Historic $4B Park Bond Will Fund Parks, Water, Climate Resiliency Across California

Last week, among other items, the California legislature approved a $4 Billion bond that will be brought to state voters in 2018. The bond targets multi-benefit investments in parks, water, and natural resources throughout the state. Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. supports the bond because it will help address deferred maintenance in local parks (including wilderness parks), and offer support for climate-resiliency projects like the Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor.

You can read more details about the final bill language on Senator Kevin De Leon’s site by clicking here.

Read SB 5 Language here.

Buckwheat

OC Parks Seeks Input for Strategic Plan

The County of Orange is seeking input during the update of the OC Parks Strategic Plan. The ecological vitality of local parks are dependent on the functionality of wildlife corridors, which connects these park lands to other ecosystems. There are also a variety of other tasks needed in our parks to ensure they are being managed appropriately.

You opinion is important. Please participate in the next meeting, especially if you are a stakeholder in the Laguna Beach/surrounding areas:

The plan is updated only once per decade – don’t miss this opportunity to share your perspective. The strategic plan update will accomplish the following:

 

  • Revise and modernize OC Parks’ vision and mission to ensure the statements are impactful to internal and external stakeholders
  • Provide clarity on why OC Parks exists
  • Include goals, objectives, and action steps that will guide OC Parks for the next 10 years
  • Bridge the current Strategic Plan and the County’s General Plan to assist with the development of the Strategic Financial Plan and budgeting

For more information about the OC Parks Strategic Plan Update, visit the website: http://www.ocparks.com/about/plan

 

New Research: Corridors Extend Presence of Species Facing Habitat Loss

An article in the New York Times today shares the results of newly-published research suggesting that species loss  in areas hit heavily by habitat loss may be buffered to some extent by corridors.

Researchers are careful to say that some of the data is based on modeling, and corridors are not a replacement for large-scale conservation. However, corridors are helpful in the short-term to slow species loss under pressure from fragmentation.

Read the article at the New York Times here.

 

 

Study Suggests 41% of US Lands Offer Climate-Resilient Habitat Connections

Jenny L. McGuire, et al, at Georgia Institute of Technology, has published a paper examining how much of land in the United States offers connectivity that helps species navigate projected climate change in the next century.

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The paper states that “only 41% of US natural land area is currently connected enough to allow species to track preferred temperatures as the planet warms over the next 100 years. If corridors allowed movement between all natural areas, species living in 65% of natural area could track their current climates, allowing them to adjust to 2.7 °C more temperature change.”

Read more at: http://conservationcorridor.org/2016/06/corridors-as-an-effective-means-to-achieve-climate-connectivity/

UC Irvine Tells Story of Public Lands in Orange County

This week, UC Irvine Libraries opened an exhibit entitled, “Striking a Balance: Conservation and Development in Orange County,” which explores the story of the many partners involved in preserving, managing, and protecting open green space in Orange County. As California’s smallest county, Orange, surprisingly, has the  largest amount of protected open space thanks to the sometimes contentious but successful engagement of public entities, private developers, citizens, and community organizations.

Laguna Greenbelt’s role in the formation of tens of thousands of acres in the region is also featured in the show.

The exhibit will be available through April 2017 in the Langson Library Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery and includes photographs, documents, and other items that recount the establishment of Orange County as a leader in open space preservation.

For more information please visit: http://www.lib.uci.edu/fall-2016-exhibit-opening-striking-balance-conservation-and-development-orange-county

 

Education Day for Park Docents Includes OC’s Wildlife Corridors

Saturday, October 15, will mark the 19th annual Docent Day, an educational event for local park docents, interpreters, trail guides, and naturalists – all volunteers  helping to maintain and enhance Orange County’s extensive park system. The event is hosted by OCWild.org, and will offer sessions covering a variety of topics taught by specialists in their fields.

Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., will be teaching about local wildlife corridors, and in particular, the Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor in central Orange County. Corridors provide essential ecological connections between park lands, which otherwise would become islands of habitat in a fragmented urban landscape. Volunteers choosing this session will receive an introduction to corridors, and then dive into a detailed look at why the Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor is an important link between OC’s cherished coastal wild lands and the Santa Ana Mountains. Additional sessions will cover nature writing, bird walks, insect diversity and habitat restoration, among others.

Docent Day will be held at Santiago Oaks Regional Park from 8am – 2:30pm. Cost is $15 to attend. To reserve a space, call (949) 497-7647 or email winter.bonnin@parks.ca.gov.