What were RCDs up to in October?

California is home to 96 unique Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) operating in ten regions throughout the state. RCDs are California’s boots-on-ground, providing everything from technical assistance to design and installation of conservation projects to community education — and more. Each month, we work to compile a small sampling of the incredible work that the districts are doing in and on behalf of their communities.

Mendocino County RCD Featured in Ukiah Daily Journal

The Mendocino County RCD (MCRCD) was featured in an article by the Ukiah Daily Journal for several clean-ups of the Russian River. This year, they had a total attendance of 140. Deborah Edelman of MCRCD was interviewed for the piece: “Our theme this year was The River Starts Here,” says Edelman. “We would like people to understand that when you dump something in, say, the parking lot or on the grass in the park, it doesn’t stay there. As soon as it rains or a big wind comes up, litter goes into the river and is mistaken for food by aquatic organisms; it pollutes our water quality, ends up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

Coastal San Luis RCD’s Healthy Soils Demonstration Event

The Gopher Glen Organic Apple Farm and Coastal San Luis RCD co-hosted a demonstration event on October 25 from 9am to 11am. They applied compost using Millcreek manufacturing’s mini row mulcher, introduced the CDFA healthy soils program to attendees, and discussed sampling techniques.

RCD of Monterey County Hosts Wine and Cheese Celebration

Producers from Garden Variety Cheese, Schoch Family Farmstead, Carmel Valley Ranch Creamery and Cima Collina Winery hosted an event on October 25, from 5pm to 8pm at the Cima Collina tasting room in Marina to celebrate local agriculture and the work of the RCD of Monterey County. All proceeds from the Wine and Cheese Celebration were donated to the RCD for their work in protecting and conserving local farmland, wildlife, and waterways.

Lake County RCD Native Plant Sale

Lake County RCD hosted a native plant sale on October 19 from 10am to 2pm at the Agricultural Center (889 Lakeport Blvd). The sale was in collaboration with the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program.

Gold Ridge RCD’s Healthy Soils for Small Coastal Dairies

Gold Ridge RCD hosted a Healthy Soils for Small Coastal Dairies event on Tuesday, October 29 from 10am to 2pm at a private dairy in Valley Ford. Before lunch, they focused on soil sampling and how to interpret the results with Gregg Young, Certified Professional Agronomist. Gregg has developed a methodology for interpretation with the goals of more efficient use of soil amendments, improved soil structure and increased biological activity. After lunch, Chris Potter from CASA Systems 2100 told attendees about his work which uses satellite imagery to forecast and monitor crop production.

Cachuma RCD’s Introduction to Ranch Planning ad Grazing Management

The Cachuma RCD’s Introduction to Ranch Planning and Grazing Management event took place on October 17 from 9am to 4pm at the Ted Chamberlin Ranch (Los Olvios). Participants learned how to develop and implement successful financial, ideal land layout and infrastructure, grazing, and biological monitoring plans.

Trinity County Resource Conservation District Events

Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Trinity County RCD (TCRCD) partnered with local Volunteer Fire Departments and held 6 Community Meetings for the Trinity County Community Wildfire Protection Plan 2020 Update. In these meetings they heard concerns about areas with high fuel loading, access to evacuation routes, and community preparedness. TCRCD will incorporate community questions and concerns into the 2020 Update and will work with CalFire, USFS, BLM and local VFDs to generate the final prioritization of the proposed projects.

Weaverville Community Forest Public Meeting

The Weaverville Community Forest (WCF) is a stewardship partnership between the TCRCD, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management Redding Field Office (BLM) to cooperatively manage forest lands adjacent to the community of Weaverville. A public meeting in October covered topics such as upcoming fuel reduction projects from the USFS, BLM and The Watershed Research and Training Center throughout the community forest. The Trinity Trail Alliance presented on the past success and future aspirations for the La Grange Classic Mountain Bike Race held on the Weaver Basin Trails within the WCF. The USFS presented on future trail maintenance plans and the TCRCD presented on road decommissioning projects, trail maintenance, and the Trinity Children’s Forest project all occurring within the WCF. Presentation materials and minutes are available here.

Living with Wildfire

TCRCD hosted Living with Wildfire on October 28th in Hayfork, CA. Topics included how climate change impacts fire and new fire extremes, home hardening and landscape advice, updates on USFS fuel reduction projects and local agency assistance.

Trinity River Salmon Festival

On Saturday October 12, 2019 people from the community and beyond joined the celebration of the return of the salmon at this fun and education event. Members from the Nor-Rel-Muk Wintu Nation opened the festivities with a traditional blessing. Children enjoyed the famous giant salmon tent, activities, and dancing with Super Salmon – the visiting mascot from Sequoia Park Zoo. The returning live animal show by Turtle Bay Exploration Park was truly memorable. Sincere gratitude to the Trinity River Restoration Program who sponsored this event, and Sierra Pacific Industries for providing the entertainment. This event was made possible through a collaboration between TCRCD, Trinity County Visitor Center, and Trinity County Arts Council.

River Days

Each fall, TCRCD, Trinity Center, and Coffee Creek Schools unite for River Day. River Day is focused on learning about the Trinity County watershed in an outdoor classroom setting.  Students learned about salmon migration and life cycle through an obstacle course and fish printing crafts. They also learned about micro and macro biodiversity, ecosystems, and habitat.  The last part of the day was spent in the creek looking for macroinvertebrates. This amazing opportunity is made possible from the Trinity River Restoration Program.

RCD of Tehama County Hosts SWEEP Workshop

Growers will be able to apply for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Funding from the CDFA again this year. SWEEP is an opportunity for commercial agricultural water users to receive up to $100,000 to improve on-farm water and energy efficiency. The application period is expected to open on October 21 and close on December 16, 2019. The RCD of Tehama County hosted a technical assistance workshop on October 29, 2019 to help interested producers and provide technical information. Spanish-speaking staff were available to assist with translation.

NACD Blog Features Napa County RCD

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) blog highlighted Napa County RCD’s volunteer-based Acorns to Oaks program. In the past seven years, the district has planted 5,105 acorns in 21 locations across Napa County. About 2,800 students and more than 700 volunteers have assisted in the program. Now, the district is branching out in the hopes of including more counties so that the effort may stretch, eventually, across the entire North Bay. “We really want to promote education around oak woodlands,” said Napa County RCD Program Director Frances Knapczyk. “We want to get trees in the ground. One of the strongest goals is to have a viable valley oak population that produces the most benefits as possible for our ecosystem and for our neighboring wildlife.” Read the blog post here.