Here’s a letter from the Sonoma County Water Coalition to CalPers, expressing support for its sale of the 20,000 acre Preservation Ranch property to a consortium of conservation buyers. Redwood Chapter’s Sonoma Group has signed on with great enthusiasm.
Joseph Dear, Chief Investment Officer, CalPERS
Dear Mr Dear:
SUBJECT: Sonoma County Water Coalition support for a Conservation Forestry Sale of Preservation Ranch Lands
We wrote to you almost exactly one year ago requesting that CalPERS work cooperatively with The Conservation Fund to protect the coastal forest lands on the property known as Preservation Ranch for its forest and watershed values. You responded two weeks later.
We at the Sonoma County Water Coalition are now writing to express our gratitude to you for preserving Preservation Ranch.
The arrangements worked out between CalPERS, The Conservation Fund, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District and Sonoma Land Trust are exactly what we had in mind when we sent our letter to you.
The conservation purchase of these lands will provide a coastal buffer for wildlife in the uncertainties of climate change. It will also avoid the necessity for Sonoma County to build expensive infrastructure, such as roads and access for fire protection and other emergency services, into this part of our County. In addition, conservation of these lands will avoid placing an additional burden upon the water resources of this area.
Preservation Ranch will now join forest conservation purchases in the Gualala River and neighboring Garcia River watersheds, creating many thousands of acres of working forest landscape while also providing jobs in sustainable forestry to the region’s residents. This land use model protects the contiguity of forest landscapes leading to a greater long term ecological and economic stability of sustainably managed forest lands.
This outcome maximizes the mutual benefit of CalPERS investment portfolio performance while assuring the great public benefit of conserving forest lands of California, demonstrating an investment strategy that is aligned with 21st century considerations, not the least of which is climate change and economic uncertainty.
We greatly appreciated your prompt, proactive and fruitful attention to this matter.
Sonoma County Water Coalition
Members: * Atascadero/Green Valley Watershed Council * Community Clean Water Institute * Friends of Mark West Watershed * California River Watch * O.W.L. Foundation * Russian River Watershed Protection Committee* Sonoma Coast Surfrider * Sonoma County Conservation Action * SWiG (Sebastopol Water information Group) * Valley of the Moon Alliance * Supporting Organizations: Bellevue Township * Coalition for a Better Sonoma County * Coast Action Group * Community Alliance with Family Farmers (N.Coast Chapter) * Forest Unlimited * Forestville Citizens for Sensible Growth * Friends of the Eel River * Friends of the Gualala River * Graton Community Projects * Laguna Lovers * League of Women Voters of Sonoma County * Madrone Audubon Society * New-Old Ways Wholistically Emerging * Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Water Institute * Petaluma River Council * Russian River Chamber of Commerce * Sierra Club (Sonoma County Group) * Town Hall Coalition * Western Sonoma County Rural Alliance *