current actions we recommend

Protect Sonoma Oak and Forest Lands

A group of conservationists from Sonoma County Conservation Action is urging the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to consider implementing a moratorium on county permitted tree cutting in an effort to save and preserve Sonoma County’s iconic oak woodlands.

“For decades, Sonoma County’s iconic oak forests have been excessively cleared in the name of development and vineyards. Much of this county-permitted cutting is being done without rigorous regard for the ecological importance of native oak and forest lands,” said Aja Henry, an assistant field manager with Sonoma County Conservation Action. “A moratorium on tree cutting is imperative for our native habitats as well as our ecological footprint as a county. If we are to really become carbon neutral by 2050, we need a moratorium on cutting until we have a clearer picture of the situation and have developed a realistic climate-oriented tree ordinance to regulate cutting in the future.”

Here is the complete article. https://www.sonomawest.com/sonoma_west_times_and_news/news/sonoma-county-conservation-action-group-aims-to-create-oak-tree-clearing-moratorium/article_bedd6502-717f-11eb-a311-335356df8cca.html

Take action by writing to the Board of Supervisors (or your Supervisor) asking for a moratorium on cutting oaks until a realistic climate-oriented tree ordinance is developed.

District 1 Susan Gorin – Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org

District 2 David Rabbitt – David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org

District 3 – Chris Coursey – Chris.Coursey@sonoma-county.org

District 4 – James Gore – district4@sonoma-county.org

District 5 – Lynda Hopkins – district5@sonoma-county.org

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 toUndocufund Anestimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants live andw ork in Sonoma County. They care for ourchildren and elderly, clean our homes, cook in our restaurants, maintain our yards andtend and harvest the grapes. These essential jobs do not offer sick leave, unemployment benefits ormedical benefits.  Undocufundwas established by a coalition – Graton Day Labor Center, North BayOrganizing Project and NorthBay Jobs for Justice – to support these neighbors and their families as they cope with theCovid-19 epidemic and the recent LNO Complex fires. Your donation ensures that familiesare able to shelter in place, have enough to eat and recover from the multiple crisesthat 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 CountyBoard of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a sociallyresponsible investing resolution. The resolution requests, in part,that county Treasurer Erick Roeser make no new or renewed investmentsin corporations financing fossil fuels and immigrant detentioncenters.  Yet Fossil Fuel investment is stillhappening:  As fires burn allaround us, we must recognize that we in essence are financing our owndemise through these investments. We must also come to grips with thefact that we cannot continue to remedy the costs of rebuilding fromnatural disasters with tax measures when our tax dollars aresimultaneously financing the fossil fuel industry.

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

Burned

Burning Biomass for fuel will not protect us fromwildfire! 

🔥

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

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

Opposing organizations includingthe Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice,Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Parks ConservationAssociation, collectively representing millions of Americans,aresaying that rather than focusing on making our homes and communitiessafer, the bill would result in increased unregulated logging in areasfar from communities and callfor more biomass energy production. 

Read more here to find out why thebill 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 wouldincrease wildfire risks to communities and ignore environmental laws.Opposing organizations including the Sierra Club, Center forBiological Diversity, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council,and National Parks Conservation Association, collectively representingmillions of Americans,are saying that rather than focusing on makingour homes and communities safer, the bill would result in increasedunregulated logging in areas far from communities.

Congress needs to directly supportcommunities in hardening homes and creating defensible space, ratherthan spending hundreds of millions for increased logging efforts –which have exacerbated recent fires in the West in areas whereclear-cutting and thinning operations have removed the largest, mostfire-resistant trees. 

  1. 4431 is calling for more biomassenergy production, which spews carbon dioxide and other toxicbyproducts into the air by the ton. This bill completely ignores thevalue of forests as storehouses of carbon.  

Burning forest products in biomassplants is ineffective in protecting communities and forests duringwildfire, is expensive, while masquerading as clean energy, and relieson government subsidies, hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars, sofewer dollars are then available for making us safer. Spending more onbiomass would also take finite resources away from true clean energysources.

  1. 4431 is a discredited, unscientificinitiative that will take us in the wrong direction. It is not a climate solution, will causeheavy increases in carbon released into the atmosphere and willdrastically reduce the ability of forests to store and sequestercarbon. The top fire scientists have shown us that we need to focus ondefensible space and on creating and maintaining fire-safe homes. Thisbill needs to be completely modified, focusing on protecting homes andcommunities.

Editors: For further info pleasecontact Jenny Blaker, jennyb01@wllw.net, 707792 4422

 Please contact yoursenators: Let them know you opposeS4431. 

 Joe_Petrzelka@feinstein.senate.gov (DC staff for Feinstein) or202-224-3841

Isaac_Irby@harris.senate.gov   or202-224-3553 Senator Harris who is sponsoring a better bill S.2882 –“The Wildfire Defence Act “

 Bryan_Petit@energy.senate.gov (Demstaff for Senate ENR)