show up (Virtually) on January 26 to the BOS meeting and speak during public comments!

RSVP to our Facebook Event to be alerted when it’s time to comment!

or

Contact the Board of Supervisors

https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Contact-Board-of-Supervisors/

District 1 Susan Gorin – Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org

District 2 David Rabbitt – David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org

District 3 – Chris Coursey – Chris.Coursey@sonoma-county.org

District 4 – James Gore – district4@sonoma-county.org

District 5 – Lynda Hopkins – district5@sonoma-county.org

Please cc: scca@conservationaction.org

 

Hold Your Electeds to Their Word!

 

On September 17, 2019, the Board of Supervisors of Sonoma County Declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to support a county-wide framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to pursue local actions that support, among other goals, protecting and enhance the value of open and working lands and increasing carbon sequestration.

On January 26th the Board of Supervisors will meet to set the agenda for the year, it is vital we use the public comment time to ensure that the Board Of Supervisors places a Moratorium on Tree Removal on the upcoming agenda.

Trees play a major role in combating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass through photosynthesis, Oak forests sequester carbon in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter and in forest soils. The sink of carbon sequestered in forests helps to offset other sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, such as deforestation, forest fires, and fossil fuel emissions.

Talking Points

  • Currently Sonoma County is cutting down an unknown number of  acres of Oaks and woodlands per year.
  • The Oak is a keystone species which is a species that exerts great influence on an ecosystem relative to its abundance. There is more oak tree biomass in Northern America than any other tree group. Oaks are the backbone of many different forest communities and provide immeasurable ecosystem service
  • Yes, we need to plant trees, but we also need to protect our existing forests.
  • Natural forests store 50% more carbon than planted forests
  • Mature forests store significantly more carbon than younger trees.
  • We have nearly no protection currently and the trend is increasing.
  • We don’t even track the numbers of acres lost, it’s all a one-off approval without an ecosystem-wide view of the situation.

Posted by & filed under Events, News.

Progressive Persistence

‘Blue/Green Eggs and Ham’ 2020 Election Debrief

Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 10 AM-12 PM PST

Price: Free Public Event

*Registration will be required via Zoom for Comments

 

Register Now!

https://tinyurl.com/BGEggsandHam

Online with Facebook Live

Co-sponsored by Sonoma County Conservation Action, the North Bay Labor Council, and the Sonoma County Democratic Party.

 

Every election year since 2000, the Sonoma County labor/environmental/social justice alliance holds a post-election review called (with a nod to Dr. Seuss) ‘Blue/Green Eggs and Ham’. One of the main themes of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ is persistence, that if you persevere and refuse to give up, you can accomplish your goals in the end.

The moderators interview our Congressional Representatives, County Supervisors, Interim Director of the Ag and Open Space District, all nine Sonoma County Mayors, as well as some newly elected city councilmembers.

 

Agenda for 2020 Election Retrospective

 

National (Panel 1) Politics After Trump

Congressmen Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson, SSU Political Science Professor David McCuan, moderated by former California Assemblyman, Michael Allen

Sonoma County (Panel 2) Beyond the Disaster

County Panel featuring Incoming Chair of the Board Lynda Hopkins, Outgoing Chair Susan Gorin, and newly appointed interim General Manager of the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District Caryl Hart, moderated by Dennis Rosatti (Principal Rosatti Consulting)

Mayors Roundup (Panel 3) Be Aware, Be Active

All nine Sonoma County Mayors discuss upcoming issues and call on us to participate and act in the coming year

Newly Electeds (Panel 4) New Kids on the Block

Newly-elected progressive leaders introduce themselves and show us hope for the future in a post-COVID, post-recession local political landscape

Public Comment Wrap-Up The Public Speaks

Our final segment will feature public comment on the presentations, hosted by Chris Rogers.

 

 

Register Now!

Posted by & filed under News.

Current incident map: The County of Sonoma updates their GIS system to provide a map of the evacuation zones during the fire. This map is interactive, and will be updated regularly. To see the map, click here. 

 

The Sheriff uses zones to announce evacuations. To look at the complete zone map of Sonoma County, click here.

 

Alert system: To learn about your alert options, sign up for notifications, and learn what different sirens mean, click here.

