Land Use and Conservation
Calaveras County is one of the most beautiful places in the nation. District 2 residents live here because they value the people, forests, rivers, hills, and wildlife that surround them. But unsustainable levels and types of development threaten the natural environment and communities in our county. To ensure a healthy future we must support economic development, and keep families intact while safeguarding and protecting our own assets including: land, water, and agriculture and air quality. Through many community meetings in District 2 residents agreed to adopt the Land Use Principles incorporated into this document to guide future growth and development.
- The county should recognize the interdependence of our economy, environment, and communities.
- Local resources should be restored and protected for future generations.
- Local resource management should provide sustainable benefits for local residents.
- The county should ensure that the environment remains a valuable long-term resource, not something to exploit for only short-term profit.
- The county should take advantage of the economic and conservation opportunities available from integrating sustainable forest management into statewide greenhouse gas reduction plans.
Observe the following land use principles:
- Land uses should be consistent with stated community visions or goals.
- New development should be concentrated in existing community centers.
- A range of housing types should be available for people of all income levels.
- Development should not outpace the ability of local governments to provide adequate services and infrastructure, or reduce the level of services provided to or place economic hardship on existing community residents.
- Communities should have clearly identified boundaries with separation between them provided by agricultural land, wildlife corridors, greenbelts or parks.
- Infrastructure such as water lines, sewer lines and roads should not be extended outside existing developed areas unless those areas are contiguous to existing communities and scheduled for development in the near future as part of the community plan.
- Land uses should not put land-use conversion pressure on agricultural lands or threaten the continued operation of existing industrial and commercial businesses.
- Projects should be approved only if there is adequate water to supply them without risking water quality and current water supplies to existing users.
- Project design should work with the contour of the land, preserve physical features such as rock outcroppings, trees, watercourses, and wetlands, and protect important habitat.
- Protect valuable wildlife habitat, visual quality, agricultural areas, archaeological sites, and other open space resources.
- Environmental and community mitigation measures should adequately address all impacts to community centers and outlying areas.
- All projects should promote sustainable technologies including support for energy and water efficient practices utilizing principles of conservation.
In addition, we should take the following measures:
- Ensure maximum and diverse public participation in formulation of County General Plan and local community plans.
- Adopt Calaveras County Forest Practice Rules.
- Support effective watershed councils and develop watershed restoration policies and programs to improve local water quality while providing job opportunities for local residents.
- Leverage money for local watershed protection and restoration efforts.
- Continue to facilitate and improve waste reduction and recycling.
- Ensure the long-term protection of our remaining free-flowing rivers. Support inclusion of the North Fork and Main stem Mokelumne River and North Fork Stanislaus River in the National Wild and Scenic River system.
- Urge state officials to better enforce air quality mandates in the Central Valley to improve foothill air quality.
- Challenge Sierra Pacific Industriesí clearcutting of our forested watersheds. Work with SPI and local residents to develop sustainable, long-term forest management practices that benefit local residents, provide jobs, and restore local forests.
- Promote transportation alternatives to private automobiles.
- Develop cooperative programs with ranchers, farmers, and forestland owners that reward them for managing their land for its habitat, watershed, and open-space values.
- Promote development of local alternative energy sources to help reduce our dependence on oil.
- Promote local parks, recreation, and hiking trails.
- Partner with UC Extension, private industry and government institutions to determine how best to manage local forests to help achieve state greenhouse gas reduction goals while creating local jobs and funding local fuel reduction efforts.
- Identify forest restoration approaches that can best support sustainable local forests.
- Maintain the rural network of roads such as Ponderosa Way to provide fire breaks and fire access.
- Develop a plan to improve air quality that includes the elimination, reduction or alternative means to residential burning.
- Partner with local organizations to help educate the public about air pollution reduction and proper residential burning techniques.