Explore the Vital Lands Initiative

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. The community also understands the important role 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.

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 + mapped priorities
  • Criteria + processes for identifying conservation priorities
  • Strategies + tools for implementing the vision

Supervisor Hopkins in a blue top standing in a golden and green field with the ocean in the background“Land conservation plays a critical role in addressing the climate crisis and making us more resilient by protecting our communities from wildfires, flooding, and sea level rise. Conserving our working and natural lands prevents sprawl, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes carbon sequestration in our farms, ranches, and forests. Our healthy watersheds are critical to wildlife and human communities, and our treasured parks, trails, and recreational areas provide beauty, adventure, and solace for everyone in our community. The Vital Lands Initiative takes all of this into account and lays out an ambitious, long-term blueprint for a vibrant, beautiful, and climate resilient Sonoma County.”
Ag + Open Space Director and Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins