Sonoma County, comprising over 1.1 million acres (1,500 square miles) and with a population of approximately 488,000 people, hosts a diverse landscape with coastal geography, varied topography, and a range of microclimates. Collectively, the landscape supports an array of ecological zones, plant, and animal species, working lands, waters, and communities (Sonoma County Ag + Open Space, 2021a). With a wide range of vegetative communities, a high degree of climatic variation, and a diverse topographic and geologic landscape, Sonoma’s natural and working lands provide benefits that support the county’s social, ecological, and economic health. These natural and working lands, however, are vulnerable to increasingly dramatic and rapid climate changes. To strengthen climate resilience of natural and working lands throughout Sonoma, the County of Sonoma (also referred to as “the County”) has worked with partners and stakeholders throughout the county to develop this bold and critical Climate Resilient Lands Strategy (“Lands Strategy”). The Lands Strategy aims to address the following objectives:
- Conserve, manage, and restore as much of the county as possible across public, private, natural, developed, and agricultural lands.
- Focus early actions on areas with the greatest potential for carbon sequestration, climate risk reduction and biodiversity enhancement.
- Provide a forum for coordinated action on climate resilience in Sonoma County.
- Reduce fragmentation of the natural lands system by adding to conserved spaces, increasing connections and corridors, and working with private landowners to develop shared management strategies.
- Partner with Native American tribes within Sonoma County to advance traditional ecological knowledge and preserve tribal cultural resources and tribal cultural properties.
- Identify funding and financing strategies within the county, state, and federal, as well as private funding sources to advance this innovative and bold plan. Identify new concepts for funding and financing sources as well.
- Prioritize equity and climate justice approaches that are measurable and clear.
The Resilient Lands Strategy helps Sonoma County implement its Five-Year Strategic Plan Climate Action and Resiliency pillar by developing policies to maximize carbon sequestration and minimize loss of natural carbon sinks, encouraging agricultural and open space land management to maximize sequestration, and developing a framework and policies to incentivize collaboration with private and public land owners.
Webinar and comment submission details
The live webinar to discuss the Resilient Lands Strategy and to share feedback will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2022. It will start with an overview presentation of the strategy, and then staff will be available to answer questions and collect comments. Spanish interpretation will be available for the Zoom webinar. A video of the meeting will be uploaded to the county’s YouTube and Facebook pages for anyone interested but who could not attend.
Sonoma County Climate Resilient Lands Strategy Workshop Live Zoom Link:
Please submit your written comments to email@example.com. Comments can be sent in either Spanish or English, and are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2022.