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Foreword to the Conservation Blueprint

from the Steering Committee

From Highlights from A Conservation Blueprint

This Conservation Blueprint is a practical, innovative and strategic approach to protecting our way of life in Santa Cruz County—a next-generation, integrated approach to conservation. In the Blueprint we:

  • Recommend conservation priorities, recognizing that financial resources are limited;
  • Provide practical suggestions to address water overdraft and sustain local farming;
  • Offer new ideas on protecting the health of the forests that make up two-thirds of our county;
  • Propose means of sustaining a resource-rich environment for today’s residents, as well as future generations.

The Conservation Blueprint captures our best thinking, and is built upon the best thinking of many others, and the successes of past and current efforts. We believe the Blueprint offers real-world solutions to the complex 21st century challenges we face. The Blueprint conservation assessment and recommendations are the result of two years of intense work, drawing on the expertise of hundreds of technical and community participants. As a team, we reviewed all the known studies of Santa Cruz County and commissioned new research to gain a comprehensive understanding of the health of our environment. During the document development process we consulted over 110 experts, including scientists and planners, farmers and foresters. We held four community forums to solicit the invaluable input of our diverse community. The breadth and depth of involvement in the development of the Blueprint is testimony to the commitment and passion of the Santa Cruz County community.

Conservation Blueprint goals, strategies, and actions will guide the work of the Land Trust for the next 25 years. We expect they will also inform and guide the work of all of us who are devoted to the beauty, natural richness and way of life that make Santa Cruz County so special. The Blueprint’s conservation vision and goals do not fall on the shoulders of a single organization. Collaboration—among conservation partners, nonprofit organizations, landowners, community members and other Santa Cruz County stakeholders—is integral to the Blueprint’s success. Together we can sustain our rich natural legacy for future generations. We urge our fellow citizens to study this Conservation Blueprint and we hope it will inspire you to take action, as it inspires us. There is still much work to be done.

Karen Christensen, Executive Director,
Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County

Betsy Herbert, Watershed Analyst,
San Lorenzo Valley Water District and
Sempervirens Fund Board Member

Jim Rider, Apple Grower, Bruce Rider & Sons and
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Board Member

John Ricker, Water Resources Division Manager,
Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Services

Joe Schultz, Director,
Santa Cruz County Parks and Recreation Department

Steve Staub, Forester,
Staub Forestry and Environmental Consulting

Chris Wilmers, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz


More about the Conservation Blueprint