Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does the
City of San Luis Obispo have a Natural Resources Program?
A: The citizens of San
Luis Obispo have prided themselves on the beautiful setting of their community, its great
weather, closeness to the beach, and general high quality of life that goes with living
here. The citizens do not want to see those qualities erode, hence a unique program
focused on the Citys natural resources and their conservation has been established.
This includes protection of the Citys surrounding greenbelt areas, proper management
of the lands for which the City is directly responsible, and educating the public about
those resources and their care and appreciation. In order to do these things, the City
Council created the Natural Resources Program.
What does it accomplish?
A: Both private and
public agencies have learned by experience that when someone is paying attention to some
aspect of a program, or project, things begin to happen. For the City of San Luis Obispo,
this has meant stronger efforts at natural resource conservation, restoration of degraded
resources, full mitigation of impacts of public and private projects, establishment of a
natural history education program, and receipt to date of over $1 million in grant support
for the purchase of resource lands or of development rights to farmland near the City.
City staff are optimistic that this effort will continue to be a popular and successful
one for the community.
should other cities do anything like this?
A: As cities grow,
greater and greater pressures are placed on resources - water, air, plant and wildlife and
open spaces. Residents tend to develop concerns over these pressures, and look to City
government for assistance. A natural resource program can offer a more proactive and
creative approach to the pressures of growth. For example, with regard to the protection
of open space, grants, donations, dedications, and other opportunities are available and
waiting to be utilized (San Luis Obispo has acquired more than two million dollars in
grants in less than 4 years!). In addition, the educational aspects of our program have
helped train City staff to approach operations and practices differently, such as creek
maintenance and fire prevention brush clearing. The community has also become more
involved in hands on stewardship efforts. The City would be pleased to share
its experiences further with other communities to foster similar goals and policies.