Forest Unlimited on Tree Ordinance

WWW supports no more loss of our forests and derstruction of the watershed for alcohol. Our trees clean the air, clean and store water, support wildlife and protect against erosion. The present ordinance protects special interests profits and is not resilient or regenerative. 

Action request from Forest Unlimited:  

Hello Forest Folks:
In early April, the County permit department a.k.a.  Permit Sonoma, will be considering its Two Year Comprehemsive Work Plan which currently includes update of the county  Tree Ordinance.
The Work plan goals will be cut down -so to speak, and the Tree Ordinance will be on the chopping block.  We’ve been here before. The Board and staff will prioritize its work and some work be delayed for two years or MORE.  We need you to help make sure the Tree Ordinance gets its turn now.  The need is great*
Just before Mike McGuire left the Board of Supervisors for higher office – lo those many years ago, the Tree Ordinance was put on the Work Plan with the votes of Zane and Gorin.  Supervisor Rabbitt expressed support but at a different time. Much has transpired since that time and as those who follow tree issues know, the update of the antiquated Tree Ordinance** continues to languish.

* Trees are being cut down in Sonoma County.  Approximately 950-acres were cut down between 2007-2013.  New tree removal projects have been approved since then and more are in the pipeline.  Staff is powerless to stop or modifiy the agricultural permits and these often times represent large tree removal projects.  For example, a known vineyard interest has bought over 1000-acres of oak woodlands and has already started bulldozing the trees (2018).

** “Agricultural uses exempt from the tree protection ordinance are as follows: the raising, feeding, maintaining and breeding of confined and unconfined farm animals, commercial aquaculture, commercial mushroom farming, wholesale nurseries, greenhouses, wineries and agricultural cultivation.” (Chapter 26-88-01(m) The above ordinance, exempts agriculture including wineries from any requirements to protect trees, and trees can be cut down by other developers for a small in lieu fee or in exchange for planting seedlings.
Please contact your Supervisor, or all of them, and express your strong and sincere interest in seeing this effort move forward to seek scientifically based fundamental change that closes large loop holes now. (succinct message offered  below)
The Lorax is cute, and he has an important message….Despite the horrible damage and loss, we are continuing to cut down important trees —hello!
Please speak up for the trees today!
Now is the time to protect and plant trees.  The more we lose the more we lose precious time, soil, fish, and much more.  Many of you have helped us plant trees in the past, in order to restore and help our watersheds and planet, and we thank you from the bottom of our roots!
Kimberly Burr
On behalf of Forest Unlimited
Here is the SUCCINCT MESSAGE for sending to supervisors and staff:  Please prioritize the Update of the Tree Protection Ordinance this spring.  Please keep this important modernization task on the County’s Two Year Comprehensive Work Plan. Trees are not, even in our great County, protected despite the science and requests of many county residents.  I value the free and important services that trees provide and expect my voice and values to be vigorously represented by my Supervisor.  It is a high priority to me to fight climate change, retsore our watersheds, help our iconic fisheries become strong again, …… that means we must take immediate steps to stop the cutting of woodlands and large old trees in Sonoma County.
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What’s better than the Lorax? A team of Loraxes!

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