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eNewsletter | May 2022

In This Month's Edition

  • RCD Updates: Regenerative Land Management Practice Highlight: Prescribed Burning, TEAMS, Board Meetings
  • People Spotlight: Temra Costa, Associate Director
  • Resources: Water Conservation Flyer for Spring/Summer 2022, USA’s North Bay Forest Improvement Program receives $3.5M CAL FIRE Wildfire & Forest Resilience Block Grant, Farm Bureau Water Summit
  • Workshops: Draft Reforestation Strategy Workshop, Rainwater Rebate Program Kick-Off Webinar, Sustainable Gardening Walk, Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Training, 2022 Russian River Biological Opinion Public Policy Facilitating Committee Meeting, Pepperwood Volunteer Workday
  • Other News: North Coast Farmers Workshop Series Survey, Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency Meeting, Daily Acts: Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities Application Now Open!

What's New at Gold Ridge?

Regenerative Land Management Practice Highlight: Prescribed Burning


Fire can be scary, but it can also be good for our lands and forests if done right. Burns are a natural disturbance in our ecosystem; yet, some land managers have spent decades excluding fire attempting to prevent wildfires. Lack of fuel management has led to unhealthy landscapes where trees are stressed by overcrowding; fire-dependent native species disappear; invasive species thrive; and flammable fuels build up and become hazardous. With that being said, prescribed and controlled fires are a sustainable solution to these conditions created through fire suppression.

Prescribed burns are carefully planned. Specialists write burn plans where they identify the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. They consider all aspects of the weather conditions, including: temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke. By using these conditions to determine the right day, time, and location to burn, prescribed fire specialists can help landowners burn safely.

There are many ways people can become more educated on prescribed burns. If you feel prepared to try this management tool on your land you can apply for a burn permit. These permits will allow you to burn only natural vegetation or native growth, or if the amount of material from a single property cleared and burned annually is greater than 5 cubic yards. Find more information on open burning here. It is also essential to contact your local Air Pollution Control District and your local fire department. Undergoing Wildland FireFighter Type 2 training is a great way to become knowledgeable of how to control fire on your land. In order to help shine more light on prescribed burning, its benefits, how to implement and practice burns, and hear different stories, we interviewed four different people on their experiences with prescribed burning. You can read their stories here

TEAMS Field Trips are Back!


The Sonoma and Gold Ridge RCDs are very excited to announce in-person 3rd and 4th grade field trips coming up in Spring 2022! In partnership with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space), the TEAM program invites elementary students to experience our diverse agricultural landscapes and ecosystems of Sonoma County. See our TEAM flyer detailing our spring 2022 field trip lineup, learn how to sign-up, and where to submit a request for transportation reimbursement.

For more details visit the TEAM program webpage here. Please contact Christine Kuehn, Education and Communications Manager at if you are interested in participating or learning more. There is no charge for these field trips, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

Board Meetings

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Want to know more about what the RCD is doing? Want to get to know our Board? You can find details on our Board Meetings here

People Spotlight

Meet Temra Costa, one of our new Associate Directors!


I joined as an associate director in December of 2021. After meeting Gold Ridge staff and collaborating on a few projects on the land I co-own and steward called Green Valley Farm + Mill, I was inspired to join. In Sonoma County we're fortunate to have a strong community of individuals and organizations dedicated to the preservation of open space, ecological restoration, viable working lands, and the ongoing caretaking of ancestral tribal lands by Graton Rancheria and other tribal organizations. Gold Ridge is one of the organizations that make on-the-ground projects feasible through their work to create collaborative partnerships and bring funding support through federal and state grant programs, other sources and technical support and this brought me to the table.

Our collaboratory efforts with Gold Ridge have been instrumental to our land project and our watershed. Because I'm part of a team here that implements state and federal funding on the ground alongside Gold Ridge and other organizations, I wanted to get more involved in supporting Gold Ridge and their projects to gain a more in depth knowledge of how they manage and accomplish so much with their team. It's also a way for me to give back to my community by contributing time and professional skills to an organization that supports other landowners in regenerative land stewardship practices. So vis a vis Gold Ridge, I'm meeting my personal goal to support other landowners in our area.


I'm so grateful that me and my family get to call the land where we live our home and that we get to develop a deep relationship with this place in Green Valley. Tending to and stewarding land fulfills a lifelong dream of me and my husbands. I was inspired early on in my career of regenerative food and farm advocacy by seeing other co-stewarded land projects like Full Belly Farm up in Capay Valley. I wanted that for my life and my husband did too as he was born and raised in this area on land up in Cazadero in community. I say all this because our lives are so passionately connected to where and how we live. So, it is with joy that we are stewarding land with a team of co-managers and figuring it out! 

