ACTION ALERT: Vital Lands Alert – Jan. 26 Board of Supervisors

Vital Lands was on track to be adopted after a final public hearing in December 2019. However, at the last minute, the Farm Bureau blocked Vital Lands by objecting to the proposed allocations of funds for agricultural lands.”

ACTION ALERT: Vital Lands Alert – Jan. 26 Board of Supervisors

Greenbelt Alliance: Please send an email to the Board of Supervisors by Friday, Jan. 22, for the Jan. 26 meeting. Please share and post. Thank you.

Teri Shore

Vital Lands Alert

Voice your support for the Vital Lands Initiative of the Sonoma County Ag + Open Space District for the January 26 meeting of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Vital Lands is the vision for land conservation in Sonoma County. Vital Lands is a revision of the existing land acquisition plan was developed over two years of public workshops to set priorities for the next decade. It was completed in 2019 but never formally adopted by the supervisors, which serve as the governing board of the Ag + Open Space District. Read more here: https://www.sonomaopenspace.org/projects/vital-lands-initiative/ See more info below.

Please Email the Board of Supervisors and copy the Ag + Open Space District

Subject line: Support Vital Lands Initiative – Jan. 26 Board Meeting

Send to: bos@sonoma-county.org  Chair Hopkins district5@sonoma-county.org Interim General Manager Caryl Hart caryl.hart@sonoma-county.org [

Bcc the other supervisors: James Gore <District4@sonoma-county.org>, David Rabbitt <David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org>, “Coursey, Chris” Chris.Coursey@sonoma-county.org Susan Gorin Susan Gorin <Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org>

If you have time, please also give your supervisor a quick call via main number (707) 565-2241

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Chair Lynda Hopkins and Interim General Manager Caryl Hart,

Please adopt the Vital Lands Initiative of the Sonoma County Ag + Open Space District to guide the work of the Ag + Open Space District for the next 10 years. Vital Lands was developed after more than two years of public workshops around the county. It prioritizes protection of vital open space lands to preserve agriculture, natural resources, recreation, scenic vistas, greenbelt areas, and urban open space. The work of the Ag + Open Space District is more critical than ever as we face climate change. The need for healthy lands and communities has become ever more evident during the pandemic. Equitable access to green space is an essential element of Vital Lands.

[Optional text or add your own] In particular, we support the protection of priority greenbelts that are mapped in Vital Lands as a one-mile buffer around the existing cities and town. The map provides a strong visual and conservation goal for lands that provide clean air and water, access to the outdoors, wildlife habitat, food production, and reduced risk of life and home to wildfires.

Without further delay, please adopt the Vital Lands Initiative.

Sincerely yours,

Name, Address, Contact

Overview

The Vital Lands Initiative is a comprehensive plan that will guide the work of the Ag + Open Space District for the next 10 years. Building on nearly 30 years of successful land conservation work, the initiative will outline strategies for protecting our vital open space lands to preserve agriculture, natural resources, recreation, scenic vistas, greenbelt areas, and urban open space.

Priority greenbelts and community separators as well as scenic landscape units and corridors will remain front and center in county land conservation under Vital Lands and per the voter approved legislation and acquisition plan.

Greenbelt Alliance specifically supports the priority greenbelts that are mapped in Vital Lands as a one-mile buffer around the existing cities and towns, voter approved Urban Growth Boundaries and Urban Service Areas. This provides a strong visual and conservation goal for lands most at risk of sprawl and urban encroachment for the long term.

Vital Lands was on track to be adopted after a final public hearing in December 2019. However, at the last minute, the Farm Bureau blocked Vital Lands by objecting to the proposed allocations of funds for agricultural lands. To address their concerns, specific funding allocations were removed. All lands are preserved for multi-benefits including agricultural land. Vital Lands is widely supported by residents and organizations across the county.