What were RCDs up to in December?

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.

Mariposa County RCD YouTube Channel for Wildfire Resources

The Mariposa County RCD launched a YouTube channel with videos for homeowners who want to reduce the risk of wildfire on their property. The videos were created from presentations given by local— CAL FIRE, University of California Cooperative Extension, fire history expert George Gruell, and others— and have been approved for content by CAL FIRE. There are 14 videos online, and more will be added based on viewer feedback and as new information becomes available. The videos are grouped into categories:

  • Reducing Wildfire Danger
  • Tree Mortality Scenarios
  • Forest Health
  • Defensible Space, Home Hardening and Access Roads
  • Cost Sharing Programs and Insurance Availability
  • Neighborhood Groups

There is also a video that gives instructions on how the videos were created using existing PowerPoint presentations and adding voice over. The hope is that other communities can use this tool to create their own video presentations. Follow this link to the Mariposa.R.C.D YouTube channel. Becoming a subscriber unlocks additional features for the channel so that they can make it even more useful for viewers.

Yolo County RCD Featured in the Daily Democrat

The Yolo County RCD was featured in the Daily Democrat for their monarch conservation work. “In an announcement made Wednesday, Amy Williams, project manager for the district, reported this fall district staff will work with landowners, land managers, and volunteers to plant 6,400 monarch habitat plants provided by the Xerces Society and grown by Hedgerow Farms to six sites countywide. ‘The majority of the plants being installed are narrow-leaf milkweed, and showy milkweed, larval host plants for western monarch caterpillars,’ Williams stated. ‘Native wildflowers will be planted alongside the milkweed to provide nectar sources for monarch butterflies and many other pollinators.'” Find the full story here.

Yolo County RCD Co-Hosts Cover Crop Field Day

On December 5, the Yolo County RCD and CARCD partnered with California Audubon on their Cover Crop Field Day, which took place at River Dog Farms in Knights Landing. Attendees learned about cover crops as alternative to leaving fallowing, nitrogen management and budgeting, and pest control with an emphasis on rice systems.

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD Featured on Local Radio

The Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD was featured on KCBX for a 20 minute segment. Program manager Andy Johnson spoke on  on the district’s latest grant opportunities and projects. Find the full story here

Alameda County RCD Press Release on Monarch Conservation 

The Alameda County RCD shared a press release about their planting habitat at the 3 Calhoun Sister’s Ranch. “That is why working with ranchers to restore milkweed on rangelands in California is so important! Over 50% of agricultural lands in California—40 million acres—are grazed by cattle. There is the potential to make a big impact if more ranchers follow the 3 Calhoun Sisters lead,” adds Hillary Sardiñas, a Biologist with the ACRCD. Find the full press release here.

Mendocino County RCD Cannabis Conservation Video

The RCD of Mendocino County shared their Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers. The video is a companion to their written guide, Watershed Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers and Other Rural Gardeners. You can find the written guide in English and Spanish on their Publications pageyou can find the video here.

Mariposa County RCD Featured in Local Paper

The Mariposa County RCD was featured in the Sierra Sun Times for fuels reduction funding. “They recently obtained two large grants to work with Mariposa County, the Sierra National Forest, and Yosemite National Park to implement fuels reduction, reforestation, and biomass utilization projects. A $2 million grant from CAL FIRE’s California Climate Investments Forest Health grant program will remove 3,222 tons of dead and downed trees from around County facilities and along County roads as well as along Wawona Road in Yosemite and convert it to energy or biochar.” Follow this link for the story.

Pit RCD New Website

The Pit RCD unveiled their new website

Riverside-Corona RCD’s California Naturalist Certification Course 

The Riverside-Corona RCD announced that they will be offering the California Naturalist certification course to the Inland Empire. The course will tell the story of the Santa Ana Watershed and take students from the mountainous headwaters in the San Bernardino National Forest to the mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Highly trained instructors and lecturers will introduce the natural history and local ecology of this beautiful and diverse landscape and bring participants up to date on current issues such as sustainability and climate change. Students will participate in a comprehensive science curriculum with lectures, field trips, and many hands-on, feet on the ground learning opportunities to immerse them in the diversity of the Santa Ana Watershed. Students who complete this course will become part of an active and vibrant base of volunteer naturalists and community scientists in California. Click here for more information.

Alameda County RCD and StopWaste Partnership

A new 10-acre compost application trial in Alameda is the result of a collaboration between UC Merced Professor Rebecca Ryals, the Alameda County RCD, and StopWaste (the Alameda County Waste Management Authority). “Over the next three years, Ryals and her lab will measure changes in the amount of carbon stored in the soil and greenhouse gases that are emitted from soil. The team will also measure the co-benefits provided by higher levels of soil carbon, including better water infiltration and forage production.” Click here for the full storyCDFA also posted it on their blog.

San Mateo RCD Featured on KQED

The San Mateo RCD recently completed restoration of Lower Butano Creek in the wetlands of Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve to provide habitat and spawning grounds for endangered coho salmon and other wildlife. The creek’s blockage was the result of nearly two centuries of farming, logging and re-engineering the local streams, all of which triggered severe erosion. Read more on KQED’s site; the link to the audio portion is at the top of the page. In case you missed it, the project has also been featured in San Francisco ChronicleSan Mateo Daily Journal, and KCBS Radio.

Mendocino County RCD’s Progressive Road Design and Maintenance Workshop

The Mendocino County RCD will be hosted their Progressive Road Design and Maintenance Workshop on Thursday, December 12 from 9am to 4pm at the Fort Bragg Lyme Redwood Conference Room (90 W Redwood Ave, Fort Bragg). The event featured free copies of the Roads Handbook, an overview of grant opportunities, road project tours with a professional geologist, and a discussion of how upgraded roads reduce maintenance costs and improve water quality. Follow this link for the flyer.