Beyond Green Valley, I've been advocating and educating around regenerative agriculture and food systems for over twenty years and have worked with nonprofits and for profits alike. I also penned a book about women changing our food system called "Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat." Since moving to Green Valley in 2016 I've been diving deeper into relationship with place, stewardship of land, social and racial justice, and how I can be of better service to my close and extended communities of humans and the living systems and creatures upon which all life depends. My day-to-day as co-manager at Green Valley varies from supporting and planning events and helping tell our story, raising my two incredible boys Quin and Teo, and working alongside my husband Jeremy on his small-diameter timber furniture making company Forestree Collective. 


In my free time you can find me exploring the county with my family, cycling, spending time on and tending to the land, gardening, reading and writing, bird watching, and connecting with friends over food.


Water Conservation Flyer for Spring/Summer 2022 

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Water year 2022 is shaping up to be another very dry year, following on the similarly dry water years of 2020 and 2021. Precipitation levels are more or less half of normal across much of the North Coast Region. With the wettest months already passed, the likelihood of making up current deficits is very low. Flows in most streams in Northern California are at or below those of the 2012-2016 drought. Extremely low flows are predicted this summer and the survival of juvenile coho salmon and

steelhead are at a precarious situation until winter rains return and they can migrate out to the ocean. Find more information here

Click Here to Read the Flyer

USA’s North Bay Forest Improvement Program receives $3.5M CAL FIRE Wildfire & Forest Resilience Block Grant

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The program brings critical resources to address wildfire hazards on private properties throughout the North Bay region, with a focus on serving disadvantaged communities. In partnership with five Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties and the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center, this program supports planning and implementation of projects on private forested lands to reduce risks of wildfire and improve forest health.

Click Here to Read the Press Release by ATF
Click Here for Grant Application Information

Farm Bureau Water Summit


The Sonoma County Farm Bureau is proud to present the inaugural 2022 Water Summit. Over two days, attendees will explore the unique and complex water-related issues facing agricultural producers in California.

Find More Information Here



Draft Reforestation Strategy Workshop

May 3, 2pm-3pm


Register Here

The Reforestation Strategy Working Group is hosting a virtual workshop on their draft Reforestation Action Plan. 

The Reforestation Work Group is working to create a holistic, comprehensive and coordinated reforestation strategy that reflects Shared Stewardship principles and can meet the needs of both state and federal lands in one document.

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Rainwater Rebate Program Kick-Off Webinar

May 5th, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM Online

Register Here

Sonoma County Residents - Rebates for Rainwater Catchment are coming soon! Daily Acts, Sonoma RCD, and Gold Ridge RCD is hosting this kickoff event for attendees to learn more about this exciting opportunity to capture the rain. If you have questions on how to get started in capturing the rain, this webinar is for you. Recording will be sent to all who register but can't attend.

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Sustainable Gardening Walk

April 30, 10am-12pm

In person

Register Here

This very special opportunity to learn how to live in harmony with garden creatures and water-conscious landscaping is limited to 25 signups per session. There will be a morning session from 10:00-11:30 and then a brief break before a second offering from 12:00-1:30 pm. Reservations are required, and no walk-ins will be accepted.


Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Training

May 9, 5pm-8pm


Register Here

This workshop will prepare community scientists and agency biologists to participate in the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Project. Building on the success and information gathered since 2018, the second phase of this project is focused toward learning more about the rare species in our region: the western bumble bee, Morrison's bumble bee, the Suckely cuckoo bumble bee and Franklin's bumble bee. 


2022 Russian River Biological Opinion Public Policy Facilitating Committee Meeting 

May 4, 2pm-3pm


Register Here

This year, the PPFC meeting will provide updates on: biological assessment, drought and fisheries monitoring, USACE/Warm Springs Hatchery, Dry Creek Habitat, Status of Russian River Minimum Flow Changes. 


Volunteer Workday

May 7, 8:30am-12pm

In person

Register Here

Here’s what you can expect on volunteer workdays: an awesome community, a moderate hike or walk to the location, potentially uneven terrain, and a great lunch to reward your labor of love. We could be planting native plant plugs, working on erosion controls, helping with pile burning, or removing invasive plant species – really whatever the land needs. Stay tuned to learn what we’ll be working on for this particular workday.

Other News

North Coast Farmers Workshop Series Survey

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These questions are being asked in order to gauge producer interest in a variety of agricultural topics that will be covered in a hybrid online/in-person summer workshop series. These free workshops are meant to support small and beginning farmers and ranchers in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, and will feature a variety of speakers, subjects, and additional learning opportunities. 

This survey is 9 questions long and will take 3-5 minutes to complete. 

Click Here to take the survey

Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency Meeting

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Interested in learning about and commenting on future groundwater fees? The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Board of Directors meets next on May 12 1:00-3:30pm

Find More Information Here

Daily Acts: Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities Application Now Open!


The Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities Fellowship Training supports engaged and emerging leaders to advance transformative social and environmental solutions through exposure to inspiring speakers and peers, leadership skills development, and application of skills through an equity-centered design project.

Learn more about this opportunity here

Find the Application Here

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