current actions we recommend

Support Vital Lands Initiative

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.

Send email to/ Make phone call to:

Dear Supervisors, 

Please adopt the Vital Lands Initiative as proposed by staff at the Jan. 26 board meeting. It is the result of two years of public workshops around the county and is strongly supported.  (add any details of background info you’d like)

Thank you, 

Name & City

Sonoma Co. Board of Supervisors + staff; bos@sonoma-county.org,  district5@sonoma-county.org, caryl.hart@sonoma-county.org,District4@sonoma-county.org,David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org,Chris.Coursey@sonoma-county.org,Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org,

Call your supervisor via main number (707) 565-2241

Save Energy. Get Paid. With OhmConnect

Consumer Choice that can help with Climate Change

When the electrical grid is overloaded, you can either increase supply (usually through dirty peaker plants) or reduce demand. OhmConnect gets thousands of people to reduce their energy usage during a designated hour and gets paid by the utilities for that, just like they pay energy suppliers. OhmConnect’s members get paid for and become eligible for prizes by reducing their consumption during these designated “OhmHours.” These hours happen about once a week in the winter and 2-3 times a week in the summer. Tip: turn off anything that produces heat or cold – freezer, fridge, range, toaster oven, dishwasher.

When OhmConnect members get new people to sign up and become active, the new member gets $10 and the person who referred them gets $20.  OhmConnect has raised the referral bonus to $40 through the end of January.  Use our link to sign up and 350Sonoma will get the referral money via the account that one of our steering committee committee members has set up   350SonomaFundraiser

Write Urgent letter to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency responsible for leasing on public lands, has entered the final phase of the process to hold a lease sale on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — with a lease sale expected as soon as January!

To make matters worse, BLM is refusing to accept any email comments on this destructive proposal threatening Indigenous sovereignty, struggling wildlife and our climate future — so let’s fill their mailbox! Letters need to be mailed by Thursday Dec. 10

 Arctic Refuge Lease Sale Letter Writing Guide

350Sonoma Priorities for climate action in Sonoma County

1.  Keep climate action and climate justice as a first-tier priority at county and city councils

2.  Waste Management/  Carbon sequestration

  • Zero Waste: diverting food waste from landfill, reducing plastic consumption,etc 
  • Wildland management
  • Carbon gardening/ farming
  • Local Compost facility

3.  Rapid transition to clean energy and no new fossil fuel infrastructure

  • All-electric requirements for new construction and major renovations
  • No new Gas lines to new construction
  • No new Gas stations
  • Microgrids on government land

Support Local Composting

Provide support for Renewable Sonoma (RS) at the Zero Waste Sonoma
(ZWS) Meeting on November 18 at 8:30 am where RS will provide an update on the compost project to the ZWS Board. This will be an online meeting:

Renewable Sonoma requests that you write a short letter before Nov. 18 emphasizing that we need our local compost facility back: our soil needs a local source of quality soil amendments. Renewable Sonoma with the experience of Sonoma Compost has the qualifications and trust of the community to deliver a product that will meet our local needs.
If you would like to attend the online meeting please contact Will Bakx at will@renewablesonoma.com to let him know you will be attending and making a short statement.

Please send letters before Nov 18 to:
Zero Waste Sonoma
Leslie Lukacs, Executive Director
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100

Undocufund

Contribute to Undocufund An estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants live andw ork in Sonoma County. They care for our children and elderly, clean our homes, cook in our restaurants, maintain our yards and tend and harvest the grapes. These essential jobs do not offer sick leave, unemployment benefits or medical benefits.  Undocufund was established by a coalition – Graton Day Labor Center, North Bay Organizing Project and North Bay Jobs for Justice – to support these neighbors and their families as they cope with the Covid-19 epidemic and the recent LNO Complex fires. Your donation ensures that families are able to shelter in place, have enough to eat and recover from the multiple crises that we are facing. You can donate at www.undocufund.org/donate.

Sonoma Co pledges to stop Investing in fossil fuels: yet they haven’t

In December, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a socially responsible investing resolution. The resolution requests, in part, that county Treasurer Erick Roeser make no new or renewed investments in corporations financing fossil fuels and immigrant detention centers.  Yet Fossil Fuel investment is still happening:  As fires burn all around us, we must recognize that we in essence are financing our own demise through these investments. We must also come to grips with the fact that we cannot continue to remedy the costs of rebuilding from natural disasters with tax measures when our tax dollars are simultaneously financing the fossil fuel industry.

