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What is the Santa Barbara County
Conservation Blueprint?

Welcome to our webpage previewing information about the Blueprint! The project launch is planned for early 2018 - have a look around to learn more, and feel free to contact us with suggestions or questions by clicking on the get involved form above.

The purpose of the Blueprint is to provide a common language and platform for publicly available data to support in depth conversations and informed decisions about the Santa Barbara County landscape. This collaborative project aims to describe the current landscape, natural resources, and community values about land in Santa Barbara County. Creating the Blueprint is a two-part process:

  1. Data collection to create an easy-to-use online interactive Atlas that allows users to view and analyze spatial data about resources and land uses in the County. This process will produce maps broken up by five resource themes: water, agricultural and ranch lands, flora and fauna, climate, and community and the land.
  2. Community values discovery to better understand what these maps tell us, our collective thinking about the land, and what resources and assets are particularly important to keeping Santa Barbara County a beautiful, desirable and healthy place to live and work. Key maps and learning from this second part of the process will be presented through the Blueprint Report and website in 2018.

Once the Blueprint is completed, the Atlas and Report will serve as tools to inform conservation practitioners, including project sponsors, as they develop their strategic plans and conservation efforts. It will also be a valuable resource to the community members as they discuss a broad range of conservation and resource management issues. Find out more detailed information in our FAQ.

Project Goals

Create a comprehensive compilation of the County’s resources, conservation opportunities, and community values.

Provide a shared public platform (website, maps, reports, tools) to inform conversations about the future of our landscape.

Understand what a diverse cross section of community members truly believe is important to conserve.

Inspire greater collaboration, trust, and improved working relationships among conservation practitioners, farmers, ranchers, landowners, housing advocates and conservation funders.

Acquire resources to accelerate the pace of voluntary conservation with landowners and managers who want to protect, restore, and steward their properties.

Inform the Santa Barbara Foundation’s LEAF Initiative, and new strategic plans for Cachuma RCD and the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.

Why a Blueprint?

Santa Barbara County is a special place with unmatched scenery, a remarkable diversity of plants and animals, and productive ranching and agricultural lands – all of which contribute to our economy and quality of life. County residents and landowners have been good stewards of these resources with a long history of effective land management, and conservation. Yet with increasing population pressure on scarce natural resources, along with the new realities of climate change, it is critical that we develop the tools we need to better understand our landscape. We must also begin to think together about how we can address the pressures we face to create a more resilient and adaptable future for us all.

The Blueprint is a first step toward understanding our current condition and creating a landscape of opportunity for generations to come.

Conservation Blueprint Report and Executive Summary

Click on the links below to view and download the Blueprint Report and Executive Summary and scroll down to see interactive maps on the county in the Atlas.

View or Download the Report

View or Download the Executive Summary

Explore the Online Atlas

The Interactive Atlas - Now Live!

The Atlas is an online mapping portal where community members can view, retrieve, and analyze information about land use and natural resources in Santa Barbara County. The Atlas is designed to make science-based spatial data from many sources easily accessible.

Explore the Online Atlas

Within the Atlas you will find:

  • Data and information relevant to land and resource conservation in Santa Barbara County.
  • A series of five galleries for different topics relevant to the Santa Barbara geography. These galleries contain a selection of data layers representing each theme: water resources, agricultural and ranch lands, flora and fauna, climate, and recreation and tourism.
  • Mapping tools to visualize and overlay the various layers within the Atlas.
  • The ability to browse and search our ever-expanding GIS Data Inventory with over 300 different data layers identified.
  • The ability to add groups for further collaborative data sharing and map development.

About the Santa Barbara Blueprint

The Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint is being developed in partnership with Santa Barbara Foundation's LEAF initiative (Landscapes, Ecosystems, Agriculture, Food Systems), the Cachuma Resource Conservation District, and the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County. The project is being managed by Ag Innovations and the Conservation Biology Institute, with early design support from LegacyWorks. It is funded by a consortium of foundations and donors through the Land Trust and the LEAF Initiative.

The project is in development, with a launch planned for early 2018. We are currently conducting interviews and collecting data on five themes: water, agricultural and ranch lands, flora and fauna, climate, and community and the land. Please share your email if you are interested in staying informed and attending a community input event! We would also love to hear your stories and get your input on our community values survey. If you have additional questions, contact us.

The Cachuma Resource Conservation District was founded in 1944 – one of the first RCDs in California. Their mission is to promote land stewardship ethics that result in long-term, sustainable use of natural resources while protecting and enhancing the environment. For more information, visit:

The Santa Barbara Foundation is committed to building philanthropy, strengthening the nonprofit sector and solving community problems. The foundation has launched the LEAF Initiative to address landscapes, ecosystems, agriculture and food systems in our county.For more information, visit:

The Land Trust works to preserve and enhance our county’s natural open spaces and agricultural heritage for present and future generations. Since its inception in 1985 the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has helped to preserve over 24,000 acres of natural resource and agricultural land. For more information, visit:

Steering Committee

Anna Olsen,
Executive Director, Cachuma Resource Conservation District

Anne Coates,
Former Executive Director, Cachuma Resource Conservation District

Frank Davis,
Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

Pamela Doiron,
Rancher, The Spanish Ranch

Kim Kimbell,
Attorney / Partner, Allen & Kimbell, LLP

Paul Van Leer,
Farmer and Ranch Manager, Las Varas Ranch

Andy Mills,
Cattle Rancher and State Director, Santa Barbara County Cattlemen’s Association, Stewardship Director, CA Rangeland Trust

Greg Parker,
Principal, Investec Real Estate Companies and President Board of Trustees of The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County

Matt Roberts,
Rancher and Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Carpinteria

Randy Sharer,
Farmer and Owner, Sharer Brothers Farms

Sharyn Main,
Senior Director of Community Investments / Director of LEAF Initiative, Santa Barbara Foundation

Steve Windhager,
Executive Director, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Chet Work,
Executive Director, The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County