Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District  | February 2017
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February 2017
The news on your RCD's latest efforts to   conserve and protect our most valued natural resources, support a thriving agricultural community and promote a sustainable local economy. 
Got Runoff? RCD Hosts Stormwater Workshop for Local Residents on March 15th

Wednesday, March 15th, 6-8pm
Apple Blossom School,  700 Watertrough Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Free to the public

The copious rain delivered by recent atmospheric rivers is a drastic change after five consecutive years of drought, and the soil is beyond saturated! We understand that it is hard to manage lots of water and so in response have put together a workshop to offer ideas on how to manage runoff. 

How can we make the most of excessive rainfall, protect our soil from erosion, protect our roads from potholes and landslides, and deliver water to our water tables? Join Gold Ridge and Sonoma RCDs and partners, like Harmony Farm Supply and Permaculture Artisans, for a tradeshow-style workshop that explains the practices of good stormwater stewardship. You will have access to experts and information on where to get the tools or help you need. 

We'll cover a suite of projects that store, slow, spread and sink stormwater, including rainwater catchment, permeable paving, rain gardens, earth works, and more.

Join us for the Russian River Confluence, which Brings Together New Perspectives, Renewed Energy for Stewarding the River

March 24th, the community is invited to "confluence" at Shone Farm for an educational and inspirational meeting of the minds. 

The Russian River Confluence is a unique event intended to engage the region's stakeholders, encourage storytelling and identify actions to promote a holistic, 'beyond sustainability' approach to the watershed that ensures its resiliency and renewal. Local partners including the regional RCDs, Sonoma County Water Agency, Russian Riverkeeper, Dry Creek Rancheria, and Pepperwood Preserve are hosting. 

Winter Habitat for Young Salmon: A Tour of the Thomas Creek Ranch Demonstration Project

This February, creekside landowners along Green Valley Creek have been invited to tour the privately owned Thomas Creek Ranch demonstration project that provides important winter habitat to young salmon and the greater ecosystem. The Thomas Creek Ranch community partnered with the RCD to install new habitat features such as large wood debris, additional plants, and a newly constructed creek channel, all of which work to slow fast-paced flood waters and mimic the buffering effects of a wetland. Attendees will hear from the TCR community about their experience working with the RCD to enhance wildlife habitat their private property.

VIDEO -- We are also pleased to share a new video that shows the teamwork and mission around the project. See it here.
Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) Partners with RCD on Salmon Creek Replanting

On January 25th, the RCD collaborated with STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) and the Browder family to implement a revegetation plan as part of the gully stabilization project constructed this past summer.

About 75 4th and 6th grade students participated in the project on the Browder Ranch in the Coleman Valley subwatershed of Salmon Creek. The students planted approximately 200 willow sprigs and 200 juncus plugs in areas along the creek and recently stabilized gullies that drain to Coleman Valley Creek. STRAW is a project of Point Blue Conservation Science that educates grammar school students in ecological restoration, focusing on the importance of healthy streams and watersheds. STRAW staff developed the planting plan, harvested willow, provided juncus and organized and supervised the students to make the project a great success. 
Gold Ridge RCD is Attending the California Climate and Agriculture Summit 2017 

This February 28th, the RCD will join CalCAN for their annual summit to learn about the latest science, policy and practice of climate-friendly farming in California, network with a diverse group including growers, researchers, policymakers, agricultural professionals and advocates and to find out about farming-focused ways to play a constructive role in responding to our climate crisis. Learn more.

Partner News 

4th Annual Farmers Guild Raising & Agrarian Lovers Ball 

From the Farmers Guild

Join Saturday, February 18th for a day of farm-centered workshops and activities, keynote speakers and live music. Buy tickets here

How NRCS Can Help You Make Conservation Improvements on Your Land: A Free Workshop for Sonoma-Marin Farmers and Ranchers

From Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Where: the NRCS Office, 5401 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 100, Petaluma, CA 94954, When: Friday, February 24th from 10am-12pm. This workshop is free. For further information contact (707) 794-1242, ex. 3. RSVP appreciated but not required. 

Spring Conservation Burn Training & Biochar Workshop

From Sonoma Biochar Initiative

At Circle Bar Ranch from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. on Friday, February 24th. These workshops feature both hands-on, in-the-field training and a classroom style component. More information.

Build Soil, Build Wealth: A Restoration Ag and Holistic Management Workshop

From The Jefferson Center for Holistic Management

A 3-day intensive course at the Shone Farm in Forestville, CA taught by regenerative agriculturist Mark Shepard and holistic management expert Spencer Smith will teach practices that move the needle on water capture and retention, soil health and development, and holistic planning for climate change resiliency. March 3-5, 2017. Register here

Wet Winter Fills North Bay Reservoirs 

From The Press Democrat

"Rain storms this winter have swelled water in Lake Sonoma to near-record levels....Only in the El NiƱo winter of 1995 did the reservoir in northwestern Sonoma County...rise higher than it did early this week, when it topped 125 percent of its capacity...The bountiful supply is more than twice the volume of water held in the lake in November 2014, amid the five-year drought that forced conservation of drinking water and cut into recreational opportunities for boaters and others..." Read More. 

And see current water supply levels for Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino from the Sonoma County Water Agency here

If you would like to support programs like these with your donation,
please visit our  Donation Page .