North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park Updates

By Rebecca Casciani and Jennifer Beer

In case you had missed it, the North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park, in conjunction with the Regional Parks Department of Sonoma County, is looking to expand accessibility and programs throughout the park. The main components of this program are overnight camping and trail expansion. When the Bennett Valley community heard about the park expansion, we were excited to hear about new growth, but concerned with the clear call out for potentially allowing campfires.

A group of us came together to address these issues with the Parks Department, and were surprised to learn that in the wake of the 2017 fires, camping and campfires had not been re-addressed as part of their plan; these hazardous activities were still being considered. We banded together to raise serious concerns, including the narrowness of the road, the lack of water, and the lack of park maintenance, including underbrush, trees and vegetation that have not been maintained consistently from year to year. 

There is also the concern that these back country campers/backpackers would be using camp stoves and lighting campfires in remote areas that are not accessible for any kind of fire crew; with the high winds that we experience every year, the chances of causing massive fires on Sonoma Mountain is very high. If such a fire were to occur, the ability to evacuate the local residents on a one lane mountain road is almost nonexistent.

The Regional Parks communicated that their CEQA consultants have completed the Draft Grazing Plan and that the Draft Wildfire Management Guidelines (WMG) is almost complete.

On February 16, 2023, The Sonoma Mountain community received information from the park planning manager, Karen Davis-Brown, that the project is moving slowly and final studies are nearing completion. The draft documents for public review are expected to be available April, 2023.  Prior to distribution to the public, Regional Parks has committed to provide us a preview, and a meeting with Regional Parks planning manager, Steve Ehret, before there is a public review of the plans. If you look at the parks department website there is a very general calendar update that notice of availability of intent to adopt a mitigated negative declaration and a public formal review should happen sometime in spring 2023.

If this park development is the first time you’re hearing of this and want to learn more or be more connected please feel free to reach out to the Bennett Valley Community Association which will get you in touch with the individuals who are monitoring the parks development. 

If you want direct public meeting updates from the actual regional park you can sign up at 

Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission ( 

To view more information from the Regional Parks status go to:

North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve Master Plan (

North Sonoma Mountain - Project Detail (