In Sonoma County, thousands of acres of woodlands and forests – broadly speaking trees – lack legal protections to prevent them from being cut down in large numbers.
Given the severity of the climate crisis and the power of trees to soften its impact on our community, it is critical that the County take immediate steps to protect our working woodlands from being cut down.
What You Can Do
~5min. Sign on to this pre-written letter to the Board of Supervisors
~10mins. Write your own email to the 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 – Lynda Hopkins – email@example.com
– Past Articles –
Protect Our Working Woodlands
As we speak, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is working on a five-year strategic plan, which could include real oak and forest land safeguards. For decades, the iconic oak forests of Sonoma County have been cleared excessively 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.
Sonoma County must do everything possible to safeguard future generations from climate change’s catastrophic consequences. We can do so by accepting the science about the critical role trees play in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, thus respecting the right of future generations to a habitable earth.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have about ten years to radically change our practices in order to prevent dangerous temperature rises. New technologies are slowly emerging that have the potential to absorb carbon from the environment, but they are expensive, have their own carbon footprints, and raise numerous social equity issues.
The power of woodlands to do this same work for free is here now, and already in action. If woodlands are cut down, replanting them reduces our ability to rapidly reduce carbon in our atmospheres within the time frames needed. The best “technology” we have today that can help on a wide scale is protecting our mature trees.
In light of these fact we are demanding that the County of Sonoma:
- Update the County Tree Protection Ordinance, based on the most up-to-date climate science and community input
- Place an immediate, temporary halt to major tree removal approvals in Sonoma County until our Tree Protection Ordinance is updated to recognize the global importance of forest lands in climate mitigation
- Protect trees as a way of reducing the worst effects of climate change on vulnerable communities
- Protect trees to help vulnerable populations contend with the worst impacts of climate change.
- Take into account the removal trees for critical issues such as fire protection near houses, defensible community areas, basic food farming, and very low-income housing.
Sonoma County’s Plan for Oak Trees is More Smoke and Mirrors
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.
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.
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.