Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

“Protected Forever” — The Formation of the District

 

Ted Eliot recalls the intense pressure in the 1980’s to develop land in Sonoma County. Dee Swanhuyser remembers farmers being forced to sell off their land in order to sustain themselves. Former County Supervisor Jim Harberson remembers thinking, “God isn’t making any more land – so we better protect what we have.”

Having learned how quickly sprawl can overtake natural and working lands, concerned citizens – including Jim, Dee, Ted and a diverse group of people representing agricultural, business and environmental groups – placed a measure on the ballot to fund agricultural and open space preservation by means of a quarter-cent sales tax. Hear from them how, and why, they did it.