From one of our favorite environmentalists in Sonoma County, Moira Sullivan who is working to save Petaluma wetlands for future generations. See previous post and the website:
Click on link to take action
This is Audubon’s North American Grasslands and Bird Report. It shows that,” Formerly comprised of a wide variety of perennial grasses, riparian forests, vernal pools, wetlands, chaparral shrub, and open oak woodlands, less than one percent of pre-settlement California grasslands remain following land use conversion 🙁. Yes, < 1%. Biodiversity can’t survive, and neither will humans under these conditions.
We are a Rivertown with major wildlife habitat within our UGB. Here’s our unique chance to create a wildlife sanctuary on the grasslands/seasonal wetlands that remain in the Corona Reach segment of our Petaluma River. Two of Petaluma’s major policy documents, both our General Plan and the River Access & Enhancement Plan, describe the Corona Reach (from Payran North to Corona Road) as the largest and most sensitive segments of the River. This reach of the river includes the last remaining matrix of wet meadow, vernal pools, mature forest and instream habitat of the main stem Petaluma River. Where this site comprises land with high-value habitat, and including for a number of Special Status Species, and is imminently subject to development pressure, this open space land constitutes a priority site for preservation.
In this Audubon Report, they mention Audubon’s Bobcat Ranch – in the foothills of CA’s Coastal range. It’s a 6,800 acre Blue Oak Woodland Wildlife Sanctuary. Our GP and River Plan call for restoration and enhancement of the ecosystems in the Corona Reach, using acorns from the existing oaks (which used to be much denser). Can we Petalumans do this?
We are so unique in that we have a river in our town, and that a number of seasonal wetland/grassland/oak savannah parcels adjacent to our river still remain open in this segment! They are major wildlife corridors, and could be the jewel of our town with a low-intensity, permeable trail that runs from the downtown to the Denman Reach (Redwood Highway) and linking on to Sebastopol and Penngrove, etc. These parcels would provide heat island relief to the East and West inhabitants of Petaluma and serve as a climate-smart parks – preserving our capacity to recharge our groundwater, maintain our flood storage capacity, conserve wildlife habitat, filter contaminants, and sequester carbon, and provide a non-motorized, public walking/biking trail for recreation. We’d be a city like no other.