Get to Know Mariposa County RCD

The Mariposa County Resource Conservation District (RCD) is a medium sized, rural RCD in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of Fresno, east of Merced, and southeast of Stockton. The district’s eastern section is the central portion of Yosemite National Park. They have worked on a variety of programs such as technical assistance for farmers and ranchers, involvement with creating local Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, supporting the Mariposa County Firesafe Council, invasive plant control, and soil health and soil erosion control. Being at the foothills of the western Sierras and surrounded by forests, one of the greatest needs of their community is conservation work around forest health and fire resiliency.

Mariposa County RCD recently obtained two large grants from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) California Climate Investments Forest Health grant program totaling $2 million in order to implement fuels reduction, reforestation, and biomass utilization projects. The RCD will remove 3,222 tons of dead and downed trees, which will be converted into energy or biochar.

They also play an integral role in developing the Mariposa Biomass Project and have secured $5.2 million in grant funding for the project. They currently have a Wood Innovations Grant from the US Forest Service for $248,000 to facilitate final tasks for a group of four community scale biomass plants: Mariposa, CHIPS, Camptonville, and Nevada County.

Along with reducing hazardous fuels, the RCD released 14 videos on their new YouTube channel. The short videos give information for homeowners who want to reduce the risk of wildfire on their property, and cover:

  • Reducing wildfire danger
  • Tree mortality scenarios
  • Forest health
  • Defensible space, home hardening and access roads
  • Cost sharing programs and insurance availability
  • Neighborhood groups

The videos were created from presentations given by local experts— CAL FIRE, University of California Cooperative Extension, fire history expert George Gruell, and others— and have been approved for content by CAL FIRE. There is also a video that gives instructions on how the videos were created using existing PowerPoint presentations and adding voice over. The RCD’s hope is that other communities can use this tool to create their own video presentations. Please visit Mariposa.R.C.D YouTube channel today, and click on Subscribe.

Mariposa County RCD’s tree mortality workshop with speakers from CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service. The RCD’s YouTube channel was created in an effort to make this same information accessible to everyone online.

Most recently, they submitted grants for water storage for fire protection through the Integrated Regional Water Management Prop 1 grant program and the Bureau of Reclamation, one of which is a tribal project for the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation. Visit their Facebook page to get the RCD’s latest news.