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Sonoma County Gazette

Environment and Ecology

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2020-02-17Feb 17, 2020

Sonoma County Climate Activist Network (SoCoCAN!) wants you in the room for Sonoma County Climate Activists Community Summit, It’s Up To Us! Sun., Mar. 15, 1:30-6:00pm, Odd Fellows Hall, 545 Pacific Ave., Santa Rosa. The Summit aims to link groups and activists closer for greater leverage on climate crisis, focuses on how adults can work with youth-led groups and seeks an overall vision for our county in the fight for climate justice. 

2020-02-02Feb 2, 2020

Jerry Dodrill is exhibiting his amazing Photography depicting vistas of "Sonoma County Wild"" at the Laguna Foundation's Heron Hall, through May 5, 2020.

2020-01-29Jan 29, 2020

Five million mattresses have been recycled by the Bye Bye Mattress program in the state of California since the program began in 2016, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) announced today. If these mattresses were laid end-to-end they would span nearly 6,000 miles – enough to build a bridge from California to Hawaii and back. By recycling these units, Bye Bye Mattress helped California save more than 6 million cubic yards of landfill space.

2020-01-28Jan 28, 2020

The Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan, an integral part of that decades-long preservation effort, is being revisited by county officials, and changes will be made. It will be important to be watchful and mindful that we do not lose what so many have fought to save. Please consider attending the next public workshop on the Local Coastal Plan, scheduled forJanuary 30, 2020 at 1:15 p.m. at the county planning department, Permit Sonoma 2550 Ventura Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

2020-01-23Jan 23, 2020

The council meets quarterly to discuss various topics related to management of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, including sanctuary enforcement coordination; updates from the Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey national marine sanctuary superintendents; and from the Director of the Greater Farallones Association, the nonprofit partner to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

2020-01-22Jan 22, 2020

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has diverted over $100 million from safety and maintenance programs to executive compensation at the same time it has caused an average of more than one fire a day for the past six years killing over 100 people. PG&E is the largest privately held public utility in the United States. A new research report shows that 91% of PG&E stocks are held by huge international investment management firms, including BlackRock and Vanguard Group. PG&E is an ideal investment for global capital management firms with monopoly control over five million households paying $16 billion for gas and electric in California. The California Public Utility Commission (PUC) has allowed an annual return up to 11%.


2020-01-16Jan 16, 2020

Learning Laguna Docents provide meaningful volunteer service to schools to ensure a healthy future for the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the children of our community. Learning Laguna is a two-part wetland education experience for 2nd-4th grade students that inspires learning with specially designed, engaging activities focused on the Laguna ecosystem and gets children outside for explorations in nature. Sign up!Docent Training Orientation;Monday, January 27, 2020, 10:00am – 12:00pm

2020-01-15Jan 15, 2020

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma says when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, California is "moving the financial needle" in the right direction. "As the State’s Banker, I’m happy that we will invest in companies that spur newer, greener tech solutions to combat fires, floods and blackouts in California. The $1 billion low-interest revolving loan fund sends a message to the world that California is stepping up even more to help Mother Nature." Both Ca treasury programs, CAEATFA assists the state in meeting its greenhouse gas goals and works with the private market. CPCFA facilitates low cost financing to qualified waste and recycling projects to control pollution and improve water supply.


2020-01-12Jan 12, 2020

In partnership with  The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship,  a non-profit organization based in Santa Rosa/Windsor,  Timber Cove Resort  removed 26,000 sq. ft. of non-native, invasive iceplant and replanted with native shrubs and seeds. The Center also promotes educational opportunities and works with  disadvantaged youth  on the project. 


2020-01-09Jan 9, 2020

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a local nonprofit working to promote bicycling in Sonoma County through education and advocacy. To find out more – and to make a tax-deductible contribution to support their work – visit .


2020-01-09Jan 9, 2020

On January 4th and 5th, Forest Unlimited - the long standing Sonoma County-based forest and watershed protection group, planted 1400 coast redwood seedlings in an area between the Pacific Ocean and Sebastopol. The two properties that hosted the plantings are protected forever by conservation easements.

2020-02-16Feb 16, 2020

Transportation is the single biggest source of GHG emissions. By shifting to low carbon transportation modes, we can prevent millions of pounds of emissions annually. SMART is a green commute alternative to the one-person-in-one-car model of sitting in tra_c idling on the Hwy 101 corridor, emitting tons of GHGs. The 1.72 million people who have ridden on SMART prevented 8.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions, compared to the same trip in a car.

2020-01-09Jan 9, 2020

Climate Healthy Communities Start with Urban Growth Boundaries. All nine cities in Sonoma County adopted UGBs more than 20 years ago and most have renewed them once. UGBs are proven and accepted across the board by planners, communities and most elected officials as successful. 

2020-01-06Jan 6, 2020

Why Would Anyone Try to Justify Dropping Poison in the Middle of Our National Marine Sanctuary with a Personal Attack?  I will simply make a couple of observations about what’s likely driving the current Administration’s recently seated Monsanto-trained Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ms. Aurelia Skipwith, to rush to try to resurrect the increasingly controversial push to use helicopters to spread 1.5 tons of multi-species second-generation rodenticide poison on the Southeast Farallon Island as early as next fall.  California policymakers are right now proactively taking action to simply preclude the use of the very same dangerous chemical, brodifacoum, lest we cause the potential extinction of mountain lions, bobcats, and several other species. 

2019-12-29Dec 29, 2019

On December 5th, at its Holiday Networking Party, the Sonoma County Conservation Council gave Woody Hastings the Ernestine I. Smith Environmentalist of the Year award, for his work organizing against new gas stations being built in the County — one of the great success stories of 2019. 

2019-12-29Dec 29, 2019

Greta Thunberg is youngest ever named Time’s Person of the Year. For all her work in motivating millions of people to care about and strike for the climate, Time named Greta their person of the year. She stressed that she wasn’t alone and talked about other youth leaders. COP 25, the UN Climate Summit was a failure. Million Roofs Initiative reaches its goal. Divestment—Goldman Sachs, UC, Ireland join 1100 other institutions.


2019-12-25Dec 25, 2019

We feel we must again respond to the opposition to a proposal by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to eradicate non-native and invasive House Mice from the Farallon Islands outlined in this article (  A lot has been written about this proposal, both pro and con. We invite those interested in being informed to read the FWS's Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project here


2019-12-17Dec 17, 2019

Effective 12/09/2019, the burn permit suspension in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties was lifted by Cal Fire. Those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can resume burning on permissible burn days. Residents are asked to use caution while conducting burns, follow all guidelines, and to maintain control of the fire at all times. Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control.

2019-12-12Dec 12, 2019

The holidays are a season of excess, but by making some key changes, you don’t have to give up any joy to have a great time and feel good about your habits. Sustainable Gift Guide. Experiences rather than things are a great option – especially for those who already seem to have it all. If you opt for consumable items, consider homemade vs. store-bought. Also, look for durable, energy-efficient, goods, gifts that give back, and items that can be recycled or composted at their end of life. Choose email receipts, items with minimal packaging, and opt out of free gifts with purchase.


2019-12-11Dec 11, 2019

On October 30, 2019, LandPaths announced the acquisition of Ocean Song, a 421-acre property, of which 240 acres is protected by a “forever wild” conservation easement. Situated in the coastal hills of western Sonoma County, Ocean Song teems with coastal grasslands, pristine creeks and ponds, canyons, oak woodlands, redwoods, and acres of garden and farmland. Set atop a ridge, the land inspires awe with sweeping views up and down the Pacific Coast. Abundant plant and animal life call this place home


2019-12-11Dec 11, 2019

Audubon's 120th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted between the dates of Saturday, December 14, 2019 through Sunday, January 5, 2020.  Your local count will occur on one day between those dates. Participate in as many counts as you wish! You can also  view the circles by state here  or use ESRI's free mobile app to view updated public maps of all CBC circles by state! Click  here  to download the free ESRI Explorer app for iOS or Android. Find CBC circles by searching on your state’s full name + “Christmas Bird Count”.

2019-12-07Dec 7, 2019

As the process of updating the Local Coastal Plan unfolds (and soon also the county General Plan update) the foundation of analysis should be an understanding of the carrying capacity of the natural environment and man-made infrastructure.  Focusing for the moment on the latter, what is the carrying capacity of the roads, water systems/wells, the septic systems and sewerage treatment plants which constitute the core elements of infrastructure supporting human habitation of the area.  


