Sonoma County Biodiversity Action Plan, Community Foundation Sonoma County
Sonoma County is one of the most biologically diverse places in the United States, home to numerous unspoiled habitats and a treasury of both familiar and rare plant and animal species. Matched in species richness in the U.S. only by the southern Appalachians, the region is host to a number of threatened or endangered species. Twenty Sonoma County species are found nowhere else on Earth.
“Biodiversity”, an expression of the variety of living things in a given area, is often used as a measure of ecosystem health; greater numbers of species reflect higher levels of ecosystem and human well-being. Sonoma County’s globally significant biodiversity is something to cherish and protect. Conservation, stewardship and restoration of the natural ecosystems that support biological diversity (and hence, the viability of human communities) are direct measures to safeguard this legacy for future generations.
The Community Foundation Sonoma County retained West Coast Watershed and the Sonoma Ecology Center, in collaboration with Foundation staff and an expert steering committee, to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for Sonoma County. A diverse group of twenty regional science and policy experts were polled to provide information about which Sonoma County species and habitats are most in need of protection, enhancement or restoration, as well as what conservation actions would best preserve local ecological integrity. Experts’ recommendations were compiled via on-line and in-person surveys. Their recommended highest priority conservation actions, those requiring immediate attention, are summarized in the Sonoma County Biodiversity Action Plan.