The Bee Rejects Suburban Housing Plans. An October opinion piece in the Bee states the Sacramento region has already approved more suburban projects than the region will need for the next generation.
It is time for supervisors to think far more strategically about growth. They must acknowledge that there can only be so much growth and what growth is approved must happen in a way that minimizes congestion and maximizes affordable housing and transit opportunities. Otherwise, it simply doesn’t make sense for the Sacramento County of today.
“We think the annual Farm to Fork month, with so many people celebrating the locally grown food in the region, is a perfect time to highlight how important farms are to people and wildlife.” stated Heather Fargo, former Mayor of Sacramento and lead of the Natomas Campaign for the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS).
ECOS is calling on the public to protect Natomas open space and embarking on a major campaign to educate the community about how important the Natomas farmlands and open space are to wildlife in our region and beyond. Natomas is a special place; it is a vital part of the Pacific Flyway and home to 22 protected species, in addition to providing food for our region and the world.
The Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan was established in 1997 to ensure the basin’s natural resources are not lost with the growth of the Natomas community. Unfortunately, loss of these resources is likely to happen because of proposed residential and industrial development projects covering more than 8,200 acres of land intended to remain in agriculture.
The first of those projects is the Airport South Industrial Project, a 450-acre warehouse district proposed for land south of I-5 and adjacent to the West Lake neighborhood in North Natomas. If approved, it would put over 6 million square feet of warehouses on foraging habitat for the endangered Swainson’s Hawk.
“ECOS wants Sacramento to remember the value of open space and farmland as a way to support wildlife and combat climate change. We Sacramentans have a role in protecting one of the Earth’s biodiversity hotspots,” said Fargo.
A new message is on display on a digital billboard along I-5 in downtown Sacramento. It has a simple message – save Sacramento’s wildlife habitat and farmland.
Targeted to those who enjoy the local dining experience offered in the city, it simply says, ““There’s no Farm to Fork without farms” and “Natomas farmlands feed people and wildlife”.
The billboard is timed to coincide with the annual Farm to Fork Festival that includes the Tower Bridge dinner and the street festival on Capital Mall on Sept 22-23.
The billboard kicks off a major new campaign by ECOS, continuing its 50 years of efforts to protect the environment.
“The establishment of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan was important for regional sustainability thirty years ago. Now with climate change, it is essential that we stop sprawl and protect biodiversity in this area. The NBHCP provided for development on 17, 500 acres, and the proposed projects are outside of that,” said Susan Herre AIA AICP, President of the ECOS Board of Directors. ECOS is partnering with Sierra Club, Habitat 2020, Audubon Society, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk and California Native Plant Society.
Map of the Natomas Basin The proposed projects are in red and are labelled.
The ECOS Mission: Our mission is to achieve regional sustainability, livable communities, environmental justice, and a healthy environment and economy for existing and future residents. ECOS strives to bring positive change to the Sacramento region by proactively working with the individual and organizational members of ECOS, neighborhood groups, and local and regional governments.
On March 3, 2023, ECOS sent a letter of support for Assembly Bill 350, which would facilitate greater interregional collaboration by more closely aligning the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) sustainable communities strategy update with those of its regional partners, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), both for SACOG’s current plan update and into the future.
Have you ever wondered how local conservancies and trusts protect our region’s important habitats? Join Sacramento Valley Conservancy Acquisition Specialist Steve Schweigerdt to see how it is done and to understand how parallel efforts like 30 x 30 and local habitat conservation plans factor in. Find out about the diverse and important habitats in our region and learn about the many challenges facing local conservation efforts to save them, and understand how these relate to the opportunities available. And finally, find out how you can help save the last great habitats remaining in our region.
SACOG Honors Blueprint Legacy in the 2024 Long-Range Transportation Plan
How the Blueprint transformed transportation and land-use planning for good
The creation of the Sacramento Region Blueprint was a revolutionary undertaking and compelled a critical assessment of the relationship between transportation and land use in the region. The strategy, completed almost 20 years ago, set the precedent for how metropolitan planning organizations engage in regional design. SACOG has chosen to carry on the innovative strategy’s legacy through the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS).
ECOS was key to original Blueprint, as mentioned in this article.
Local environmental groups filed a lawsuit and demanded more from SACOG and its members.