2020-02-16Feb 16, 2020

Thanks to a generous grant from CAL FIRE, we’ll be discussing: Community Wildfire Protection Plans, Roadside fuel reduction work, Old Skaggs Springs Road, Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Road, Residential defensible space projects and more.

2019-12-02Dec 2, 2019

During the months of October and November, up to  21 groundwater monitoring wells will be drilled near Sonoma County creeks   to provide new information to managers and the public on the link between groundwater and stream flows. Coordination and construction of the wells are a technical service provided by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to Sonoma County’s three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs).


2019-12-01Dec 1, 2019

For Sunrise Sonoma County (SunriseSoCo), climate justice isn’t only about adjusting to fires and floods; the whole future is dicey. Sunrise s a youth-led group, ages 13-35 with adult supporters. When the full weight of climate change hits after 2030 if we don’t reduce to zero CO2 emissions, Sunrisers will still be young and there is no plan in place to ward off irreversible catastrophe. Urgent action is needed and “we need absolutely everybody,” says the national Sunrise Movement. 

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

There is much to be thankful for on the Sonoma Coast, and there’s a lot you can do to protect it right now.  Your current opportunities to act on behalf of our coast range from Permit Sonoma’s present process of updating our Local Coastal Plan to President Trump’s unwarranted Sonoma Coast “review” that still threatens our Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  In addition, there remains a looming federal offshore drilling scheme planned for our coast, and we are confronting Caltrans’ proposal to build a giant “Bridge to Nowhere” at Scotty Creek near Sereno del Mar, not to mention the attempted revival of a long-discredited proposal by the US Fish species anticoagulant rat poison pellets onto the Southeast Farallon Island.

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

The Public and the LCP: The Sonoma Coast is an irreplaceable public asset and deserves the kind of respect and due process that it was accorded during the thorough public participation by which the first LCP was initially formulated and adopted.  After a County-requested pause in the LCP update process following the 2017 Tubbs fire, Permit Sonoma is now pushing through an artificially-rushed  public review of hundreds of pages of binding planning guidance and formal regulatory language in the aftermath of this year’s new fire season. 

2019-11-29Nov 29, 2019

The Vital Lands Initiative is a comprehensive plan that will guide our work for the next 10 years. Building on our 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. The updated draft of the Vital Lands Initiative is now available for review. Comments on the draft are due by Monday, December 16, 2019, and can be submitted using our online form or by emailing

2019-11-26Nov 26, 2019

On Sunday, November 17th, a public workshop hosted by the aptly named Permit Sonoma revealed the extent to which developers have gone in their quest to profit from one of the last natural resources left in the county—the beauty of our coast. The meeting was presided over by Cecily Condon and two other PRMD Planner-IIIs, Gary Helfrich, (transportation specialist) and Jane Riley (housing specialist). Cecily acknowledged that readily-available scientific recommendations had not been incorporated in the draft since 2008. She acknowledged that compared to previous Local Coastal Plans, ESHA categories had been reduced from 3 to 1, completely excluding areas of future potentially sensitive habitat.

2019-11-25Nov 25, 2019

Globally forests, grasslands, and bush are all on fire. Unprecedented heat and bush fires in Australia threaten the five million residents of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, which is covered in smoke. Huge fires have been burning in the Amazon rain forest, in Indonesia, and across equatorial Africa. In June it was so hot in Barcelona, Spain, that a farmer’s chicken manure compost pile spontaneously ignited, causing Spain’s largest fire in 20 years. Arctic fires this summer occurred in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, as well as Siberia...

2019-11-21Nov 21, 2019

The City of Sebastopol is enacting a new Ordinance, effective November 25, 2019 written to: prohibit use and sale of disposable food service ware and other products containing polystyrene foam, require food providers to use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware when such products are commercially available. A copy of the full ordinance is posted on the City website.

2019-11-21Nov 21, 2019

If you are wondering why you should participate in the process now underway to update the Local Coastal Plan let me offer my take on the core reason.  The continuation of sound public policy protecting the coast from excessive development while ensuring access to the beach and care of the environment requires commitment.  That commitment comes doing the work of learning the issues and the process and then showing up.  The draft document is available on-line at the PRMD website.  There will be public hearings as the process unfolds.  


