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Sustainable Planning and Land Stewardship

Help guide your community by becoming involved in sustainable planning and land stewardship efforts.

May contain: Apple tree with an image of the earth instead of an apple hanging from the tree.

Take an active role in land-use and development decisions by participating in planning workshops, community meetings, and zoning hearings.

Assist habitat and farmland conservation efforts by supporting your community's conservation organizations.

Discuss the potential for healthier natural and urban habitats with government leaders, planning commissions and staff, even developers. Remind elected officials that you would like them to support sustainable growth and development. Vote for officials whose records show strong support for quality of life issues.

Voice your concerns by sending letters to legislators. Some groups will notify you of urgent issues and needed action, via the internet. They will notify you of letter writing campaigns and petitions and will suggest ways to make your voice heard. Be an advocate by sharing your knowledge. Support eco-system based land management, pedestrian-friendly cities, and environmentally responsible businesses.

What is eco-system based land management?

Cycles of nature, such as the water cycle, operate in "ecologic systems", or ecosystems. Ecosystems are places where communities of plants and animals, including people, interact with one another and with the natural resources of a region. It's crucial that ecosystems operate effectively to cycle air, energy, and water in order to provide services that are fundamental to life.

Flowing creek

Healthy, functioning ecosystems are indispensable because they:

  • clean water and air
  • decompose waste and cycle nutrients
  • generate soils and renew their fertility
  • regulate disease carrying organisms
  • moderate weather extremes and contribute to climate stability and more.

There are no "human made" substitutes for these natural processes. It's hard to believe that human activities could so impact natural systems that they would fail to function properly. However, when natural cycles are interfered with, sometimes we can help restore them by re-engineering what humans have altered.

Ecosystems function, to a greater or lesser extent, in each of the three main land uses of Southern California: native habitats, urban areas, and agriculture.