March 31,  2016 

In this Communication
*Results of the Community Survey
*Rentable Farm Tools
*Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture
*Soil Health and Grazing Workshop
Results of the Gold Ridge RCD Community Survey

Gold Ridge is pleased to report on the results of our recent community survey. We received 59 responses on questions regarding natural resource concerns and projects to address those concerns. Results will be important in shaping our work.
Thank you to all who participated. 

Respondent Profile
* Mostly (73%) from within the District
* Mostly residents (55%) as well as partners (40%)
* About a quarter were farmers (23%)

Top Natural Resource Concerns
* Creek (Riparian) health (71%)
* Groundwater Supply (54%)
* Low instream flows (39%)

Top Concerns of Farmers
* Creek (Riparian) Health (71%)
* Drought impacts on water supply for homes (50%)
* Groundwater Supply (43%)
* Fire hazard (43%)
* Drought impacts on water to produce food (35%)

Top Concerns of Rural Residents
* Creek (Riparian) Health (75%)
* Groundwater Supply (64%)
* Climate Change Impacts on Food and Farming (43%)
* Low Instream Flows (36%)

Top Concerns of Urban Residents
* Creek (Riparian) health (80%)
* Drought impacts on wildlife and habitat (60%)
* Endangered Species (60%)
* Climate Change Impacts on Food and Farming (40%)

Top Suggested Project Types 
* Creek habitat enhancement (61%)
* Water conservation, such as rainwater 
catchment and storage (61%)
* Instream flow enhancement to ensure 
sufficient  water in the dry season (59%)
* Salmon habitat improvement (50%)
* Climate change resiliency for communities, 
such as water supply security (36%)

Top Project Types Suggested by Farmers
* Water conservation (64%)
* Creek habitat enhancement (50%)

Top Project Types Suggested by Rural Residents
* Instream flow enhancement (71%)
* Water conservation (71%)
* Creek habitat enhancement (68%)
* Salmon habitat improvement (50%)

Top Project Types Suggested by Urban Residents
* Creek habitat enhancement (80%)
* Water conservation (60%)
* Watershed studies and prioritization plans (60%)


Gold Ridge RCD Rentable Farm Tools Survey
Gold Ridge RCD has heard the interest coming from the agricultural community in developing a library of rentable tools. Gold Ridge RCD would like to support the economic vitality of our local farmers, ranchers and land managers by providing tools for rent at an affordable price. Suggestions on tools we have received thus far have focused on the essential tools that are difficult for individual land managers to afford. We hope this survey will help us identify the community's most in-demand tools.

The Gold Ridge RCD currently  rents out a no-till drill to the community at a rate of $100/day for district landowners and $150/day for folks who live or own property outside the district.

An example of a working tool library, on a smaller scale, is the  Santa Rosa Tool Library, which rents hand and power tools for landscaping, home repair, and automotive work free of charge.

Please complete this survey by April 30, 2016. Your participation is so useful to us in pursuing this new offering to our community.
Thank you.

Financial Incentives for Climate-Smart Agriculture

There are powerful management practices that farms and ranches can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon and make their operations more resilient. Among the farming practices with the greatest climate benefits are: soil building, increased biodiversity, water and energy conservation, and on-farm renewable energy generation.

SALC funds permanent conservation easements on cropland and rangeland at risk of sprawl development, preventing GHG emissions associated with urban and suburban development.

Coming Soon...
The Governor's Healthy Soils Initiative is an interagency effort led by CDFA to improve the sustainability and resilience to climate change of California's soils. 

SWEEP provides financial incentives to agricultural operations to invest in water irrigation treatment and distribution systems that reduce water and energy use, augment supply and increase agricultural water and energy efficiency. 

Partner News

Soil Health & Grazing Management Workshop
April 2, 10am - 1pm
Dolcini Ranch,  6970 Red Hill Road,  Petaluma, CA  94952
Hosted by: the Natural Resources Conservation Service

G et down and dirty!  Soils form the foundation for
growing forage and raising livestock. Join the NRCS to learn:

1) How to assess the health of your soil, d etermine how to take and interpret soil samples, and l earn about soil microbes and their role in soil health.

2) Grazing management principles to enhance soil health:
Estimate plant basal cover and bare soil and u nderstand the importance of health roots.

3) M anagement practices for soil health:
Cost share opportunities

Celebrate 75 Years of Service 

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