2018 Ag + Open Space Accomplishments

January 17, 2019

Posted in: News Articles

Our conservation work in 2018: A year in review!

2018 was quite a year for Sonoma County as our community continued to recover from the October 2017 fires. While we played an important role in the recovery efforts, we are proud to have also made significant progress on a number of our conservation goals. We invite you to take a moment to review some of our greatest accomplishments of 2018, none of which would have been possible without our community and our partners.

This year, we:

  • Purchased three new properties (McCullough 2, Wendle, Cresta 3) as part of the future Mark West Creek Regional Park & Open Space Preserve, and transferred all six properties that comprise the future park to Sonoma County Regional Parks
  • Acquired two new conservation easements, protecting more than 2,500 acres. The Gravelly Lake conservation easement protects a key scenic viewshed bordering Tolay Lake Regional Park, and the Rips Redwoods conservation easement protects a large swath of coastal redwoods along the Gualala River
  • Accepted five new projects into our Matching Grant Program and brought two existing Matching Grant projects to our Board of Directors for approval
  • Conducted 105 monitoring visits across our protected lands as part of our commitment to ongoing stewardship
  • Completed over 150 acres of invasive thistle treatments on properties owned by Ag + Open Space
  • Co-initiated a major multi-agency collaborative fire and vegetation management¬†project in the Sonoma Valley
  • Cleared debris and replaced infrastructure on Ag + Open Space properties that were damaged in the 2017 fires
  • Increased efficiency through the deployment of field tablets for easement monitoring, fee land management, and site assessments
  • Completed and released two Healthy Lands & Healthy Economies Initiative reports and 12 case studies
  • Hosted eight community meetings throughout the county and met with technical advisors to gather feedback on the Vital Lands Initiative
  • Completed the Living in a Fire-Adapted Landscape report in partnership with over 180 individuals from 80 organizations
  • Received and began implementation of a $90,000 NASA grant to collect high-resolution aerial imagery and analyze canopy damage within the 2017 fire footprint
  • Sponsored more than 250 education programs and outings that had over 4,000 children and adult participants
  • Rolled out a new logo & supporting brand elements