2019-11-20Nov 20, 2019

Effective Wednesday, November 20, 2019, Sonoma County is issuing a cold weather advisory in response to the National Weather Service’s prediction for temperatures in the 30s overnight in parts of the county that might also be without power.

2020-02-11Feb 11, 2020

Because of conservation efforts by Bill Kortum, Ted Eliot and many, many others that have “loved where they lived” enough to protect lands and also because we are a community that enjoys exploring and discovering the secrets of our natural world, we have a huge list of birds that have been encountered in Sonoma County over time. In addition to having an incredible diversity of natural habitats, lots of public lands, and adventurous birdwatchers, we also have mild winters. We are also along the commonly used bird migration route known as the Pacific Flyway.  All of these factors contribute to the huge diversity in birdlife that we enjoy in Sonoma County.  

2019-11-19Nov 19, 2019

This past Saturday Nov 16, I attended a very unusual and heartwarming event at REFRAME Hair Gallery  run by Nevuah Rautenberg and Cameron Nairn Wayland the owners. The event  Glamour + Grit: Art Show & CSA Fair, featured women farmers from across Sonoma and Napa Counties. There was a delicious spread of food and wine in the center. The women farmers had set up displays and provided information at each styling booth, with the portrait of each farmer at their farm on the wall behind them.  The photographs of  Loren Hansen Photography  are beautiful and capture the spirit of the women in their farm setting. Visitors could talk with the farmers and sign up for a CSA;  I was surprised to learn from Evan Wiig the communication and membership director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), that Every CSA farm in Sonoma and Napa Counties is either woman-owned or co-owned! 

2019-11-17Nov 17, 2019

Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), and Assemblymember Mark Stone, Vice Chair, are hosting an important hearing next week on two critical topics: the upcoming Dungeness crab season and how fish passage barriers on our state highways are impacting species recovery. 

2019-11-12Nov 12, 2019

The inspiration for Osmosis was born in Japan the day I took my first enzyme bath in the spring of 1984.  As the healing warmth of the bath enveloped my entire body, I was relieved of a crushing nerve pain that had plagued my body for months. At the same time, I dropped into an indescribable experience of sensing the entire universe like never before. As a minuscule part of this journey, a vivid picture of a healing sanctuary with the enzyme bath at the core surrounded by meditative Japanese style gardens and gracious hospitality flashed before my minds eye. From this remarkable moment, I knew it was my calling to bring the Japanese enzyme bath back to West County. 

2019-11-12Nov 12, 2019

A landmark program between the California Pollution Control Financing Authority(CPCFA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has now financed more than 25,000 cleaner burning diesel trucks. That is the equivalent of removing 4 million passenger cars from the road and 145 tons per year of particulate matter."California’s aggressive targets for newer and cleaner diesel, natural gas and zero emission vehicles are necessary to protect our communities and the environment," said California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, who chairs the CPCFA board.

2019-11-11Nov 11, 2019

An unprecedented 90 percent of voters in the City of Rohnert Park passed Measure B to protect open space and focus growth inside the city’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) for the next 20 years — until the end of 2040. The UGB can only be changed by a vote of the people, with few exceptions. Greenbelt Alliance led the campaign to pass Measure B.

2019-11-07Nov 7, 2019

In 2019, 36 states introduced over 220 bills to curb or eliminate plastic pollution. News story after news story has covered the harrowing statistics around the presence of plastic in nearly everything, from the water we drink  to the  air we breathe. This relatively sudden spotlight on plastic pollution is largely a result of China’s 2018 National Sword Policy.  After years of purchasing, processing, and managing 70% of the United States’ plastic collected for recycling and 95% of the European Union’s,  China banned imports  of most recyclable waste, leading to a stark 99% drop in its plastic materials imports in one year’s time.  

2019-10-28Oct 28, 2019

While the recent power outage did prevent a recurrence of the recent fires here and elsewhere, it wouldn’t have been necessary if PG&E had instead put the money into preventive maintenance and upgrading infrastructure, especially the antiquated grid. Because of its convoluted construction many people in low-risk areas unnecessarily were without power.  This system needs modernizing so it’s decentralized, clean, resilient, and safe. Even better would be modern micro-grids. 

