eNewsletter | August Edition
In this month's edition:

  • NEW webpage for "Fire Mitigation and Post-Fire Recovery"
  • LandSmart Grazing program now taking applications!
  • Fond farewell to Jacob
  • Input needed: Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • Funding resources now available to you
  • Russian River Cleanup September 18
What's New at Your RCD
NEW "Fire Mitigation and Post-Fire Recovery" webpage now live!
Sonoma County, like many California counties is annually threatened by catastrophic wildfire, particularly in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Our local topography, fuels, and Mediterranean climate make our County subject to periodic wildfires. Combined with 100 years of effective fire suppression across the state, these conditions have led to uncharacteristically high fuel loads which has resulted in several devastating wildfires recently impacting our community. In 2017, we developed our first webpage dedicated to the latest resources available to support landowners and resident's post-fire. However, it was time to give this page a refresh this year and provide a comprehensive library of downloadable and viewable content to help our community prepare for fire and become more resilient after fire. We hope this updated webpage and its content helps to guide your decisions and ability to prepare your home or business. If you have any questions or comments please send them to info@sonomarcd.org. Click the image to visit the webpage!
LandSmart® Grazing Applications due 9/1
Gold Ridge and Sonoma Resource Conservation Districts have created LandSmart® Grazing, a program designed to fund the partnership between landowners and contract grazers in the hopes of reducing the risk and rapid spread of wildfire. LandSmart Grazing is a targeted grazing program designed to support interested neighbors or community groups to utilize grazing as a way of reducing fuel load and making their communities safer in the face of wildfires. In addition to reducing fire risks, this type of vegetation management and community-supported targeted grazing can improve biodiversity and provide a carbon-friendly method of vegetation management. LandSmart Grazing also aims to serve previously burned properties in order to remove invasive weeds and reduce fuel load in preparation for future post-fire recovery activities. 

The RCDs plan to connect contract grazers to landowners with the help of the U.C. Cooperative Extension's program Match.Graze in the hopes of facilitating a smooth and effective reduction of fire-fuels. For more details and information on how to apply please visit us here at LandSmart Grazing Program.
A fond farewell to Jacob our GrizzlyCorps Fellow
We were pleased to participate in the inaugural year of GrizzlyCorps, an AmeriCorps program focused on regenerative agriculture and forest resilience. We really hit the jackpot when we were connected with Jacob McDaniel as our GrizzlyCorps Fellow. Jacob jumped right in, supporting our carbon farming, soil health, and forest management efforts. He also led the RCD in growing our capacity to contribute to monarch butterfly habitat conservation in our District and region. We will miss Jacob at the RCD, but look forward to seeing him around Sonoma County as he participates in the Fire Forward fellowship program.
Community Engagement
Input needed: Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Shared from Permit Sonoma
For the decades following the 1964 Hanley and Nuns fires, there were few large damaging wildfires in Sonoma County. This abruptly changed 2017 when the Sonoma Complex fires forever changed our county. Since then, every fire season has brought traumatic and devastating fires, and wildfire has become a day to day reality for county residents. In order to address this reality the County is undergoing the process of updating our Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
On this page, County of Sonoma, learn more about:

Check out the Sonoma County CWPP Hub Site to see
  • Sonoma COunty Community Base Map
  • Sonoma County Wildfire Hazard Index
  • Public Input Map
  • How to use the Hub Site and much more!

Take the Public Input Survey here!

What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)?
Defined in the United States Congress Healthy Forests Restoration Act (2003), the goal of the CWPP is to enhance efforts to protect communities, watersheds and other at-risk lands from catastrophic wildfire. A CWPP is not a regulatory document, but provides wildfire hazard and risk assessments, community descriptions, options for addressing issues of structural vulnerability to wildfire (Home Hardening), and provides a prioritized list of projects which, if implemented, can serve to reduce wildfire hazards.

A CWPP is one of the best tools we have to take strides to adapt our county to a wildfire-prone environment. The CWPP will contain hazard and risk analyses and, using a collaborative model, will suggest projects that can efficiently reduce risk of loss of life, property loss, and environmental damage. Read the 2016 CWPP at Fire Safe Sonoma.

Workshops | Resources
Forest Stewards publication
Shared from University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR)
Forestland Steward provides access to technical information to help landowners become better stewards. This summer 2021 issue celebrates that Forestland Steward Turns 25!

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Forestland Steward! We are grateful for the support of our readership and look forward to reporting on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in forest management for another quarter-century. Click on the image to the right to view or download the PDF.
CA Family Farmer Emergency Fund - applications due 8/31
Shared from Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
From wildfires to drought to global pandemics, farming is risky business. This is even more true for smaller family farms and those from BIPOC, immigrant, and disadvantaged communities. Despite being the heart of our local food systems, these community-scale entrepreneurs too often fall between the cracks of traditional safety nets and government aid. That’s where we come in. The California Family Farmer Emergency Fund offers direct financial support to small-scale farmers impacted by disaster with the aim of helping them weather the storm.

ELIGIBILITY
  • Family farmers who are actively working the land, derive a portion of their income from their own farm business, and are involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm
  • Farmers whose operations make a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $400,000 in gross sales annually
  • Because of systems of historic oppression, the most vulnerable populations often bear the brunt of a crisis. For this reason, at least 50% of all grant funds will be awarded to farmers of color, immigrant farmers, and undocumented farmers.

For more information and details on how to apply in both English and Spanish click here
Technical Assistance Funding for Veteran Producers and Farmers of Color - applications due 8/25
Shared via California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCan) from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
Technical assistance funding is now available for veteran producers and ranchers and farmers of color. This blog is reposted from National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) NSAC advocates for federal policy reform for the sustainability of food systems, natural resources, and rural communities and CalCAN is a member. See the original post here.

The USDA announced the availability of $16.6 million in 2501 grants to help organizations conduct targeted outreach and provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers. The grants are to support a range of outreach and assistance activities including: farm management, financial management, marketing, and application and bidding procedures.

USDA is soliciting project proposals that address the following program priorities, which are unchanged from last year:
  • Assist socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating successful farms and ranches
  • Improve participation among socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA programs
  • Build relationships between current and prospective socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers and USDA’s local, state, regional and national offices
  • Introduce agriculture-related information to socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers through innovative outreach and technical assistance techniques
  • Introduce agricultural education targeting socially disadvantaged youth and beginning farmers and ranchers, in rural and persistent poverty communities.

All applications must be submitted via grants.gov by 11:59 pm EST on August 25, 2021. To read the full blog post and details on the funding available please click here.
Don't miss the Annual Russian River Cleanup Event 9/18!
Shared from the Russian Riverkeeper and Russian River Watershed Cleanup. The Sonoma RCD is a proud sponsor of this event each year.
We are very excited to be back this Fall with you, our favorite river stewardship volunteers! Save the Date of the morning of Saturday, September 18, 2021. We will have several locations available for you to sign up and clean up. Due to the drought conditions and very low flow in the Russian River, it will not be possible to have canoe routes this year.

We also encourage individuals and family groups to perform their own cleanup at their favorite river spot, and post results on the Russian River Watershed Cleanup Facebook page. Use #russianriverkeepercleanteam to help us gather important data on what we are removing from our watershed. It is so important to remove this trash before it gets washed out to sea in the coming rainy season. Thank you for your help! For more information, visit the Russian Riverkeeper website.
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