SLT and Open Space District
Sonoma Land Trust works closely with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. The District, which is a part of county government, and the Land Trust, which is an independent nonprofit organization, share the goal of protecting the scenic, natural, agricultural and open landscapes of Sonoma County.
Both organizations work with willing landowners to acquire land and conservation easements. The District has helped to fund some of the Land Trust’s major acquisitions; and the Land Trust supports the District.
The District is funded with a quarter-cent sales tax that generates about $18 million per year. It was established by the voters of Sonoma County in 1990 for a limited number of years. In 2006 the voters of Sonoma County reauthorized funding for the District through 2030 by a remarkable 75% yes vote. The vote is a testament to the value our community places on open space and agricultural land. Sonoma Land Trust played a leading role in the campaign to reauthorize the District.
One of our tasks at Sonoma Land Trust is to help marshal private philanthropic dollars and state and federal funds from a variety of sources to help extend and leverage District funds for major acquisitions, particularly at the Baylands and on the Coast.
The Sonoma Land Trust – Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District partnership is enormously productive. Would that every County was fortunate enough to have a well-run, funded Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District like Sonoma’s.