2019-10-26Oct 26, 2019

Fire Update - please stay connected to SoCoEmergency Services for constant updates.  Winds are predicted to pick up tonight to alarming speeds - power is still on in many locations, but scheduled shut-offs are in process. Evacuation Centers are uo and running to accommodate evacuated communities...see below.  It's easy to think it won't happen but it IS happening for thousands of people.

2019-10-24Oct 24, 2019

While California’s cannabis market is bursting with countless new brands and flourishing with innovation and sophistication, with products in gorgeous packaging, a surprising majority are made with mass produced, low quality ingredients like distillate, isolate and corn syrup. Gasp. The fact that many of us are just happy to be able to legally acquire cannabis products has precluded many of us from asking the important questions about the source and quality of a product..

2019-10-24Oct 24, 2019

The workshop in Bodega Bay is being rescheduled. A revised notice containing and confirming details for all of the Public Review Draft workshops will be sent as soon as possible. 

2020-02-08Feb 8, 2020

In September, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins with Director of Regional Parks Bert Whitaker and his team, Director of Transportation and Public Works (TPW) Johannes Hoervertsz and his team, CHP representatives and your local MAC representatives have been working away in the background on solutions to protect our Beach neighborhoods, now and for the long term. One of the top goals is toReduce influx of beach parking in the neighborhoods.

2019-10-23Oct 23, 2019

Back in the 1930s a Santa Rosan agriculturalist-cum-chemist infused gas to take the place of the liquid removed so as to support the delicate internal silicon dioxide structure. Thus was the lightest material in the world created, aerogel, composed of an astonishing 99.8% air. In 2004 NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, equipped with a giant “tennis racket” composed of aerogel, scooped up the material being ejected from a passing comet and returned the samples to Earth two years later.

2019-10-20Oct 20, 2019

The Value of Embracing Wild Birds and Domestic Cats.  Many commord n bispecies are losing ground in their struggle to exist. Two familiar birds which have declined are the Dark-eyed Junco and the Barn Swallow.  Juncos are a cute sparrow that comes to feeders. Protect our wild birds while keeping our pets safe.  Cats are not part of the natural ecosystems and they kill small birds, like the Dark-eyed Junco. Keeping cats indoors is also good for their own safety. Photo by Dieter Joel Jagnow from FreeImages

2019-10-20Oct 20, 2019

Permit Sonoma invites you to attend and provide input at the upcoming public workshops on the Public Review Draft of the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan. The first public workshop is being held (CANCELLED due to fires - will be rescheduled) Saturday, October 26, 2019, in Bodega Bayat 10 AM-12 PM Bodega Bay Fire Station 510 State Hwy 1 Bodega Bay. The workshop in Bodega Bay is being rescheduled. A revised notice containing and confirming details for all of the Public Review Draft workshops will be sent as soon as possible. SEEOther workshops to attend… 

2019-10-16Oct 16, 2019

Ten national, state and local environmental organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Madrone Audubon Society, have written letters to Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravich urging her to pursue criminal charges against wine company executive Hugh Reimers and his company, Krasilsa Pacific Farms.

2019-10-11Oct 11, 2019

Events took place in over 6,100 locations in 185 countries, and a group of scientist in Antarctica joining in the strike made it happen on all seven continents.  This far exceeded the one million people who took part in 2200 events on March 15th, including the one I attended here in Santa Rosa. Locally, strikes in Sebastopol, Sonoma, Petaluma, and Napa joined one with several thousand people in Santa Rosa. Additional organizational help locally included that from Sustainable SRJC, the SRJC Bio Club, ECO2School, in addition to groups mentioned previously. While I was in Chico instead of Santa Rosa, I was able to get transcripts of some of the youth leaders’ speeches at a rally in Courthouse Square, which followed a march from Santa Rosa Junior College.  

2019-10-09Oct 9, 2019

Preparations began September 24, 2019 for a long-awaited project that will remove standing dead fuel on two large properties in the heart of the Tubbs fire footprint. This project, funded by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife with cost share from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and managed by the Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD), will improve forest and watershed health while reducing fuel loads and future fire risk. By implementing forest management prescriptions on over 160 acres, and subsequently conducting erosion reduction treatments on over 3 miles of hydrologically connected roads, the project will improve summer streamflows and prevent an estimated 3,225 cubic yards of sediment from entering Mark West Creek, home to endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout.