It is imperative that elected officials take a stand and act on this sooner rather than later; delaying divesting simply adds fuel to the fires.  We are asking folks to contact their county supervisors and ask that they apply pressure on the treasurer to assure that he abide by the Socially Responsible Investing Resolution that they all voted on unanimously last year.    bos@sonoma-county.org

Burned

Burning Biomass for fuel will not protect us from wildfire! 

🔥

Please watch this very important film as soon as you can.  “BURNED: are trees the new coal?“ about the devastating impacts of the biomass industry is available online.  Biomass is being billed as clean, green and sustainable but it is just the opposite, even more impactful than burning coal.https://burnedthemovie.com

Senator Feinstein introduces a flawed bill, S. 4431 “Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020”  

Opposing organizations including the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Parks Conservation Association, collectively representing millions of Americans,are saying that rather than focusing on making our homes and communities safer, the bill would result in increased unregulated logging in areas far from communities and call for more biomass energy production. 

Read more here to find out why the bill will not do what it says it will do. 

PRESS RELEASE 

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) have co-authored a bill, S.4431, the “Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020” which would increase wildfire risks to communities and ignore environmental laws. Opposing organizations including the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Parks Conservation Association, collectively representing millions of Americans,are saying that rather than focusing on making our homes and communities safer, the bill would result in increased unregulated logging in areas far from communities.

Congress needs to directly support communities in hardening homes and creating defensible space, rather than spending hundreds of millions for increased logging efforts – which have exacerbated recent fires in the West in areas where clear-cutting and thinning operations have removed the largest, most fire-resistant trees. 

  1. 4431 is calling for more biomass energy production, which spews carbon dioxide and other toxic byproducts into the air by the ton. This bill completely ignores the value of forests as storehouses of carbon.  

Burning forest products in biomass plants is ineffective in protecting communities and forests during wildfire, is expensive, while masquerading as clean energy, and relies on government subsidies, hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars, so fewer dollars are then available for making us safer. Spending more on biomass would also take finite resources away from true clean energy sources.

  1. 4431 is a discredited, unscientific initiative that will take us in the wrong direction. It is not a climate solution, will cause heavy increases in carbon released into the atmosphere and will drastically reduce the ability of forests to store and sequester carbon. The top fire scientists have shown us that we need to focus on defensible space and on creating and maintaining fire-safe homes. This bill needs to be completely modified, focusing on protecting homes and communities.

Editors: For further info please contact Jenny Blaker, jennyb01@wllw.net, 707 792 4422

 Please contact your senators: Let them know you oppose S4431. 

 Joe_Petrzelka@feinstein.senate.gov (DC staff for Feinstein) or 202-224-3841

Isaac_Irby@harris.senate.gov   or 202-224-3553 Senator Harris who is sponsoring a better bill S.2882 – “The Wildfire Defence Act “

 Bryan_Petit@energy.senate.gov (Dem staff for Senate ENR)  


Hello Gov. Newsom- new oil and gas permits, seriously?

I’d like to share with you my personal story of confusion and anger.  — I heard  Governor Newsom on national news clearly define the catastrophic fires as a real time climate emergency. How does this square with the fact that Newsom is simultaneously greenlighting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry that is feeding the climate crisis and contributing to larger and faster fires. The folks at Greenpeace had the same response, Join in on tweeting, emailing, and calling, Gov. Newsom’s office now!  Thank you for taking action.  Christine for 350 Sonoma

Join me in tweeting at Governor Newsom demanding that he stop permitting the climate crisis and fueling these wildfires with more oil and gas permits!

Don’t have Twitter? Sign the petition to Governor Newsom. 

Keep Climate a Tier 1 Issue

Thanks to those that have signed our “Keep Climate a Tier 1 Issue” petition!  Please share with friends so that we can double our impact when sending this petition to local city and county officials.

Keep Climate a Tier 1 Issue

Add your voice and Join us in signing a petition to send to our local elected officials asking them to keep Climate as a Tier 1 Issue.  They are dealing with multiple crises, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the economic and political dysfunction of federal leadership. The list of pressing issues is indeed daunting, but relegating the climate crisis to a second tier concern is ill advised. Climate change is an overarching issue that needs to be at the center of every problem we address. Several of the jurisdictions in Sonoma County have wisely declared climate change an emergency, an existential threat that warrants immediate direct action. We must find ways to quickly decarbonize our energy system, regenerate our soils, and engage our community in new green jobs. In the process, we must examine social inequities and how we can best support every member of our community to survive and thrive in this perilous time. Perhaps most important, we must examine the way we make decisions and the protocols that slow progress unnecessarily.