 

Know your way out: The City of Santa Rosa has developed an evacuation route planning tool. To add your address and see your best route out in the event of an emergency, click here.

 

Evacuation check list: We have also developed a check list to help people better prepare for a possible evacuation. To see this checklist, click here.

 

Cal Fire updates: Cal Fire usually provides two briefings per day – usually 7am and 7pm. Those updates are shared across social media, but can also normally be found by clicking here.

 

For additional preparedness tips, click here.

 

Sonoma County Fire Cameras can be found by clicking here.

 

Evacuation points can be found by clicking here.

 

We know that the wind can have a devastating impact on our efforts to control the fire. To see a wind map and projections, click here.

 

To check air qualityclick here.

 

To listen to the live feed of CalFire dispatch, download the Broadcastify app on your phone, and to see all notifications/call for service, download the pulse point app as well.

 

To see what helicopters and planes we have in the air, click here.

 

To see NASA’s satellite photos of the fires, click here.

Posted by & filed under News.

We’re going to keep the fun going by having our Online Silent Auction up the entire month of August. Get great deals on Clothing, an Ecuadorian Vacation, Gift Baskets, Local Crafts, Art, and so much MORE including delicious local WINE!

Read more »

Posted by & filed under News.

Resiliency in a wildfire prone area means following fire safe practices around homes. Important work in protecting homes from wildfires remains to be done. For many years, CAFÉ and SCCA have played a key role in accountability and innovation to ensure our community’s long-standing history of environmental innovation. Our outreach in the fire prevention arena helps local residents understand defensible space and vegetation management options.

Posted by & filed under Events, News.

 

August 20th Russian River Canoe Trip: Postponed Due to Fire

 

Spend an amazing late afternoon paddling a 6-mile stretch of the middle reach of the Russian River with Don McEnhill, our Russian Riverkeeper, and Larry Laba, the host, guide and owner of Russian River Adventures. This is the 11th annual Riverkeeper float that Don and Larry have donated to SCCA. It is always popular, and you will come away with an appreciation of how many different environmental issues affect the jewel of Sonoma County, and what Don is doing, and what you can do.

We’ll meet at Wohler Bridge at 3 pm … socially distant bus shuttling to a private launch site off Westside Road, and we’ll paddle back to Wohler in 2-man SOAR Inflatable canoes. It is usually hot when we launch and cool when we finish, so wear your swim shorts, good hat, sunscreen, and llghtweight layers, a good snack and water. Join us as we celebrate this long partnership between the SCCA and the Russian Riverkeeper.

There is a great possibility of seeing excellent bird life, and over the years of offering the SCCA float, participants have seen bald eagles, river otter and bobcat. Who knows what we will see!

Join us for a very fun and enjoyable paddle with like-minded people who truly care about Sonoma County’s rivers, mountains, corridors, and green spaces.

NOTE: River Trip Limit 30 persons. Sliding scale for kids, students.

When: TBD

Where: Wohler Bridge or Memorial Bridge

(You will be contacted with updates before the float)

Price: $50-$150 per Person Sliding Scale

 

Posted by & filed under Events, News.

Traditionally, SCCA has hosted our annual Grassroots Gala to celebrate our environmental successes and raise funds for the issues that lie ahead. Though we can’t gather in person this year, we hope you will support us by joining and sponsoring our… 

 

Virtual Online Auction and Gala July 31st, 7:00pm

Your support today will help us keep our waterways, open spaces, and parks healthy, eliminate toxics from schools, provide access to more affordable housing into our urban cores, and help us elect community leaders who are ready to fight for a more sustainable and more equitable future for everyone.

 

This year our Grass Roots Gala will be held online and includes Awards, Live Chats, and a Short Film! Ticket holders will receive a link to a Zoom that can be viewed on a device at home. Share freely with friends and family.

For Free Tickets Email scca@conservationaction.org

Sponsorship Ticket Levels:

Nothing But Blue Sky Over Sonoma $5,000 | Cleaner Water in our Rivers and San Francisco Bay $2,500 | Reduced GHG Emissions for the entire North Bay $1,000 | Local Regenerative Farming $500 | Decreased Demand for Donald Trump Mega-Rallies $300

Individual $25 | $100 with Gift basket


Check Out SCCA’s Silent Auction!

