Rue Furch, Sonoma County Activist

While her two sons were in school, Rue co-owned a manufacturing and distribution business as CFO and marketing manager. Later she was Project Manager for the Sonoma County Community Foundation’s Parent Education Project and Executive Director of the Sonoma County Business Education Roundtable.

In the 1990s, Rue formed the Stakeholders Consensus on Reuse to promote clean water as a valuable resource. She also co-founded Citizens for Responsible Water Use and the Russian River Watershed Council.

Appointed as representative of the City of Sebastopol, she was a member of the Sonoma Marin Transportation Committee.

She has supported local agriculture through the Sonoma County Farmland Group, helped craft Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Urban Growth Boundary Initiatives, serves on the Policy Committee for the Community Alliance for Family Farms, and is Vice Chair of the Santa Rosa Groundwater Basin Management Plan Advisory Committee. She is on the Executive Committee for the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, the California Conservation Committee, and is a member of statewide committees focused on the California coast, water, and nationwide agricultural policies. She also serves as a member of Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG), the Sonoma County Water Coalition, is on the executive Board of the Latino Democratic Club and the Committee for Immigrants’ Rights. Rue served as a county planning commissioner for 18 years, and as President of the California County Planning Commissioners Association (CCPCA) produced a statewide conference on land use and water. She also succeeded in prioritizing water resources in the county’s General Plan which considers water quality, quantity and sustainability.

Rue was named California Woman of the Year by the State Assembly, 2006 Upstream Swimmer by Sonoma County Conservation Action, Environmentalist of the Year by the Sonoma County Conservation Council, County Planning Commissioner of the Year by the CCPCA and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Russian Riverkeeper.

Rue worked as the California Coastal Trail Planning and Project Manager for Coastwalk California, and currently works as an independent consultant on climate change, land use, housing and water issues.