Jonathan K. London at ECOS Board Meeting – highlights

Professor Jonathan K. London of the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis spoke to ECOS at our September 18th Board Meeting about their work on Environmental Justice. The Center for Regional Change has grown into a well-known policy-oriented research organization that aims to create linkages between the university and the region of which it is a part.

Professor London presented several tactics for how an organization such as the ECOS coalition can do more to help improve social equity in the Sacramento region. London directed us to get to know the Center for Regional Change’s report called “Capitalizing Environmental Justice in the Sacramento Region.” The report assesses the dire conditions of environmental injustice confronting low-income communities and communities of color in California’s Capital Region. However, local residents and regional leaders have begun to develop a cohesive framework for action to improve conditions in their communities, and to contribute to the region’s burgeoning Environmental Justice movement.

London reminded us of the plethora of information offered by CalEnviroScreen, including some analyses done by the Center for Regional Change on mapping pollution levels and drinking water contamination in the Sacramento region.

London also highlighted a tool called “IVAN” (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods). IVAN is an Environmental Monitoring System that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems.

The presentation emphasized the importance of environmental injustices to people living in rural areas and engaging them in environmental advocacy work. Connecting with neighborhoods, working to help bolster affordable housing options and joining food justice efforts are all also effective.

ECOS members in attendance were appreciative of the presentation, its cutting-edge research and the new tools for advocacy with which we left. Thank you to Jonathan K. London!

You can suggest future speakers to present to ECOS by emailing our office at office[at]ecosacramento[dot]net.

South Sac Habitat Conservation Plan – Final Comments from ECOS

What is the South Sac Habitat Conservation Plan?

Comments from ECOS

September 5, 2017

Attention: Rich Radmacher, Senior Planner
Sacramento County Planning Department
827 7th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Delivered via email to: radmacherr[at]saccounty[dot]net

These comments on the public draft of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan are presented on behalf of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Habitat 2020, the Sierra Club, the Institute for Ecological Health, and Save Our Sandhill Cranes.

Issues addressed by these comments include:

  • long-term sustainability of vernal pool resources in our region
  • agricultural-residential development
  • effects of pesticide use on agricultural preserve lands
  • effects of artifical lighting on species covered by the plan, as well as the insect prey of those species
  • effects of rodenticides on various species
  • better monitoring of how species are doing
  • avoidance and minimization measures
  • available inventory (in acres) remaining for each cover type/habitat type in the Plan Area
  • the regular review of relevant new scientific studies and reports for applicability in Preserve management

Animals of special concern include:

  • various local species of raptors (birds of prey) including the Burrowing Owl, the White Tailed Kite and the Swainson’s Hawk
  • the American Badger
  • the Loggerhead Shrike (a “songbird with a raptor’s habits”)
  • the Greater Sandhill Crane (which has one of the longest fossil histories of any bird still in existence)
  • the Tricolored Blackbird
  • the Western Red Bat

Read Our Comments

Click here to read the full comment letter.

Corresponding Addendum to our letter:

Addendum 1- 3

Addendum 4

Addendum 5, Part 1

Addendum 5, Part 2

Addendum 5, Part 3

More Resources

Click here to learn more about the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan

Click here for a glossary of terms used in and in relation to the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan

Click here to learn more about the Sandhill Crane

Kammerer Road-Highway 99 Sphere Of Influence Amendment DREIR

On September 11, 2017, ECOS submitted our comments on the Draft Recirculated Environmental Impact Report (DREIR) for the Proposed Kammerer/Highway 99 Sphere Of Influence Amendment (SOIA) Application for the City of Elk Grove.

Click here or on the image above to read the comment letter.

Summary

We appreciate the added attention to detail offered in the recirculated draft EIR, but rather than alleviate our concerns expressed in our original letter, the DREIR only further confirms those concerns. ECOS remains strongly opposed to the proposed Kammerer-99 Elk Grove SOI expansion and stands by our initial observation summarizing the project: Elk Grove’s anticipated growth can be accommodated within the existing City limits, and we find no justification for expansion beyond the Sacramento County Urban Services Boundary (USB) established in 1993 to be the ultimate growth boundary within the County. The proposal is inconsistent with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for meeting State mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Federal mandates for Air Quality Attainment under the State Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as myriad regional goals for social equity, public health and natural resource conservation. There is an extreme lack of certainty that municipal water can be provided to this area without severe regional impacts, and the impacts to invaluable agricultural and biological resources by the proposal are potentially impossible to mitigate. The RDEIR confirms significant and unavoidable impacts in all these above-mentioned areas, with the exception of less than significant biological impact after mitigation which is a finding we disagree with. The question is, what justification is there for these impacts? We, again, find that there is not, and we strongly recommend that LAFCo decline the proposed Kammerer/99 SOIA.

Click here to read our comment letter to the Draft Environmental Impact Report, submitted March 31, 2017, which is referenced in our letter.

Click here for the Friends of Swainson’s Hawk’s comment letter on the Draft Recirculated Environmental Impact Report, submitted September 11, 2017, which is also referenced in our letter.

Film Program Announced for the Wild + Scenic Film Fest in Sac!

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Sacramento 2017 – Films

Thursday, September 28th, 2017. Doors Open at 6:00 pm, Films run from 6:30 pm-9:30 pm
24th Street Theater at the Sierra 2 Community Center (2791 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95818)

Check out these amazing films you can see and be inspired by at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour in Sacramento 2017 – click here for the full film program!

Airport is no place for hawk preserve

 

This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes

Advocates for the Swainson’s hawk, listed as threatened by the state, are unhappy with the habitat mitigation land chosen for the hawks, which is an orchard west of the airport, adjacent to the Teal Bend golf course. Advocate Jude Lamare said the site is too close the airport, where 11 Swainson’s hawks have been counted as hit and killed by jets in the last four years.

The hawks forage in various places around the Natomas basin, but, as development continues, nesting areas will be reduced, forcing more birds into limited sites, including the one next to the airport. “If you are picking a ‘forever’ home for threatened avian species, it would not be next to a runway,” Lamare said. “You are squeezing the species down.”

(Bizjak, Tony, This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes)

Read more here.


A Message from Judith Lamare, President of the Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, a member organization of Habitat 2020/ECOS. May 29, 2017

Here is a text you can copy and email to urge the City to reject the Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar project. Use this in the Subject line of your email: Item 19 May 30, 2017: No Hawk Preserve Next to Airport

Dear City Leaders:

  • Please reject the proposed Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar Project at your meeting on Tuesday May 30. (Agenda Item 19)
  • The property is about 600 feet from the Airport’s west runway.
    Eleven Swainson’s Hawks have been listed as fatalities in the FAA bird strike data base for SMF between 2013 and 2016.
  • Airport operations are expected to grow by 30 percent over the next twenty years.
  • This is the wrong location to preserve in perpetuity for conservation of a threatened bird species.
  • Please require the Greenbriar developer to provide another mitigation site that offers more protection to the Swainson’s Hawk, listed as threatened under state law.

The email string to use is:
MayorSteinberg[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org, Angelique Ashby <aashby[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Allen Warren <awarren[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Jeff S. Harris <JSHarris[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Steve Hansen <SHansen[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Jay Schenirer
<jschenirer[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Eguerra[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org,”Lawrence R. Carr” <Lcarr[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, Rick Jennings <rjennings[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org>, clerk[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org,swainsonshawk[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Thank you for your help in averting a bad decision on conservation for our threatened wildlife.

Judith Lamare, President
Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
www.swainsonshawk.org
swainsonshawk[at]sbcglobal[dot]net


Read the letter from the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020 and Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk here.