 


A Huge Thank You to our Early Sponsors!

Nothing But Blue Sky Over Sonoma

Neal Fishman
Warren and Janis Watkins
Michael Allen and Helen Ross

Cleaner Water in our Rivers and San Francisco Bay

SOAR/Russian River Adventures
Susan Gorin, Sonoma County Supervisor

Reduced GHG Emissions for the entire North Bay

Jackson Family Wines
Lucy Kortum
Jean Schulz
Marc Bommersbach
North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Local Regenerative Farming

Anne and Brien Seeley
Ariel Kelley
Nell Kneibler
Jake Mackenzie, Rohnert Park City Council and Barbara Mackenzie
Senator Mike McGuire
Ed Sheffield
Julie, Barry and Jerry Groves
Congressman Jared Huffman

Decreased Demand for Donald Trump Mega-Rallies

Chris Coursey
Damon Connolly, Marin County Supervisor
Ever Flores
Lynda Hopkins, Sonoma County 5th District Supervisor
Maddy Hirshfield and Janet Orchard, Former Mayor of Cotati
Willard and Nancy Richards
Barbara Moulton and Tom Helm
Guy Conner
Debora Fudge-Committe to Elect Debora Fudge Town Council 2020
Lance and J Barlas
Mark and Cathy Walsh

Memories of SCCA’s 2019 Grass Roots Gala

Posted by & filed under News.

A DEVELOPER IS PROPOSING A LUXURY RESORT AND EVENT CENTER IN A VOTER-PROTECTED GREENBELT!

The “Solstice” is a proposed new luxury resort and major event center in a Community Separator between Santa Rosa and Windsor at 3890 Old Redwood Highway.
This is, essentially, a 24-room hotel and major event center (100 events per year, 10,000 people). Approval of the project would set a dangerous precedent for allowing intense hospitality development, including third-party rentals for weddings, on Resources and Rural Development (RRD) land. Such an expansive interpretation of RRD zoning would be especially egregious in a Community Separator and should be rejected. Please tell the County that you object to this intense, inappropriate development.
DEADLINE July 6 for Public Comment; Public Hearing July 9.
DETAILS are in SCCA’s comment letter, linked here .
Additional comments:
  • The project violates MEASURE K. In 2016, voters passed the measure by 81%, voting to protect community separator greenbelts, the rural lands between our towns and cities, from more sprawl and intensified development. Now unelected county planners are ready to compromise our open space legacy for the benefit of one luxury developer.
  • Project approval would induce more hospitality centers outside urban areas. Thousands of rural RRD parcels are at risk.

 

  • NOT NOW! We face the COVID crisis, a dangerous wildfire season, economic uncertainly and political unrest when most voters are not able to participate in the public process. Just one Zoom meeting! Don’t move forward now on a totally non-essential luxury resort and event center in the protected greenbelt.

 

  • The project is the middle of the Tubb’s burn zone and will put more people and property at wildfire risk.

TAKE ACTION!

Thursday, July 9 Make your voice heard at the Public Hearing, Board of Zoning Adjustments, 1 pm via Zoom. Agenda will be posted here

DRAFT A LETTER! 

Dear Sonoma County Supervisors, BZA Commissioners and Permit Sonoma,
Please vote to deny or delay any action on the proposed luxury resort and event center at “Sonoma Solstice” in a community separator protected with 81 percent of the vote.
Sincerely Yours,
Name, Title, Organization

SEND BY July 6, 2020 TO:

Board of Zoning Adjustments
Todd Tamura, Chair – District 2 – Todd.Tamura@gmail.com
Richard Fogg, District 1 – sonomafogg@aol.com
John Lowry, District 5 – JohnLowryCA@gmail.com
Cameron Mauritson – District 4 (the project is in District 4)- cameron@mauritsonfarms.com
Paula Cook – District 3 – pcook@ch-sc.org
Permit Sonoma Deputy Director Scott Orr scott.orr@sonoma-county.org
Planner Tricia Stevens  tstevens@migcom.com
Permit Sonoma permitsonoma@sonomacounty.org
CC Supervisor James Gore James Gore District4@sonoma-county.org
CC:  Matt Callaway matt@conservationaction.org