Are you up to date on the latest issues affecting Sonoma County? We delve into the hot topics of the proposed changes to the Local Coastal Plan, the current state of our Community Separator Policy, the most recent negotiations for Petaluma’s SMART station, and our recent actions on the issues in our latest newsletter.
Get on the Rally Bus!
Stressing the need for action at the international Climate Change Talks this December in Paris, three North Bay environmental organizations have teamed up to encourage Sonoma County residents to join in a national climate mobilization campaign.
350 Sonoma County, Sonoma County Conservation Action and the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club are pooling their resources to provide bus transportation to the NorCal Climate Mobilization march and rally in Oakland November 21. In addition, 350 Sonoma County is inviting residents to participate in the “Redwood Revolution Community Climate Art Project” which will produce a ”forest” of redwood shaped recycled cardboard signs to deliver messages of hope and action at the Oakland rally.
The Paris Climate talks offer the greatest opportunity in years for new international government action to address climate change. New Obama Administration climate policies, China’s willingness to begin new climate programs, the incredible moral force of Pope Francis, as well as increasing occurrences of climate disruption set the stage for real action in Paris. Without massive citizen action however, governments will not go nearly as far as necessary in signing serious binding commitments to curb global warming. The November 21 Climate Mobilization and similar events around the country and world will tell our leaders that significant action is needed now.
The three North Bay groups have teamed up to rent buses that will leave from the Federal Building in downtown Santa Rosa and Sonoma State University. Buses will leave from the Santa Rosa Federal Building at 9am and return at 4pm on Saturday, November 21st. Roundtrip bus tickets are $20. In addition, the Sierra Club is sponsoring a special bus for Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University students at a reduced rate of $5. The bus will pick up and return students to the Santa Rosa Federal Building and the SSU campus.
To purchase bus tickets go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2414149
*Sonoma County residents can also participate in the Redwood Revolution Community Art Project.
For the project, hundreds of Sonoma County residents are creating redwood trees made out of triangles of recycled cardboard that contain images and messages of climate hope and of what we love and want to protect. A moving forest of these trees will be carried at the NorCal Climate Mobilization on November 21.st On December 12th the triangles will be assembled into one giant redwood tree to be photographed aerially at a Sonoma County location This is the day after international climate negotiations conclude in Paris and is an international day of climate action. The image will be Sonoma County’s message of climate hope to the world. Please visit 350sonomacounty.org for more information about the Redwood Revolution Community Art Project.
- Create a triangle out of cardboard that has a base between 16-26 inches and a height between 9-12 inches
- Decorate your triangle with images of what you care about in Sonoma County or the world (animals, trees, plants, open spaces, etc.). You can use any medium you want: paint, pen, cloth, collage, etc.
- Add a message to our leaders. Ideas:
- What do you want leaders to do about climate change?
- What are you concerned about? (you can add images for this as well)
- What do you love that needs to be protected?
- Drop your triangle off at Sunny Galbraith’s house: 440 High St, Sebastopol. Placed them in the box by the mail box.
Press Release: Local Coastal Plan Comments submitted by Conservation Action
(Actual Full Text Comment Letter Here: SCCA Comments_LCP_9.30.2015 )
10/8/2015, Santa Rosa, CA- In a September 30 comment letter to the Sonoma County Planning Department, Sonoma County’s largest environmental organization, Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA), expressed concerns regarding Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department’s Draft Update for the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (LCP). This letter prompted a public comment.
Rather than further enhancing the protection of Sonoma County’s fragile but extraordinarily beautiful and biological rich coastal zone, the draft update would in its present form allow for development that flies in the face of past successful initiatives in Sonoma County to protect the Sonoma coast.
“We’re working to avoid the Napafication of the Coast,” said Dennis Rosatti, Executive Director of Conservation Action. “We’ve got something special in Sonoma County and must work hard to protect our public investment in protected coastal lands, and look out for the existing small businesses that thrive off the coastal experience. The Sonoma Coast is too important for us to risk it being overrun with wineries and event centers.”
Read more »
Russian River float launch site, looking downriver.
The 7th Annual SCCA RUSSIAN RIVER FLOAT took place on August 20th, 2015.
