Conservation The amount of urbanization being proposed by local governments for the Sacramento region, and the resulting, potential loss of unique and important bird and wildlife habitat, is formidable. The City of Folsom plans to expand south of Highway 50; development pressure in South Sacramento County threatens important habitats along the lower Cosumnes River; the City of Sacramento continues to move forward with development in the North Natomas flood plain despite questionable flood protection; and, the City of Rancho Cordova has recently adopted a general plan that, if implemented, will pave over broad swaths of important grassland and vernal pool habitats in the eastern part of Sacramento County as that City grows from 50,000, to over 300,000 residents.
Cumulative growth scenarios in the County of Sacramento threaten a wide range of unique habitats and the bird species that depend on these diverse and unique areas: Sandhill cranes wintering on the stubble of Cosumnes basin wheat fields; Swainson’s hawks wheeling overhead, as rodents scramble across freshly disked fields; burrowing owls sternly surveying their grassland prairie domain, just to name a very few.
Luckily, many of these local growth proposals are in their formational stages, and opportunities for protecting and preserving the region’s locally, regionally and globally significant bird and wildlife habitats still exist, provided that, sooner than later, local citizens come to understand and care about protecting these fragile and dwindling resources for future generations.
The Sacramento Audubon Society seeks to promote a greater public awareness of the unique natural resources and habitats that the Sacramento region has to offer, and the ways that ordinary citizens can take simple, daily actions to ensure that these unique treasures are preserved for future generations.
To volunteer for conservation programs, please email us.
Sacramento Valley Conservancy Open Space Vision Map (click to enlarge)
Habitat 2020: A Clear Vision Into Sacramento County’s Future
The Sacramento Audubon Society educates the public and local decision makers through its ongoing support of, and participation in, local environmental coalitions such as the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), and as a founding member of Habitat 2020 (www.habitat2020.org).
Habitat 2020 serves as Sacramento Audubon Society’s Conservation Committee. Habitat 2020 is a coalition of local environmental organizations including Sacramento Audubon Society, Sierra Club, California Native Plant Society, Urban Creeks Council, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, and similar groups and organizations that focus on habitat preservation in Sacramento County. Habitat 2020’s mission is to protect the lands and waters where our wildlife and native plants live in Sacramento County.
Sacramento Audubon Society (SAS) is joining other local environmental groups in a lawsuit challenging Elk Grove's Sphere of Influence expansion plans. This latest round in a twelve-year long battle to insist on smart growth principles teams SAS with the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), the Sierra Club, Habitat 2020, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, the California Native Plant Society Sacramento Chapter, and the Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Expanding Elk Grove’s Sphere of Influence is the first step in increasing the urbanized footprint of the city. The SAS Board has voted to contribute $7,000 to the lawsuit. The Sierra Club et al will be represented by the outstanding local environmental attorney, Don Mooney, and are seeking help funding the lawsuit. The Sacramento Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) approved an application to increase Elk Grove's Sphere of Influence onto 1,156 acres of important farmland that harbors numerous avian species. This area is an extremely important upland forage area for North Delta species, such as the Greater Sandhill Crane, that are displaced by the natural cyclical flooding of the Cosumnes River. Global climate change and sea level rise will amplify the importance of this area as a corridor for species to move to higher ground to the east. The lawsuit that Sacramento Audubon is supporting challenges the adequacy of the environmental documents and the legally flawed basis on which LAFCo made its decision to grant an increased sphere of influence. This is despite the demonstrated fact that the city of Elk Grove has sufficient vacant land to satisfy any growth needs for decades to come. Perhaps most importantly, if this erroneous LAFCo decision stands, other landowners in the area will see it as a green light to apply for urban expansions into open space. The ability to achieve conservation through mechanisms like the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan will be damaged, if not destroyed.
For detailed maps of the area in question, see http://www.SacLAFCo.org(scroll down to Kammerer Road/Hwy 99 Sphere of Influence DEIR).
Please consider giving to this important cause. Checks should be out to "Sierra Club Foundation" - the c3 fiscal entity of the Sierra Club - and should note "Elk Grove LAFCo litigation" in the memo line. Send to: Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club c/o Dyane Osorio 909 12th Street Sacramento CA 95814
Protecting birds and the environment at California Audubon's Advocacy Day - June 22, 2018
Audubon California took to the Capital this week with chapter members and advocates from across the state to urge legislation to protect birds and our environment as part of out Annual Advocacy Day.
In this year which marks the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of our priorities was talking with legislators about AB 2627 which ensures that birds currently protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act will continue to be protected even as the federal government retreats from its responsibility to protect them. It will incentivize industries with substantial impacts on birds to adopt best management practices to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for those impacts.