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By Sharan Street
Published Oct 16, 2023

Thanks to the work of Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Estrada Ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking Silicon Valley’s urban sprawl, has been preserved for future generations. Thanks to the work of Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Estrada Ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking Silicon Valley’s urban sprawl, has been preserved for future generations. Image credit: Teddy Miller   Peninsula Open Space Trust

This Land Is Our Land

What’s your favorite view? The redwood forest? The endless skyway? The golden valley, or the diamond deserts?

If you’re like most humans, your ideal vista will be some sort of natural landscape—a preference described by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm as biophilia—“the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” American biologist Edward O. Wilson used the term for a 1984 book in which he proposed a genetic predisposition for the desire to affiliate with nature. In this week’s newsletter, we salute those humans whose love of nature has led them to protect the natural world around us.

From Private to Public

Many of us have felt the loss of a beloved view: lush woodlands bisected by interstate highways, meadows plowed under to build shopping centers, patches of urban open space lost to infill development. There’s one sure way to protect the view, and that’s to buy the land—or at least the right to develop it. Land trusts are nonprofit groups that work with landowners to protect open space for various reasons—to maintain agricultural resources, protect habitat for endangered species, or to preserve areas beloved by members of the community. Read more in Kimberly Hickok’s article about how land trusts work.

What Is a Land Trust?

Peninsula Open Space Trust worked with landowners to preserve Estrada Ranch, one of the last large properties under family ownership in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
There’s one good way to save open space from development, and that’s to buy property outright. Land trusts are key to that solution.

Caring for the Commons

Once land has been acquired, there is still work to be done in maintaining public access and managing natural resources. Bryan Largay, conservation director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, talks with Naomi Friedland about the challenges his organization faces. One interesting point Largay brings up is how public lands would benefit from public support—either financial support through donations or volunteer labor. It’s a point that really resonates with us.

A Conversation with California Conservationist Bryan Largay

Conservation director Bryan Largay helps the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County choose its priorities.
The conservation director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz talks about the highlights of his work, and some of the issues he sees in maintaining California’s parks.

Take a Hike!

About 45 percent of California’s100,206,720 acres is owned by the federal government, and that doesn’t even include state-owned land, county parks, and open-space preserves owned by land trusts. We’ve listed 15 websites that offer easy-to-use guides to some of this vast territory.

15 Sites Where You Can Learn About Beautiful Sights

Frog Lake was saved for future generations in 2020 when the Truckee Donner Land Trust teamed up with two partners—Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy—to purchase the Sierra Nevada property from the Smith family.
The Golden State has a wealth of unspoiled land managed by the feds, the state, and nonprofit organizations. These websites will help map out an adventure.

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Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The chapter serves Sacramento and Yolo counties, as well as southern Placer County.

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Recent Local News

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• Jobseekers Invited to Countywide Job Fair on Oct. 25

Job seekers in Yolo County are welcome to attend a free, in-person job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(10/15/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Here’s How Sacramento Advocacy Groups Rally People to Give Public Comments

It isn’t a coincidence that many speakers start public comments by introducing themselves as members or volunteers with activist organizations.

(10/13/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• City Selects New City Manager, Hears Financial Audit

The Winters City Council will welcome new city manager Jeremy Craig, who officially starts in November. Former city manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa retires at the end of October and currently Joe Gordon is filling in as acting city manager.

(10/12/2023) → Winters Express

• It’s Basic for Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs is well aware of the sobering statistics about American poverty. He did something about it while mayor of Stockton, creating a guaranteed income program.

(10/12/2023) → The Sacramento Observer

• Emergency Regulations Would Change Use of Solitary Confinement in California Prisons

Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are proposing a significant reduction to the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons. If approved, the new regulations will go into effect on Nov. 1.

(10/10/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• California Is First to Ban Four Food Additives Linked to Disease

The California Food Safety Act prohibits the manufacturing, distribution and sale of food and beverages that contain brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye 3.

(10/10/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Sacramento-Area Community Grapples With Rise of School Districts’ Gender Notification Policies

Heated conversation over “parent rights” and notification policies have played out at several board meetings in the Sacramento area over recent weeks.

(10/10/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• South Sacramento Project With 1,100 Homes Up for Council Vote

The Sacramento City Council will hold a public hearing on plans to build 1,106 new homes near a South Sacramento light rail station.

(10/09/2023) → CapPublicRadio
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Recent Statewide News

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• ‘Another Attempt to Industrialize the Coast’: California’s Central Coast Residents Want to Halt Offshore Wind

Massive ocean wind farms off Morro Bay and Santa Barbara County—which could transform these quiet coastal towns and affect marine life—face a turbulent path.

(10/15/2023) → CalMatters

• San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Pumpers Need to Slow Down or Face Fines, State Says

Hundreds of wells in Tulare Lake aquifer are at risk of going dry. Today's recommendation is the first time that state officials have moved to crack down on local plans that fail to stop excessive groundwater pumping.

(10/12/2023) → CalMatters

• Colleges Take Steps to Weed Out AI-Written Application Essays

With the growing use of AI, campus officials are trying to set clear guidelines for college application essays.

(10/11/2023) → CalMatters

• California Becomes First State to Ban More Than 2 Dozen Chemicals Used in Popular Cosmetics

A new California law will ban over two dozen chemicals from fragrances and cosmetics. It’s another first-in-the-nation law—and another instance of California following European Union regulators.

(10/09/2023) → CalMatters

• Climate Change Took Them to ‘Dark Places.’ Now These Californians are Doing Something About it

The facts of climate change can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Some California activists are creating communities for people to talk about those feelings.

(10/09/2023) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/16/2023)

Visit the City's Open Space Areas This Fall

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/13/2023)

Mace Redesign Update 10.13.23

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/12/2023)

Putah Creek Multi-Use Path Paving Starts 10/17

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/11/2023)

Friends of the Woodland Public Library Hosts “Lifting the Veil” Conversation

October 21 event will feature a conversation between an author who writes about psychic abilities and two practicing psychics
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/11/2023)

Prepare for Respiratory Virus Season

For the first time, vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations – COVID, Influenza, and RSV.
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/06/2023)

Woodland Police Department Awarded Grant from the Office of Traffic Safety for Traffic Enforcement P

Woodland, Calif. – The Woodland Police Department was awarded a $69,300 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/06/2023)

Covell Path Paving (Catalina to F) Starts 10/10

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/06/2023)

Mace Redesign Message 10.6.23

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/03/2023)

Yolo Farmworkers Festival Returns to Downtown Woodland on Friday

In addition to live music, the event will include a “park and shine” lowrider display, craft vendors, a kid zone, and over twenty local organizations