* * * *  September  2015  * * * *     
In this Communication:
* No Till Drill Rental
* USDA offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers
*Donate or Volunteer Relief for the Valley Fire 
*Have your Groundwater Level Measured by GRRCD

No-Till Drill Rental Sign-Ups

Great Plains 606 No-Till Drill


Benefits of using a No-Till Drill:

        • Reduces non point source pollution
        • Reduces soil erosion
        • Protects water quality
        • Helps to build soil structure
        • Reduces soil compaction
        • Provides a permanent soil cover
        • Retains soil moisture
        • Provides cover to microorganisms

Check out this video that compares Long-Term Conventional Tillage vs. No-Tillage Systems.


Cost is $100/day for folks in the Gold Ridge District and $150 for folks outside of the District.


Sign ups are first come, first serve so please call the GRRCD office to make your reservation!  Or if you have any questions, please let us know.


Contact Information:

William Hart

(707) 823-5244 



USDA Offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State that USDA has programs to assist with their recovery efforts.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences or eligible trees, bushes and vines as a result of a natural disaster. FSA administers a suite of safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program.

In addition, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. Producers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist producers with damaged grazing land as well as farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who find themselves in emergency situations caused by natural disasters. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to producers who agree to defer grazing on damaged land for two years. In the event that presidentially declared natural disasters, such as wildfires, lead to imminent threats to life and property, NRCS can assist local government sponsors with the cost of implementing conservation practices to address natural resource concerns and hazards through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.

Farmers and ranchers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) should contact their crop insurance agent to discuss losses due to fire or other natural causes of loss. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator .

When wildfires destroy or severely damage residential property, Rural Development (RD) can assist with providing priority hardship application processing for single family housing. Under a disaster designation, RD can issue a priority letter for next available multi-family housing units. RD also provides low-interest loans to community facilities, water environmental programs, businesses and cooperatives and to rural utilities.

Visit https://go.usa.gov/3eDeF to learn more about USDA disaster preparedness and response. For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center go to http://offices.usda.gov.

USDA Offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers
For those wishing to make donations of goods to the Valley Fire Shelter, the Calistoga Beverage Company, located at 865 Silverado Trail North, Calistoga, CA 94515 is currently the designated site for drop-offs. Donations will be accepted every day from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
Due to the generous support of the community, the shelter has plenty of toilet paper, baby items, water, and clothing (coats and plus size clothing still needed).
Needed items at this time: battery operated camping lanterns, touch lights, flashlights or headlamps (please include batteries); plus sized clothing and undergarments; coats and jackets in all sizes; new beanies and sun hats; neck coolers; sunscreen; lip balm; hair ties; waterproof storage tubs in various sizes.
Lake County Animal Services is coordinating the needs of the displaced animals. Animal Services are fully stocked with donations of medical supplies, animal food (for domestic animals and livestock, including hay), cleaning supplies, and trailers for transport. However, their needs will continue to change throughout the response, and the public is advised to call to check on donation needs. Lake County Animal Services will be open every day, including this weekend, from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM and can be reached at 707-263-0278.
LOVE Lake County Fire Relief is maintaining an inventory of additional Donation Centers (nonprofits, businesses and individuals) dedicated to helping the Lake County fire relief effort: http://www.lovelakecounty.org. It is recommended you call organizations prior to dropping items off.

Monetary donations remain an excellent way to provide assistance to displaced individuals. Financial donations can be made to the following:Redwood Credit Union - 100% of donations will go directly to aid victims and relief efforts: https://www.redwoodcu.org/lakecountyfirevictims . Or, make a check payable to Redwood Credit Union to: RCU Lake County Fire Relief, c/o Redwood Credit Union, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, CA 95406
* American Red Cross at www.redcross.org/donate.
* Lake County Assistance Center: Distributes funds to assist victims of the Lake County fires. Website: http://www.lakecountylac.com/
* United Way of the Wine Country: Donations made to United Way of the Wine Country's website from September 14, 2015 - September 30, 2015 will be directed to United Way Relief Fund to help those affected by the devastating fires and their aftermath in Lake County. Donate online at https://volunteer.truist.com/uwwc-2/donate/. Or, mail your donation to: United * Way of the Wine Country 975 Corporate Center Parkway, Suite 160 Santa Rosa, CA 95407.
* Wine Country Animal Lovers: Wine Country Animal Lovers (WCAL) - a 501(c)3 non-profit animal rescue serving the upper Napa Valley and Lake County: http://winecountryanimallovers.org/

Emergency responders are working hard to coordinate volunteer efforts for people wishing to lend a hand for disaster relief. Here are a few ways to volunteer:
* The Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership is coordinating volunteers at the Valley Fire Shelter in Calistoga. Community members interested in volunteering may register at: http://volunteer.cvnl.org/need/detail/?need_id=143893
* Interested volunteers may also register on site at the Napa County Fair in Calistoga. Please check-in at the volunteer table located between the Tubbs Building and Butler Pavilion near Gate 3 off of N. Oak Street in Calistoga from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
* North Coast Opportunities - https://www.ncoinc.org/, 707-462-1954 or Toll Free 1-800-606-5550
* American Red Cross: If you are not currently a Red Cross volunteer but are interested in helping support response efforts, please email VYSNB@redcross.org. A representative from the Volunteer Department will follow up with you about paperwork dependent upon your location. If you want to be trained as a Red Cross disaster volunteer to respond to future disasters, sign up at http://tinyurl.com/redcrossNCCRvolunteer.

General Information and Updates
* County of Sonoma - http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/
* Facebook - County of Sonoma, California
* Twitter - @CountyofSonoma
* Nixle - text zip code to 888777
Fire Information:
CAL FIRE: 707-967-4207 (Fire Information Line)

Sonoma County 2-1-1 is operating as an information line for neighboring counties:
 Dial: 2-1-1 or 1-800-325-9604 if calling from out of the 707 area code

Red Cross Safe and Well:
If you have family or friends in the impacted area, and want to check on their wellbeing, go to: https://safeandwell.communityos.org.

Evacuated residents that need to check on the status

Gold Ridge RCD to Offer Groundwater Level Monitoring Services
As the drought continues and groundwater supplies become less reliable, well owners throughout our district have become increasingly concerned about monitoring their well water levels.  The Gold Ridge RCD is currently developing a program to offer confidential monitoring services for residential or commercial wells.  Measurements will be performed using a sonic meter, so there is no risk of water contamination.  While all information about well levels and locations is completely confidential, participants in the program may have the option of having their well data included in the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring Program (CASGEM). 
Monitoring will occur at least biannually, with measurements taken in the spring and fall.  Additional measurements may be arranged more often at well owner request. 
Fees for having your well monitored, currently $20/visit, are meant to cover the cost of the program.  The RCD anticipates that this cost will drop as more landowners express interest.  The fee is payable by check or via the PayPal link below.  Depending on your well location, participation in the CASGEM program may allow us to waive the fees.
If you own a well within the RCD's district and are interested in having your well water level monitored, or have questions about the program, please contact:
Noelle Johnson
Conservation Planner
If you've already registered with the program, please submit your $20 payment before the next scheduled well monitoring.  Fall 2015 monitoring is scheduled to occur on October 13 th.

Check out the 

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