Actions to Preserve Biological Diversity in Sonoma County
Preserving Biological Diversity
for Sonoma County
By Hattie Brown
Over 50 experts from Sonoma County and beyond collaborated to write the Biodiversity Action Plan: Priority Actions to Preserve Biodiversity in Sonoma County. The Action Plan provides a framework for understanding of countywide biodiversity and determining actions capable of conserving biodiversity for generations to come. Sonoma County is a biodiversity “hotspot” - one of the most biologically diverse places in the United States, and home to numerous unspoiled habitats and a treasury of familiar and rare plant and animal species.
“Sonoma County’s biodiversity is rooted in its large variety of habitats defined by many different soils types, microclimates, and topography,” says Dr. Christina Sloop of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, “Unique habitats make for a unique flora and fauna, in many cases found nowhere else on Earth!”
The Action Plan’s objective was to answer questions regarding Sonoma County’s natural heritage: What makes up Sonoma County’s biodiversity? What are the threats to biodiversity? What can we do to reduce the risk of losing our biodiversity?
The Action Plan’s recommendations include educating the community; implementing an overarching “vital signs” monitoring framework; promoting conservation; protecting land through acquisitions and easements; conducting a regional climate change vulnerability analyses for species and ecosystems; and performing a cost analysis of both restoration and development projects. What is really needed is preservation of “large connected pieces [of land] everywhere,” says Wendy Eliot of the Sonoma Land Trust.
Many of the Action Plan’s contributors have formed a consortium, the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI), dedicated to understanding the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of the North Bay and the many related “ecosystem services” such as water supply, crop viability, and pollination that local biodiversity fosters. You can find more about NBCAI (http://www.nbcai.com), the Biodiversity Action Plan (http://www.lagunafoundation.org/knowledgebase), online.
You can download a complete copy of the Action Plan as a PDF at: http://www.sonomacf.org/