eNewsletter| April Edition
In this month's edition:

  • Earth Day is coming!
  • NEW online forum for giving to the RCD
  • April Team Spotlight: Erica Mikesh
  • Monarch Butterflies and Pollinator Rescue Program grant
  • Get involved: spring river cleanup, last LandSmart vineyard workshop in Napa, and the Transhumance Festival is back in Petaluma this May!
What's New at Your RCD
Earth Day is coming...

“In nature, nothing exists alone.”
Rachel Carson, 1962

Earth Day is Monday, April 22 and this year's theme is: Protect Our Species.

What does earth day mean to you?

How can you support your local environment and community?

What are the consequences of your daily actions?

How can you support the protection and habitat of our native fish, wildlife, and plant species?

How can you get involved with the RCD to make a local impact?

Keep an eye out for our email and Instagram #EarthDayActions campaign on April 22!
We have a NEW and easy interface to take donations online!
We're excited to announce that we have a NEW and updated secure donation interface on our website using Click&Pledge!

Supporting the RCD means supporting your loc al community assisting in the conservation and protection of our natural resources including soil, water and wildlife. Your donations help to further the mission of the RCD. Donations directly further the mission of the RCD and the programs and projects we deliver. Visit our new page and support your local RCD today! Your donation is 100% tax-deductible.
The Grassfed Exchange recap
The RCD spoke to a diverse group of grassfed industry representatives from around the United States at the Grassfed Exchange conference last week. We discussed Carbon Farming and Carbon Farm Plan development recently completed at the organic McClelland Dairy in Petaluma. Project Manager Kari Wester was invited along on the tour by Organic Valley to share information about the behind-the-scenes work the RCD is doing to support their carbon project goals.

This was three-day gathering of regenerative ranchers, dairymen, and sustainable food supporters from across the world who come together to network and exchange ideas. The desire is to help producers and consumers grow in the knowledge of the grassfed industry. Sonoma RCD was proud to see several of our local producer partners included on the tour schedule. Events like this one are a great opportunity for innovative local efforts to be recognized on an international platform in our own county!
Team spotlight
Meet Erica Mikesh, Partner Engineer.

Erica has been with the RCD for 3 1/2 years. As Partner Engineer, she works with Sonoma, Gold Ridge and Marin RCDs and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Petaluma Field Office. She provides engineering designs for projects along with construction oversight when we're lucky enough to move designs into the implementation phase. Additionally, Erica also serves as a technical resource for staff and landowners.

Erica's favorite part about her job is being able to see a variety of landscapes and meeting different people working across 2 counties. She said, "I enjoy working with dairies in particular because they are faced with so many interesting challenges and it's fun trying to make things work more efficiently and effectively for them." When asked if she had a personal story that describes how she got into this line of work she responded with, "My family pressured me to find more meaningful work after years in the engineering consulting business working predominately in development. I stumbled upon the RCD's Craigslist ad for an engineer one day and I couldn't believe something like the RCDs exist and that they would need an engineer. It was a dream come true. I finally felt like I found a match for my skill set and moral beliefs."

Something that you might not know about Erica is that she occasionally teaches an intro to engineering class at the Santa Rosa JC (Engr 10). "It's rewarding to share my engineering passion and get students excited about pursuing an engineering career," she explained. The RCD team is also thankful for Erica's passion for baking. She has been making a lot of sourdough bread on weekends and sharing it with staff. Ps. if you know someone who produces wheat locally she would love to incorporate it into her bread!

Community Engagement
Monarch Butterflies and Pollinators Rescue Program
The Wildlife Conservation Board is seeking grant proposals through this  s olicitation (PDF) pre-application (Word) full application (Word)  and  budget worksheets (Excel) . All applicants must first submit a pre-application to  pollinators@wildlife.ca.gov , and only if requested to do so, a full application. Pre-applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. All questions should be submitted to  pollinators@wildlife.ca.gov . The Wildlife Conservation Board approved the  Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Program Guidelines (PDF)   at the March 7, 2019 Board meeting.

The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Program (Program) was created by  Assembly Bill 2421 , and signed into law in 2018 becoming effective immediately. The Program was created for the purpose of recovering and sustaining populations of monarch butterflies and other pollinators. To achieve these purposes, the bill authorizes the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) to provide grants and technical assistance, as prescribed. The bill requires WCB to develop and adopt project selection and evaluation guidelines, in coordination with the Department of Food and Agriculture, before disbursing these grants. The bill establishes the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Fund Account in the State Treasury, and authorizes expenditure of moneys in the account, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of the Program.

