Share Your Ideas with the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change

If you live in the City of Sacramento or the City of West Sacramento, you have the power to voice your opinions on climate change action! It’s quick and easy, just fill out the comment form here.

Mayor Steinberg and Mayor Cabaldon are leading the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change to develop a common vision and set of strategies for both cities to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, referred to as Carbon Zero, by 2045. Follow this link for more information.

Sacramento Declares a Climate Emergency

December 10, 2019

The Sacramento City Council adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration on December 10, 2019. A huge thank you to all who gathered signatures, wrote letters and emails, met with council people and the Mayor, contributed to the discussions about the language, spent hours strategizing at organizing meetings, and raised signs in the City Council meeting. 

Sacramento Climate Coalition, December 2019

“The Climate Emergency Declaration represents another major step forward for the City of Sacramento in taking urgent action to fight back against this accelerating global crisis,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I have heard our community, especially our young climate activists, who have spoken so eloquently to urge those of us in elected office to protect their future through deliberate action. We must work together to drive down emissions, transform our economy, and include everyone in a just transition.”

The Mayor’s Blog, December 2019

ECOS was a supporter of this resolution under the Sacramento Climate Coalition’s suggestion and guidance.

Click here to read the full resolution.

Arco Arena Reuse Comments

December 9, 2019

On December 9th, ECOS/Habitat 2020 partnered with Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue to submit comments to the city regarding the Arco Arena Reuse Plan. Click here to learn more about the huge pond we are trying to preserve at the site.

Below is an excerpt from the letter:

The ideas presented in the PUD completely ignore that there is a fully functioning aquatic resource (the Sleep Train Arena pond) in the Plan area that is currently providing habitat and nesting opportunities for hundreds of waterfowl.  The PUD presents a completely people oriented urban landscape without any consideration for the local species that we share the region with.  This paradigm ignores the appeal that such an aquatic resource would have for the new residents of the project area.  It also demonstrates a lack of creativity because it is not even considered for use as part of the drainage basins that the Plan area will need to include.  The grassy-sloped drainage basin depicted in the PUD, with anticipated residents recreating there, presents a vastly inferior option to a biologically dynamic pond supporting a large healthy nesting population of herons, egrets, cormorants, and other local avian species.

If this pond is eliminated, the over 1,000 herons and egrets that nest from April to August each year would very likely move to the surrounding neighborhoods to roost and nest, creating issues for residents and businesses. This would also result in hundreds of injured baby birds each year that would greatly strain local wildlife rescues, which are doing the work that our local shelters would otherwise be dealing with. The pond would provide the area with a nature viewing experience that would serve as a recreational and educational opportunity. It would allow residents access to nearby nature, which has been shown by research to have mental health benefits.

Click here to view the comment letter.

Will local officials listen on 2020 transportation measure?

December 10, 2019
By David Mogavero (Former ECOS President)
Sacramento News and Review

What Transportation Measure?

In the next several weeks, our elected officials are writing a measure for the November 2020 ballot to levy a sales tax for transportation funding in Sacramento County.

How You Can Help!

Go to sacta.org/a_board.html, find the name of your elected representative who sits on the board and call, email, text or ask them for a meeting.

Tell them:

– You don’t want more roads, but want more transit and safer streets for bicycling and walking.

– You won’t be fooled by a measure that funds the road project down the street (that your neighbor told the pollsters they like) but sacrifices the quality of our county’s future

– You will only support a transportation measure that moves our community to a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future.

-This is most critical for those who live outside of the city of Sacramento, including in Citrus Heights, Arden Arcade, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and North Highlands, etc.

– Please contact your representative now and voice your concerns. By February, it may be too late.

Read the full article here.

Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA)

Homegrown Habitat Comments for Sacramento’s General Plan/Climate Change strategy

On November 11, 2019 the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Habitat 2020 submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento to bring the Homegrown Habitat Program to their attention and to urge them to incorporate some of its native plant guidelines into the City’s General Plan and Climate Change strategy updates.

Below is our letter in full.

November 11, 2019
Scott Johnson, Senior Planner
Community Development Department
300 Richards Boulevard, Third floor
Sacramento, CA 95811
Email: srjohnson[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org
Subject: ECOS/Habitat 2020 Homegrown Habitat program comments for inclusion in the City of Sacramento’s General Plan and Climate Change strategy updates
Dear Mr. Johnson,
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents. ECOS member organizations include: 350 Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region, Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, International Dark-Sky Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, Environmental Democrats of Sacramento County, Sacramento Housing Alliance, Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Sacramento Vegetarian Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group.
Members of Habitat 2020, a committee of ECOS, include: Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, International Dark-Sky Association Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Area Creeks Council, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter California Native Plant Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Sierra Club Sacramento Group and Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue.
The Sacramento Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), in coordination with State CNPS, ECOS and Habitat 2020, has embarked upon an ambitious regional campaign, called Homegrown Habitat, to promote the preferential use of California Native Plants in home and civic landscaping. Local native plants provide habitat within the build environment that promote regional biodiversity and help create pathways for local insects, pollinators, birds and animals through our built environment. CNPS’s Homegrown Habitat team has prepared a list of appropriate annual and perennial plants, shrubs and trees (HH Plant List) for use in the City of Sacramento’s private and public landscapes. CNPS is currently building the capacity to ensure that these landscaping options are widely available locally.
City wide utilization of these plants will directly contribute to several of the City’s major long-term goals including climate change adaptation and regional biodiversity. Utilization of the local native plants found on the HH Plant List in public spaces, residential areas, and commercial/industrial landscapes within the City will lower water consumption, provide carbon sequestration benefits (even during extended periods of drought when many non-native plants, shrubs, and trees perish), and contribute to regional biodiversity by providing homes and year-round food for pollinators and beneficial insects, local and migratory birds, and animal populations. Nearly all the region’s beneficial insect populations are in decline and many of our bird and animal populations that depend on them are suffering the same fate. We urge the City of Sacramento to adopt the goal of the Homegrown Habitat program and the HH Plant List within the relevant parts of the City’s general plan and climate action plan, and in so doing, take the steps listed in the attached comment document to ensure the planting of these local native plants throughout the City.
Chris Lewis CNPS’s Homegrown Habitat program chair would be pleased to meet with you to more fully describe the program’s goals, objectives, and activities, and to discuss how the program can be implemented within the City. Chris will be following up within the week to set up a meeting with you to further explore implementation of the program within the City of Sacramento.
Sincerely,
Ralph Propper Sean Wirth
President, ECOS Co-Chair, Habitat 2020
Cc: Chris Lewis, Homegrown Habitat Program Chair

Click here to read the letter in PDF.
Attachment 1

Photo from calscape.org, of Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis)
https://calscape.org/Cercis-occidentalis-(Western-Redbud)?srchcr=sc5dca249f9a5c2

family on bikes

Transportation Funding and Priorities for the City of Sacramento

Action Alert

The Sacramento City Council has scheduled a workshop on “Transportation Funding and Priorities” for Tuesday, October 29, starting at 5 pm, before the regular City Council meeting at 7 pm. This meeting has a great deal of relevance for developing the City’s stance on the allocation of funding in Measure A-plus, the possible county-wide sales tax currently under consideration by the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA). Several organizations, including the SacMoves coalition have been invited to make short presentations at the workshop, and we understand that others will be allowed to comment as well, subject to the usual two minute limit. You are urged to attend to show your support for progressive transportation policies and priorities.

Here is a link to the agenda http://sacramento.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=21&event_id=3561, and note that this Web page contains further links to a printable agenda and the staff report.