2019-10-03Oct 3, 2019

This is the case right now as Sonoma County government embarks on an update of the Local Coastal Plan (LCP). Most people have heard something about the Coastal Commission, that state government body which regulates land use and development of the coast while also protecting the coastal environment and guarding the public right to access the coast.  The Coastal Commission was established by a grass roots political movement in the 1970’s when in 1972 California voters passed Proposition 20, the Coastal Initiative. 

2019-09-29Sep 29, 2019

California’s been a leader in clean energy for years;  our higher standards for fuel efficiency helped raise standards nationwide and spurred the federal government to enact higher standards in 2015. Now the current administration has not only proposed repealing those higher standards, but on September 18th the administration canceled the waiver under which California’s had higher standards since the 1970s. Friday, September 20th, saw millions of young people—and their adult allies— striking worldwide for the climate before the UN Climate Action Summit in NYC.

2019-09-27Sep 27, 2019

The City of Santa Rosa and the County of Sonoma continue to encourage residents living in and around the areas burned by the Sonoma Complex Fires to prepare their property for the rainy season and remain alert for possible threats from intense winter storms. Properties in the areas burned, and downstream of those areas, still have an elevated risk for flash floods, rock falls, debris flows, and mud flows. The areas affected by the Nuns, Tubbs, and Pocket Fires did not experience any significant debris or mudflows over the last two winters. The areas affected by the Nuns, Tubbs, and Pocket Fires did not experience any significant debris or mudflows over the last two winters. While these areas have seen substantial improvement in soil and plant growth conditions, the threat of natural hazards from winter storms still exist.

2019-09-27Sep 27, 2019

anta Rosa, CA – Sonoma County was recently awarded $586,739 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to support projects that mitigate seismic and wildfire hazards throughout the County. The awards come after an extensive application and review period that followed the Sonoma Complex Fires.  After the 2017 Fires, we immediately started identifying available grants to help our community recover.” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds will increase public safety in Sonoma County. The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) administers these federal funds which require a total of $195,580 in local match funding. 

2020-02-06Feb 6, 2020

Our historic record of grassroots activism is what gives us the quality of life we all treasure. We have established a spider web of protected areas, greenbelts and parks that serve as community separators. When I’ve gone to public hearings and meetings where people are working to further preserve these areas from development and degradation, I’m both impressed and alarmed that often it’s the same people who fought to establish the initial protections for these areas who are still the ones fighting to protect them. At forty-six years old, I can look around the room and ask, where is the rest of my generation? Do we take these lands that our predecessors saved for granted? Are we willing to stand up for our open spaces? 

2019-09-26Sep 26, 2019

On Tuesday, September 17, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors removed zoning restrictions that prohibit the ability to apply to construct an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADUs) on over 1,900 agricultural properties. This action will eliminate unnecessary regulatory constraints on a recognized form of affordable housing, while continuing to protect and support the county’s agricultural and environmental resources. 

2019-09-24Sep 24, 2019

Prominent Sonoma County wine executive Hugh Reimers has been ordered to submit a plan to repair the damage his wine company has done to hundreds of acres of natural habitat. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board listed the damage in its June Notice of Violation issued to Reimers and his company, Krasilsa Pacific Farms, LLC. The Notice says that the winegrower bulldozed 50 acres of oak woodlands, deep-ripped about 200 acres of meadow, dredged and filled 10,000 square feet of wetlands, and dumped tree branches and other fill-in 2,450 feet of natural creeks which historically served as salmon runs. The actions directly threaten wildlife habitat and aquatic species, the Water Board notice said.

2019-09-19Sep 19, 2019

Coastwalk/CCTA is coordinating Coastal Cleanup Day for Sonoma County and trying to recruit volunteers for 18 beach locations as well as providing a hub website to link to all our partner’s inland waterway cleanups to help them recruit volunteers.

2019-09-18Sep 18, 2019

As you might imagine, an oilman morphing into an environmentalist after many years in that arena produced some clashes with others in the field – after all, I spent 25 years looking for oil and gas as a petroleum geologist in the Midwest. Much of my income has been and still is from oil and gas production as I retain several royalty interests in Oklahoma wells.