The Enabling Statute created the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Fund Account (Fund) in the State Treasury. Monies in the Fund became available, upon appropriation, for the purposes of the Program including:

  • Provide grants for the restoration or enhancement of California prairie and other appropriate breeding habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators on private and public lands.
  • Provide grants for the restoration or enhancement of overwintering monarch butterfly habitat on private and public lands.
  • Provide technical assistance to grant recipients, including farmers and ranchers, regarding restoration and enhancement of breeding, overwintering, and other appropriate monarch butterfly habitat.
  • Provide grants for seasonal or temporary habitat improvements.
  • Provide block grants in which suballocations are made by the grant recipient, with the approval of the Wildlife Conservation Board.

Eligible recipients for the grants under this program include:
  • Private Landowners
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Resource Conservation Districts
  • Public Agencies

Image from the Pollinator Partnership: https://www.pollinator.org/shop/poster-2017
2018 Crop Report survey - responses needed!
Every response is important. The Crop Report is a valuable publication and is widely distributed to public officials and government agencies, as well as many businesses interested in agriculture. All past Crop Reports can be viewed on the   Crop Reports page .
Please complete all applicable surveys from the list below and click the Submit button to send your responses via email. Or, if you prefer, you may print the survey and fax it to   (707) 565-3850

Please submit your responses by ASAP (already past due, so please do this today).   
  1. Apple Production Survey (PDF: 372 kB)
  2. Egg and Poultry Production Survey (PDF: 370 kB)
  3. Field Crops and Pasture Rangeland Production Survey (PDF: 453 kB)
  4. Livestock Survey (PDF: 401 kB)
  5. Nursery Products Survey (PDF: 429 kB)
  6. Olive and Apiary Production Survey (PDF: 392 kB)
  7. Vegetable, Fruit, Nut, Eggs, and Cut Flower Production Survey (PDF: 377 kB)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pierpaolo Aymar at   (707) 565-2371   or via email   atpierpaolo.aymar@sonoma-county.org
Events & Workshops
Petaluma River Spring Cleanup - May 4
Saturday, May 4
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Steamer Landing Park, 6 Copland Street, Petaluma, CA
After a winter of heavy rains we need your help to remove trash and debris from the Petaluma River. Join us for our annual Spring Petaluma River Cleanup and be a part of the solution to river pollution. We’ll have a BBQ, live music, a raffle and educational booths for volunteers following the cleanup effort.  RSVP today!
Last 2019 LandSmart ® Vineyard Planning workshop!
Monday, May 6
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Napa Valley College Community Room (Room 1731), Napa for morning session; Carneros vineyard for afternoon session
$50, includes lunch, payable via check or Donate button at NapaRCD.org
RSVP: Frances Knapczyk, frances@naparcd.org or call ( 707) 690-3124
Workshop Schedule:
Morning Session – In the classroom, bring your laptop!
  • LandSmart Vineyard Plan Template (please download before workshop)
  • Waste Discharge Requirements for Sediment in Napa River and Sonoma Creek
  • LandSmart/Napa Green Land certification
Afternoon Session –   Vineyard tour showing how to assess and document waterways and unpaved roads for water quality concerns

 Why Complete a LandSmart Vineyard Plan?
  • Comply with water quality regulations (WDRs) in Napa River & Sonoma Creek watersheds
  • Achieve Napa Green Land Certification
  • Document Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Help prioritize and schedule BMPs and take advantage of cost share opportunities
  • No-cost certification (under current grant funding - subject to change in 2019)

Workshop Sponsors: Napa County RCD, USDA NRCS
Transhumance Festival - May 11
Saturday, May 11
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Steamer Landing Park, 6 Copeland Street, Petaluma, CA
For tickets or more information visit: https://www.sassyandgrassy.com/

The Transhumance festival brings the outer landscapes to the village center. The event goal is to raise awareness and show the connectivity of how our food choices affect our landscapes, local economies and waterways. The Transhumance Festival honors grassland culture and the work of shepherds, farmers and ranchers. The event is orchestrated in partnership with the Grazer's Collective hopes to renew curiosity in our community and help develop shared values to discover simpler ways to connect with our landscape and food system.  
Artwork by: Molly Kars
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