We paddled canoes, provided by SOAR, 6.5 miles down the Russian River’s Middle Reach, from below the confluence with Dry Creek to Wohler Bridge. This is an intimate, hard-to-access part of the river, home to abundant birds and wildlife. We saw 2 or 3 Great Blue Herons, many Kingfishers, and violet-green swallows, plus fish in the river.
This year we also saw fire-fighting tankers circling as they prepared to land at Sonoma County airport.
It was a beautiful day: the River was low, and fog retreated so the usual upriver breezes dropped, allowing us an easy paddle downriver.
Pausing to enjoy self-provided sack dinners, we heard about invasive species and the impacts of river bank armoring projects from Don McEnhill, the Russian Riverkeeper.
Join Conservation Action Fund for Education when they host the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour at the Sebastopol Grange Hall on Friday, August 7, 2015 starting at 4:30 p.m. With a Free Kids Matinee from 2-3pm, an Environmental Happy Hour with beer, wine, and food truck starting at 4:30, and then an evening film program starting at 6:30, not to mention the generous raffle prizes from local sponsors REI, Whole Foods, and Lagunitas, this event has something for everyone!
Films featured at Wild & Scenic give people a sense of place,” says Tour Manager, Jenna Brager. “In today’s busy world, it is easy to disconnect from our role in the global ecosystem. When we realize that the change we need in this world begins with us, we start making a difference. Come get inspired!”
Kicking off the tour event in Sebastopol is a FREE Kids Matinee from 2-3pm, open to all local youth! The Kids Matinee showcases films about the importance of preserving and protecting the natural world, with films centering on our national parks, youth rock climbing, and the concept of the ecosystem and how, consciously or not, we all play a role in the environment.
The evening film program features a wonderful film about author Joanna Macy and what she calls “The Great Turning”, which she describes as the third major human revolution beyond the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Also featured is “The Little Things”, a beautiful film about professional snowboarders who are committed to making positive changes to the environment. Rounding out the evening film program are several short films about river ecosystems and water conservation.
The festival is a natural extension of Conservation Action’s work to educate and inspire people to act on behalf of the environment. For over 20 years Conservation Action has been bettering Sonoma County through grassroots environmental activism. With goals of preserving, protecting and conserving Sonoma County, we are continuously working towards a more sustainable future.
Here at Conservation Action, we’ve been long-dedicated to fighting for the preservation of open space and community separators. Protecting Sonoma County land isn’t only about preserving its natural beauty for future generations – it’s also about maintaining the charm of our cities, protecting our rural heritage, and standing strong for the interests of our citizens.
Open space is the common term for undeveloped, rural land which is protected against undesired commercial or residential development. This could be because the land isn’t a good candidate for this type of development, but in the case of Sonoma County, it’s a deliberate protection put in place to ensure the environmental protection of our farmland, forests, rivers, and more. Unchecked urban sprawl can lead to a variety of environmental issues, as well as destroy the beautiful natural landscape Sonoma County is so well-known for.
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Are you familiar with the Trans-Pacific Partnership? It’s a trade agreement between multiple countries that seeks to lower trade barriers and protect the interests of multinational corporations, often at the expense of consumers, the environment, and local workers. If that’s not enough to give you pause, new negotiations are well underway, and the United States is involved. Furthermore, the industries behind the agreement are looking to fast track the process, which would effectively cut Congress out of the equation by not allowing them the ability to amend the treaty or get approval from their constituents.
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In 2013, Sonoma County denied State Parks’ coastal permit application requesting the installation of pay stations that would charge a fee to park at several Bodega Bay and other Sonoma Coast beaches. Many of these publicly-accessible and free beaches are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, and nearly everyone surveyed voices strong disapproval for “iron rangers,” or automated machines to collect payment, many of which take only cash. The message was clear then, as it is now: Sonoma County wants to keep our beaches free.
Read more »
The community separators and greenbelts between Sonoma County’s cities that we voted to preserve nearly 20 years ago will expire in 2016. Read more »
In accordance with our dear friend Bill Kortum’s final wish, we are continuing to support the effort to reopen Lafferty Ranch to the public as a wilderness park. It’s time for the Bill Kortum Regional Park at Sonoma Mountain, and you can help make it happen.
This dream has been in the works for a long time, and there’s no time like the present to continue the effort to improve and maintain this beautiful natural park for this and all future Sonoma County generations. Contact us to find out how you can help, or donate to the Kortum Legacy Fund to make this a reality.