2019-09-17Sep 17, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors formally joined cities, counties, and countries across the world in declaring a climate emergency, establishing this issue as a top priority. Over 1,000 local governments representing 219 million people in 19 countries have issued resolutions to solidify their commitment to mobilizing an emergency response commensurate with the scale of the climate crisis. The adopted resolution includes a directive to partner with Sonoma County’s Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) to fight climate change by developing and implementing the 2030 Climate Emergency Mobilization Strategy. 

2019-09-09Sep 9, 2019

Waterways and Watershed Clean-Up Sonoma County 2019. Every fall volunteers scour the hills, creeks, tributaries, river, and beaches of Sonoma County to remove trash before winter rains wash it out to sea or before floodwaters float trash into our riverbank trees and bushes. It's a daunting task and takes hundreds of people time to accomplish. But the end results are spectacular. Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful if this were not necessary! But it is. Please join all these wonderful people to clean up Sonoma County waterways before winter rains begin! THANK YOU!

2019-09-09Sep 9, 2019

The Mattress Recycling Council’sBye Bye Mattress Program andZero WasteSonoma are coming together for a FREE three-day mattress collection event in Rohnert Park for Sonoma County residents.

2019-09-03Sep 3, 2019

This column started over 11 years ago as a way to share individual actions that make a difference for our planet and her people. I still believe all of us have to take all the small steps we can, but it’s clear that only policy changes can save us, and for that we have to work collectively.

2019-08-31Aug 31, 2019

The Sonoma Resource Conservation District’s longest standing youth education program of over twenty years, FARMS (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability) Leadership provides innovative, hands-on experiences to urban, suburban and rural youth at working farms, agri- businesses and universities. A state-wide program facilitated by the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL), our graduates join approximately 300 other students in California that complete the program annually.  

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

I sat with Mike Boss in a rustic gazebo on the grounds of his newly acquired 7 acre horticultural preserve outside Sebastopol, CA. Now renamed the Hidden Forest Nursery, for decades it operated as Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, specializing in rhododendrons and azaleas and featuring rare botanical wonders along its beautiful forested garden paths. 

2020-02-04Feb 4, 2020

California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has awarded $67 million for landscape-scale land management projects intended to restore and maintain healthy forests, conserve working forests, and enhance carbon storage in California’s forests. CAL FIRE funded 17 Forest Health grants, targeting over 130,000 acres of California’s forestlands for restoration through a suite of activities. 

2019-08-28Aug 28, 2019

As native carnivores, bobcats (Lynx rufus) are an indicator species of ecosystem health. Yet they face growing challenges as their habitat disappears and human impacts increasingly affect their ability to survive. Fortunately, lawmakers and a coalition of organizations are advancing bills through this session of the California State Legislature that, if passed, would protect bobcats from cruel and senseless killing. AB 1254 passed the Assembly and is scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations on August 30. If released, it could hit the Senate floor quickly. Residents can contact their senator and urge a ‘Yes’ vote on AB 1254. 


2020-02-04Feb 4, 2020

This is the decade of hope. Hope that we will finally stop the war against people and a plant by legalizing cannabis in the USA and around the globe. Hope that globally we are increasingly focused on real-time solutions to help sink carbon and restore climate stability. Interestingly, Industrial Hemp, and its use as a fiber, fuel, food, and much more is available to support this transition and both frees the plant and gets us off the carbon-economy.


2020-02-02Feb 2, 2020

On December 31, 2019, Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California,  dismissed an EPA motion for summary judgement (MSJ) in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Fluoride lawsuit. This means the lawsuit will go forward. The trial has been rescheduled to begin Monday April 20 and will run for two weeks. Judge Chen delivered his ruling on New Year's Eve. 

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CLICK on this ad to LEARN about NEW HOMES in TWO Communities in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.

Flip the pages of the 2019 Sonoma County gardeners Resource GUide - LIVE Links to local businessses

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

2019 Small Shops of Sonoma County

Your GUIDE to Locally-owned businesses to support Sonoma County's economy this Holiday Season

Sonoma County Bicycle Shops and Groups

Sonoma County Bike Shops and Groups. Find LOCALLY-OWNED Bicycle Shops for NEW, Used and Rental Bicycles as well as REPAIR. Look for a bike-riding group that suits your needs and style.

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Bookstores of Sonoma County - LOCAL GUIDE

Find a LOCALLY-OWNED Bookstore near you - CLICK HERE

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!