* * * *  October 29,  2015  * * * *     
In this Communication:
*Creative Drought Solutions - Nov 14
*GRRCD Project Updates  - Dairy Water Conservation
*Healthy Soils News and Video
*SOD Blitz Results - Nov 3
*Wool Symposium - Nov 7
* Sustainable Groundwater Management Act workshops and Presentations

Creative Drought Solutions:
Water Storage on a Bodega Ranch
and How It Helps Our Salmon
Agricultural Heritage Series Public Outings
When: Saturday, November 14 ; 1 - 3:30 pm; Level: Easy
Join Gold Ridge RCD in an afternoon exploring the water cycle and one rancher's role in conserving our precious water resources for salmon in Salmon Creek. Our holistic discussion will address how groundwater is connected to surface water, why our salmon are in peril and how we can help, what role agriculture does and can play in conserving water, how rural water storage works, and how land managers can apply for funding to install more wildlife-saving water collection systems. We will walk Salmon Creek to see in-stream improvements to wildlife habitat, such as structural large wood debris, and learn how a 230,000 gallon underground water storage system has brought this rancher peace of mind amidst the fourth year of drought.  We may even see some Salmon!

There is no cost for this event. This outing is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District's work with a quarter cent sales tax.  

The hustle and bustle of early October pond excavation.

Gold Ridge RCD Project Update
Salmon Creek Dairy Water Conservation Project

Construction is wrapping up for the Salmon Creek Dairy Water Conservation Project on the Westview Jersey's Organic Dairy operated by Richard and Marilyn Hughes in the Salmon Creek Watershed. This water conservation project will transition the dairy summertime water source from a shallow creekside well to a rain water roof-catchment pond. When all is done, the project will harvest winter rainwater caught from the roofs of five structures with sufficient capacity to store the entire summer demand for the organic dairy operation. Implementation of this project addresses the impacts of one of the largest individual water diversions on the mainstem of Salmon Creek. It prevents the extraction of approximately 1,408,000 gallons of water from the stream during the critical summer/fall dry season.

Dairies can be both significant water users and integral contributors to the agriculture-based economy and natural resources of their surrounding communities. This project further advances the RCD's expanding water conservation program, working to provide immediate benefits to riparian systems while advancing technologies to prepare its communities for less predictable rainfall patterns in the long run. 

Soil Health Collaborative and Marin Carbon Project makes NRCS California News!
To support soil health goals in Sonoma, many exciting events are happening both in the County and in conjunction with ongoing soil health field trials in Marin, Mendocino and Napa Counties.  Here are the highlights: 
  • A Sonoma County Soil Health Collaborative has been formed by local partners driven to improve soil health on all landscapes in Sonoma County and to increase soil organic matter. This group combines local, state, federal government along with non-profits, businesses and districts that work with agricultural and urban areas to increase knowledge and collaborate efforts in the county. Development of a countywide soil challenge is underway to encourage participation in soil building practices on a local level.
NRCS's New Soil Video
See the many other educational resources on soil health available from the NRCS here
Treatments to Save Oaks
Results of 2015 SOD Blitz
Tuesday, November 3rd, 6-8 pm -- Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Join Matteo Garbelotto of the  UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory in this discussion of the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) pathogen.  Are your bay trees infected with the SOD? Infection on bay laurel means the pathogen is here.  Infection on oaks nearby may require several more years, even a year or two with higher than average rainfall. Now is the time to protect your oaks.
This event is hosted by the Sonoma County Master Gardeners, Sonoma County SOD Program. Special t hanks to the US Forest Service for funding this program.

This event is free! Please register here

2015 Wool Symposium
Saturday Nov 7, 9:30am-6:00pm

Please join Fibershed for their fourth annual Fibershed Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium. In addition to hands-on activities and demonstrations, there will be informative presentations on collaborations between fiber farmers and designers, as well as on carbon farming, soil carbon sampling and drought tolerant breeds. The fee to attend the Symposium is $40, or $20 for seniors and full-time students.
Local RCDs, and Gold Ridge RCD's executive director Brittany Heck, will be presenting on the support emerging for carbon farm planning. 
The Fibershed Marketplace (open to the public at no charge from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm) will offer an array of beautiful local fibers and handmade goods, on sale in the church building, as well as on the lawn (weather permitting).

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Learn More with these Opportunities
1. A new website  has been launched that includes information from state and local sources, including a recent assessment conducted of Sonoma County stakeholders. Go to 
2. Public Workshops  are scheduled in Petaluma Valley (Nov 9), Sonoma Valley (Nov 12) and Santa Rosa Plain (Dec 9) groundwater basins. Please go to the website or see the attached flyer for dates, times and locations.
3.  Presentations  are being conducted at city councils and boards of the public agencies eligible to manage groundwater under SGMA. Last presentation is to Petaluma City Council, Nov. 2. 

Check out the 

The staff of the Gold Ridge RCD thanks you for your continued support.