Since starting the Blueprint project, the Sacramento region has taken a new approach to addressing transportation, land use, and air quality issues.
The Blueprint, adopted in 2002 by local elected officials from 22 cities and six counties, values rural communities and agricultural lands as critical to our economy, our environmental health, and our quality of life.
How do we protect our rural assets as development from a growing population impacts where we grow our food for ourselves and the world? The answer is complex, and requires public and private stakeholders from all sectors and all parts of the region to support agricultural viability and rural communities, linking the long-term success of farms and ranches to the success of the region as a whole.
SACOG’s Board of Directors kicked off the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) in 2007. The RUCS project is looking at the region’s growth and sustainability
objectives from a rural perspective. In the same way that Blueprint is a development strategy for urban areas, RUCS strives to be an economic and environmental sustainability strategy for rural areas. SACOG identified five areas of study:
- Land Use and Conservation: Policies and Plans that Shape Rural Areas
- The Infrastructure of Agriculture: Challenges to the Production Process
- Economic Opportunities: New Ways to Grow Revenue
- Forest Management: Growing Economic and Environmental Value
- Regulations: Navigating Federal and State Environmental Guidelines
While SACOG started RUCS, farmers, ranchers, agricultural researchers, farm bureaus, local, state, and federal officials, distributors, chefs and many other stakeholders
have made the project possible. SACOG has developed tools and information geared at helping stakeholders in their efforts to keep rural areas sustainable.