CURE continues to work closely with government agencies and the private sector to support urban forests and agriculture. Recently, it commissioned the design for a 10 acre parcel continuous to Poly High School for a forest and after school ag courses. This proposal is in line with Governor Newsom's Executive Order on cities reserving 30 percent green spaces and 30 percent water to address climate. CURE also is participating on urban water management planning to set aside a percentage of baseline water to address climate change.
CURE works on several initiatives intended to help reduce the environmental impacts of urban expansion particularly the impacts of the increasing logistics industry in Southern California. CURE is working with industry leaders and elected officials in developing Best Practices for warehouse siting, operations and transportation in an effort to mitigate the negative efforts on local communities. See Best Practices for Logistic Leaders.
CURE also is a leader in promoting the growing sustainable agriculture industry in Riverside including the sponsoring of Grow Riverside and participation in the Riverside Food Systems Alliance. The popular focus on “farm to table” and water conservation provides a great opportunity for universities and high schools to provide training opportunities in these growth markets. CURE also encourages water agencies to offer irrigation advice and repairs to customers similar to what the telephone and electric utilities provide to reduce the loss of water due to poor irrigation systems.
CURE also is committed to retaining Riverside’s Greenbelt, 5000 acres in the midst of the City down zoned in the 1970s for agriculture. CURE is working with the City and other interests to stop any efforts to remove the growth restrictions and to develop a coherent specific plan to manage the Greenbelt. For a look at recommendations made in the late 1980s and late 1990s about the best ways to preserve and enhance the Greenbelt, click Greenbelt-1997 RLC Study and Greenbelt – 1987 Ad Hoc Comm Recs.
The patchwork of federal, state, and local government entities charged with addressing growth and environmental impacts makes it extremely difficult for communities to influence their future.
Government agencies often are understaffed and/or disproportionately influenced by industry lobbyists and studies. On the other side of the spectrum are what might be called environmental ambulance chasers, whose business model is to file lawsuits raising every conceivable technicality to slow projects and extort settlements. Both extremes hinder genuine public education and development of sound public policy.
CURE’s goal is to bridge that divide, by helping to mediate disputes and by encouraging industry to adopt its own Best Practices. See CURE’s blog including recommendations for Best Practices in the logistic industry.
CURE supports a wide range of programs that support urban agriculture, young-farmer training, and conservation easements to maintain green spaces. CURE regularly sponsors Grow Riverside, an effort by the City of Riverside to preserve urban agriculture in the Greenbelt and CURE is a member of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance. CURE also advocates the retention and expansion of provisions of the Internal revenue code that facilitate investment backed easements, and we are a member of the Partnership for Conservation.
Conserving land often has benefits beyond only open space and environmental protection. For example, urban ag can provide jobs for veterans and the homeless and help address food ghettos in cities. Maintaining open space buffers in the wild-lands urban corridors also can provide an added layer of protection from flooding and fires.
If you have land you are considering conserving or want referrals to resources, please contact us.
THIS PROJECT IN THE NEWS:
Urban Water Institute: https://stacy-davis.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-June-UWI-Newsletter.pdf
Cure Project Plans - Victoria Urban Forest
Forbes - Don't Politicize Charitable Easements Law. Strengthen IT.
Conservation Easements as a Tool for Nature Protection
Financial incentives to conserve land are increasingly important and necessary to reach the Governor and President's goals of having 30 percent open space by 2030. This new study by Professor William Snape of American University highlights the importance for Congress to clarify section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code. In recent years, 170(h) has come under attack, because of easements with faulty appraisals. The vast majority of the land conserved nevertheless had high biological value according to this study. Cracking down on unscrupulous appraisers and investors is important; however, Congress can do so while increasing, not reducing, tax incentives for conservation.
GREENING THE COMMUNITY: