For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors approves Climate Resilient Lands Strategy
SANTA ROSA, CA | September 13, 2022
Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors today approved the Climate Resilient Lands Strategy, a document designed to provide structure and guidance to climate-related efforts throughout the county, with a focus on natural and working lands. The strategy was produced by the Climate Action and Resiliency Division within the County Administrator’s Office and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.
Comprising more than 1.1 million acres, Sonoma County contains multiple microclimates, a wide range of topography and coastal geography, supporting a variety of ecological zones, plant and animal species, working lands, waters and communities. In developing the Climate Resilient Lands Strategy, the county staff worked with partners and stakeholders throughout the region.
This non-regulatory strategy document identifies the highest priority projects to build resilience across the varied land types and promote system-wide benefits to the county’s watersheds and ecosystems. By supporting adaptation in the county’s natural and working lands to adjust to the changing climate, the strategy mitigates the impacts of climate hazards on our residents - with a focus on residents most vulnerable to those hazards.
With the approval of the Climate Resilient Lands Strategy, the County of Sonoma is positioned to proactively pursue funding from state and federal agencies toward its goals of climate adaptation, land conservation and land restoration.
“Our county has already been on the frontlines of the disastrous impacts of climate change,” said Supervisor James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “With a beneficial tool like the Climate Resilient Lands Strategy to guide them, county departments, agencies, land managers, community organizations, and others can work effectively and efficiently with cohesion”
Some of objectives and goals of the strategy include:
- Conserving, managing, and restoring as much of the county as possible across public, private, natural, developed, and agricultural lands.
- Focusing early actions on areas with the greatest potential for carbon sequestration, climate risk reduction and biodiversity enhancement.
- Providing a forum for coordinated action on climate resilience in the county.
- Reducing 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.
- Partnering with Native American tribes within Sonoma County to advance traditional ecological knowledge and preserve tribal cultural resources and tribal cultural properties.
- Identifying funding and financing strategies within the county, state, and federal, as well as private funding sources to advance this innovative and bold plan. Identifying new concepts for funding and financing sources as well.
- Prioritizing 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.
Before being approved today, the draft strategy underwent rigorous review by county staff and its consulting partner the Eastern Research Group, Inc. County staff consulted with local tribes, community stakeholders and technical experts, and the draft strategy had been made available for public comment over a 30-day period in June and July.