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Land Trust Seeks Input on Blueprint

Terry Corwin, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County
2/18/2011

Land Trust Seeks Input on Blueprint

For Immediate Release, 2/18/11
Contact: Terry Corwin
(831) 429-6116

The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has completed a Conservation Blueprint a comprehensive assessment of the natural resources of the county and made recommendations to the community about protecting and enhancing these resources for future generations. Now they want to know what the people of the county think about it. The Land Trust has posted a Conservation Blueprint on its website until March 18th and is asking for public input.

The Conservation Blueprint is the result of two years of work guided by a seven-member Steering Committee. The Land Trust consulted over 110 experts in preparing the report. The 200 page Blueprint comes with 24 maps and summarizes the available studies on the countys natural resources.

The report highlights Santa Cruz Countys well-known history of cherishing and protecting its natural environment, citing the creation of Big Basin State Park over 100 years ago and the passage of Measure Js growth control in 1978. The people of Santa Cruz County love it and are proud of what weve done to protect it, said Terry Corwin, Executive Director of the Land Trust. Were hoping to build on that history and pride to work collaboratively with our partners to protect these resources for future generations.

The report finds that the countys plants, animals, habitats and waters are in decline or threatened. It cites declining water supplies and polluted rivers and streams. Current problems will grow worse as the region grows. The state projects that the county will add 35,000 people and 17,000 housing units over the next 25 years and the Monterey Bay Region will add 146,000 people.

Corwin said the continued protection of land and water was critical for the long-term viability of agriculture and tourism, the countys top two industries.

Andrea Mackenzie, the Project Director for the Blueprint, said the report emphasizes practical and cost-effective solutions to the challenges facing our natural resources. For example, she said the report calls for expanding the use of voluntary incentives to enhance protection and long-term stewardship of water resources,, wildlife habitats, and working lands. Mackenzie said, We need to enlarge and diversify our conservation toolbox, to ensure a healthy economy and natural environment.

Corwin said the report demonstrated, A need to invest in protecting the county, so that future generations can enjoy the way of life we enjoy.

You can view a draft of the Conservation Blueprint and give the Land Trust your ideas by visiting the Land Trusts website at www.LandTrustSantaCruz.org

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