* * * *  November 16,  2015  * * * *     
In this Communication:
*Frost protection program needs interested landowners
*Marin-Gold Ridge RCD Partner Projects
*Green Valley Rd Mtg Online Presentation
*Ag History for Youth
*Offset GHG emissions with stream restoration 

Gold Ridge RCD Seeking Grower Interest in Procuring Wind Machines for Frost Protection
Gold Ridge RCD is seeking grower interest in receiving grant funding assistance to procure wind machines for vineyards located in our District. 
If enough growers express interest, and a willingness to share in the overall project cost (grant programs generally pay for part, but not all of a project), Gold Ridge will develop a competitive grant proposal to pursue funds through emerging programs established by California Proposition 1, such as the California Department of Water Resources Agricultural Water Use Efficiency Grants Program, with funding potentially available as early as 2016.
Grower interest is critical in securing this available grant funding. For many vineyards, wind machines can effectively protect vines during bud break in late winter and spring without using water. At a time when water conservation efforts are crucial, wind machines are one of the best ways to protect our vineyards from seasonal damages.
Please contact Noelle Johnson to express your interest to learn more, Noelle@goldridgercd.org or (707) 823-5244.

New culvert below repaired road has a wide mouth for improved fish passage into Black Mountain Creek

Gold Ridge RCD Project Update
Marin RCD & Gold Ridge RCD Partner Projects

Gold Ridge is assisting the Marin RCD on two important projects within Marin's District: the Black Mountain Creek Sediment Reduction and Fish Passage Project, and the Conserving Our Watersheds Phase IV (COW IV) Project. 

The Black Mountain Creek Sediment Reduction and Fish Passage Project implemented road related sediment reduction treatments within the Black Mountain Creek subwatershed of Lagunitas Creek. Instream habitats that support runs of endangered coho salmon and steelhead trout within the Lagunitas Creek system are threatened by excessive sediment, which smothers spawning gravels and reduces water quality. Road related erosion is a major source of instream sedimentation. Approximately 3.5 miles of roads were either upgraded or decommissioned as part of the project.  With over a decade of experience managing road-related erosion and sediment reduction projects,  Gold Ridge Project Manager Jason Hoorn has been a huge help to the Marin RCD staff by providing technical oversight and construction management for the project.

See an update on the COW IV project in the next E-newsletter.

Presentation from the Oct 14th Green Valley Rd Flooding Meeting Available Online
Environmental engineer Matt O'Connor presented his analysis of seasonal flooding on Green Valley Road just outside Graton, CA, and the potential mitigation strategies the community can consider in alleviating this complex problem. Now, you can view the slides of his presentation from our website. Visit this link to view, or find it in Updates on the GRRCD homepage. 

4th graders practice drawing in the Crane's pinot noir vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain foothills.

A Taste of Agricultural History 
for Sonoma County Youth

The Sonoma RCD in partnership with the Gold Ridge RCD and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District developed a new TEAM (Teaching Environmental and Agricultural Memories) Conservation program learning site for elementary youth. The Sonoma RCD has just completed its first string of field trips to the historic Crane Melon Barn and Farm in Santa Rosa.
The RCD is offering a handful of these trips annually during melon harvest season at the Crane Family property, protected forever with a conservation easement from the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Sorrel Allen, Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Community Engagement Specialist, said, "It's wonderful to watch this Crane farm field trip bring words like conservation and agriculture to life. The farm becomes a real life classroom, where students dig into the soil, taste the delicious heirloom Crane Melon, meet the farmers, and act out over 160 years of Crane family farming history." 
The Crane Family has farmed within the upper headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa since the mid-1800s. The famous Original Crane Melon's legacy began in 1920 on the rich adobe clay soils of southern Santa Rosa. The family's dedication to support this program and our students coming from all over the county is a special partnership and one the RCD is grateful.
Funding for this program 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.  For more information contact Adriana Stagnaro, RCD Program Coordinator at Adriana@goldridgercd.org  or 707-823-5244.

Stream Restoration Sequesters Greenhouse Gases from the Atmosphere

The revegetation of streams and creeks that crisscross California rangeland can play a significant role in helping counties meet carbon emission standards.  "We have long known that stream revegetation improves wildlife habitat and enhances water quality, but the fact that the vegetation and trapped sediment capture carbon underscores the importance of this conservation practice," said  David Lewis , a  UC Agriculture and Natural Resources  (UC ANR) watershed management adviser for Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.

Over a period of three years, Lewis and a team of UC and local scientists studied the stream revegetation projects that took place from about 1970 to just recently. They documented the carbon sequestration benefits of stream revegetation and calculated the value based on the current market for carbon credits. The results were shared in a report released this month,  Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Riparian Revegetation.

Lewis' research will be of interest to county governments as they strive to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the requirements of the 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).  "It may make sense for governments and project proponents to invest in creek restoration and other farm conservation practices to reach and surpass their carbon emission reduction goals," Lewis said.

Through 1990, Marin ranchers restored more than 25 miles of stream with willows, oaks and other trees and shrubs. An estimated 80,265 metric tons of sequestered carbon was sequestered in soils (25,262 tons) and vegetation (55,003 tons) as a result of the restoration. That's an amount equal to the emissions from 61,959 passenger cars in one year.  Lewis estimates there are several hundred miles of unrestored streams in Northern California coastal counties. And the implications of this study have application for rangeland streams throughout California.

"This represents tremendous potential for carbon sequestration," Lewis said. "And rancher interest in stream restoration has never been higher. Working with the ranchers to plant trees and shrubs along our waterways presents a significant opportunity to offset carbon emissions."

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