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The Vital Lands Initiative is a comprehensive plan that will guide our work for the next 10 years for protecting our vital open space lands. Photo:
The Vital Lands Initiative is a comprehensive plan that will guide our work for the next 10 years for protecting our vital open space lands. Photo:

Vital Lands Initiative: 
Comments on the Draft
Due by December 16

Nov 29, 2019
by Vesta Copestakes


This is another one of those local issues that requires us to read large volumns of material to understand what those in charge of our land use policies have in mind for our future. 

In this case, the presentation is stunningly beautiful. Reading the document prepared to educate and inspire us does both. 

It inspires us with history of how people care about our land, our present and our future, and with beautiful photographs of our home.

With fires wiping out large swathes of forest habitat, maintaining what we still have becomes that much more important. It’s not just critters who need this. We need it as well.

Open spaces clean our air with filtering vegetation. They inspire people to visit - then leave - so the beauty that surrounds us is an integral part of our economic health. 

And for our happiness, that beauty is our home which creates a sense of wonder that cannot be achieved any other way. We LIVE here!

Envisioning our Future Together

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 .

Interested individuals may also provide comments in person at a public workshop held by our Board of Directors on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 2:00pm in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.

The District works strategically to acquire important open spaces throughout Sonoma County, including lands that are near or adjacent to other protected lands. See live map at:

The Visionary Sonoma County Community.

The voters of Sonoma County created Ag + Open Space to protect natural and working lands on the edge of the rapidly urbanizing Bay Area, choosing to tax themselves to ensure that Sonoma County retains open space lands. These protected lands maintain our quality of life, including the beautiful scenic nature of our county, family farms and local food, our watersheds, ecosystems and native habitats, greenbelts that ensure the unique character of our cities and towns, and recreational lands. The community participated in the development of the Vital Lands Initiative, providing input and feedback throughout the planning process.

As a result, this document reflects the goals of the community, frst envisioned in 1990 and refned to meet the needs and priorities of today.

THIS is the Stuff of our FUTURE

I hope every YOUNG PARENT takes an interest in this document so that our children grow up in the environment we created and want to see continue into the future. Between this document and The Local Coastal Plan update, we have a chance to shape Sonoma County for the next decade and more.  

How many places have opportunities like this?

I know it’s a lot to read and understand, but our future depends upon protecting what we hold precious. There will always be people who do not share our values, and that’s why these initiatives are so important. 

It’s not just NOW…it’s decades into the future. People invested countless hours into protecting what we have now. It’s our responsibility to take their baton and carry it on for the next generation.




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