The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors is in the process of developing a plan that will set the tone for public policy decisions in our community for decades to come — but they don’t seem to be taking our County’s natural treasures into account.  

As someone who cares about protecting the unique and irreplaceable wildlife and wild places in my community, this greatly concerns me.

San Joaquin County is home to several imperiled animals, including the San Joaquin kit fox, steelhead trout, riparian brush rabbits and winter run Chinook salmon — and our rivers are the lifeblood of our community.

Protecting our wildlife, habitat and waterways that make our community so unique should be a vital part of San Joaquin County’s vision for the future. But if the draft plan is approved “as is,” our wildlife and wild places could pay the price.

Given the weight and scope of this document, San Joaquin County should include the following changes their plan:

1. The overarching Vision of the General Plan should emphasize thriving and abundant wildlife and increased environmental awareness in our communities.

2. The Calaveras, Stanislaus, Mokelumne and San Joaquin Rivers are the lifeblood of our County and should be specifically mentioned in the Natural and Cultural Resources Vision Statement.       

3. Water quality and quantity at levels that sustain wildlife and fisheries should be included as a part of the Water Resources and Quality section of the Guiding Principles.

4. Transportation corridors should be complete street corridors in accordance with CA Complete Streets Act of 2009, AB 1358, and we must begin utilizing waterways open space corridors to increase mobility and conductivity between communities. This should be included in the Transportation and Circulation Vision statement.                                                       

San Joaquin County’s “Draft General Plan Vision and Guiding Principles” will have a direct impact on our community and the people and wildlife that live here. The protection of our natural resources should be a vital component of the overriding vision that will guide policy decisions that will shape our community for decades to come!