Explore the Vital Lands Initiative

Read the Vital Lands Initiative Summary (PDF)
View the Full Report (PDF)
Explore the Interactive Map >>

A Vision for Sonoma County Land Conservation

The voters of Sonoma County envisioned a future where scenic open spaces sustain a thriving farm and ranch economy, clean drinking water, viable ecosystems for fish and wildlife, and healthy communities where people can access and enjoy the outdoors. Increasingly, the community understands the important role that working and natural lands play in sequestering carbon and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, while making Sonoma County resilient to extreme events, such as fires, floods and drought, and the growing impacts of climate change.

In support of the Sonoma County community’s vision, the Vital Lands Initiative is a long-range comprehensive plan to prioritize the land conservation activities of Sonoma County Ag + Open Space through 2031. The plan was developed with the best available science and data, as well as extensive input from Ag + Open Space partners and the community, to ensure the document reflects the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders and the land conservation goals of the Sonoma County voters. In total, over 150 meetings and workshops were held, during which Ag + Open Space received input from over 600 community members to inform the Vital Lands Initiative.

“Land conservation plays a critical role in addressing the climate crisis and making us more resilient to extreme events. The Vital Lands Initiative lays out an ambitious, long-term blueprint for a vibrant, healthy, beautiful, and climate resilient Sonoma County.” Susan Gorin, Ag + Open Space Board Chair and Sonoma County Supervisor

The Vital Lands Initiative includes the following:

  • Ag + Open Space background + accomplishments since 1990
  • The current state of land conservation in Sonoma County + expected trends
  • Goals, objectives, maps + recommended expenditures
  • Criteria + processes for identifying conservation priorities
  • Strategies + tools for implementing the vision

With the Vital Lands Initiative as a guide, Ag + Open Space will continue to work in partnership to sustain a healthy, beautiful and climate-resilient Sonoma County – now and for generations to come.

“The work of Ag + Open Space benefits human communities and ecosystems – protecting the lands that sustain local food supplies, provide clean and abundant water, promote biological diversity and contribute to community health and well-being. The continued viability of working and natural lands is foundational to Sonoma County’s goals for climate and extreme event resiliency.” State Senator Mike McGuire