Open space planning in the Sacramento region
The Sacramento Valley is home to significant natural resources and diverse landscapes, habitats and wildlife species. Efforts to protect and sustain the region’s ecosystem are included in a number of existing initiatives including:
- Land use, open space and conservation elements of city and county General Plans
- Regional Master Plans for Open Space, Parks and Trails and efforts like the Grass Roots Working Group for Regional Parks and Open Space Systems
- SACOG’S 2004 Blueprint and 2010 Rural-Urban Connections Strategy
- Conservation plans including the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, Placer County Conservation Plan, South Sacramento County Conservation Plan, Yolo County Heritage Plan, the Yuba-Sutter Natural Community Conservation Plan, and the PG&E Habitat Conservation Plan
- Placer Legacy and other land preservation entities
- Habitat 2020 and the creation of the California Heartland Project in concert with the Greenbelt Alliance in the Bay Area
- Specific projects led by environmental nonprofits including the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Sacramento Tree Foundation, the Sacramento Audubon Society, Sierra Club Sacramento Group, California Native Plant Society, Urban Creeks Council, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk and Save Our Sandhill Cranes
The Green Capital Alliance Water & Nature Policy Committee members proposed consideration of a comprehensive and coordinated open space plan for the Sacramento region. The Open Space Plan would include wildlife habitat, agriculture, recreation, and vegetation. The Plan and implementation would complement existing efforts, leverage benefits from current projects, and create information through implementation projects such as a series of metrics for progress and a region-wide comprehensive habitat GIS database.
This preparation is highlighted in the Greenwise Sacramento Regional Action Plan as an objective worth supporting through the implementation of the Plan. A lead agency will need to be identified or created for implementation and maintenance of the Open Space Plan and to develop fiscal mechanisms for implementation.