Citizens Speak: Environmental Priorities in Sonoma County

No more time to waste….supervisors we want progress not delays….

Environmental Priorities in Sonoma County – NOV 2020 (SUMMARY RESPONSES)


·  Mitigation – get to negative emissions through a just transition, increased transition to and adoption of renewable energy

·   Adaptation – preparedness, especially for our most vulnerable, forest management for fires

·  Carbon Sequestration 

·  Protect natural and working lands and focus growth in cities and towns, more walk friendly and bike friendly


·  Ecological and climate-smart farming,

· Carbon Sequestration with emphasis on soils, agriculture and Reforestation 

·  Food security


·   Clean Air


·   Stopping applications for wireless cell towers, 4G,5G+. And helping remove existing wireless facilities from neighborhoods, schools, and public spaces. 

·   community owned local broadband. It saves tons of energy, money, its safe, it eliminates the digital divide and promotes equity. There are models for this all over the country and fiber to the premises is much safer fire wire because 5G towers have been known to cause fires and burn in fires. 

·    Broadband access

·  Vineyard and winery overreach with excessive drawdown of riparian streams and groundwater resources

·   Affordable housing for low income and middle income households


·   Look at all environmental work through an equity lens

·   Retrofitting of all affordable housing dwellings and buildings for energy efficiency

·   Farm worker health and safety

·    Work with diverse people (youth, people of color and working class) to find common ground on environmental and equity projects.   

·   Connect people to nature and inspire a lifelong conservation ethic through exploration, observation, science, and artistic expression. At Pepperwood, we are creating opportunities for all members of our community to explore, observe, and express their appreciation for nature through hands-on science and art experiences. We want the next generation of conservation practitioners and champions to be representative of our region’s diverse demographics. We want to increase the number of our region’s youth and adults who engage with the outdoors, live more sustainably, and champion nature.


· Fund climate staff and form commissions, coordinating planning and action across cities and county

·   Equitable community engagement and inclusion

·  Agendas for City and County should provide minimum 2 week notice to provide public participation


·  Address Climate issues via: Planning for housing, forestry, water supply and quality    

·  Protecting wetlands, floodplains, riverfront open space, native plants, the coastal biota, habitat and wildlife from development

·   Completion of Specific Plan for Sonoma Developmental Center & 600 acre land transfer

·  Adherence to existing County General Plan 

·  Overuse causing degradation of environment and public uses


·   continued reduction of synthetic pesticides use, especially near schools and public spaces

·  Pesticide use by vineyards, farmers, and ranchers

·  Proposed Helicopter Distribution by the US Fish and Wildlife Service of 1.5 tons of cereal bait laced with second-generation anticoagulant poison, in the midst of our Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, with anticipated poisoning of shoreline wildlife on the Sonoma Coast.


·  Getting people out of cars and use public transit and other means

· Acceleration of providing charging stations throughout County and slowly phasing out fossil fuel refilling stations by not permitting new gas stations.



· Climate and Fire Resilience: Our priority in the next five years is to build on our empirical Sentinel Site foundation to evaluate long-term climate, vegetation, and wildlife trends and processes, serve as a test-bed for new sensor technologies, and advance real-time hazard forecast and warning systems for our region and beyond.  We are integrating field data with remote-sensing (airborne and satellite) data products to improve hazard mapping and demonstrate effective forest treatment planning and implementation with CALFIRE and other agencies. 

The outcomes of this work include: 

(1) Increased capacity of communities to take preventive action to save lives, avoid property damage, and limit liabilities; 

(2) Validate and demonstrate nature-based solutions for climate and fire resilience; and, 

(3) Model a reproducible regional framework for climate and fire resilience for Mediterranean-type ecosystems worldwide. (Pepperwood)

·  Wildfire management 

·  Protection of existing tree stock by enhanced City and County Tree Protection Ordinances 


· Secure permits for and move forward a municipal scale, organic materials composting facility in Sonoma County. 

·  Diverting organic waste from landfill (food recovery, permitting new compost facility, carbon sequestration, SB 1383 compliance by county and cities)

·  Local municipal compositing will provide high quality compost for farmers and gardeners while increasing soil capacity for carbon sequestration


·   Ensuring adequate RR flows and storage in Lake Mendocino (e.g. stopping existing TUCP processes, Fish Flow EIR revisions, regional entity to implement Drought Action Plan, mandatory conservation measures, etc)

·  Localize our water conservation through rainwater catchment systems and gray water


·   Mental Health (Could measure O have an environmental component?)   Example- Neighborhood Gardens support for reduction of anxiety and better nutrition.

·  Localizing our economy

·  Eliminate conflict of interests in planning process where same consultant provides  development plan and also negative CEQA declaration.