eNewsletter| April Edition
In this month's edition:

  • RCD operations in the age of COVID-19
  • RCD Board of Directors update
  • Mark West Creek Watershed community meeting recap
  • AFT and CAFF funding for farmers during COVID-19
  • Working Lands Calendar April highlight
  • Sheep and Grapes online workshop
What's New at Your RCD
COVID-19 Update
Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you safe and well during this tumultuous time. In response to guidance from the CDC and Governor, and the requirements of the County's shelter in place order, the RCD office remains temporarily closed. Our team continues to advance our mission while working remotely. We are available for phone calls and other forms of remote meetings, and look forward to connecting with our partners in these ways. We are replying to emails and voicemails, so if you need to get in touch please don't hesitate to reach out.

We hope that you are staying safe and well,
Your RCD Team #alonetogether
Board of Directors updates
The RCD Board of Directors recently voted in Bruce Abelli-Amen as Board Chair (above left), John Nagle as Vice Chair (above middle). John had previously served as Chair for 2018 and 2019, supported by former Vice Chair Walt Ryan. We appreciate their service in these leadership roles and ongoing work on the Board.

The Board also welcomed our newest member Ariana Reguzzoni as an Associate Director (above right). Ariana was born and raised in Oakland, CA and has lived in Sonoma County for almost a decade. She is a journalist and communications professional and currently works for the Sonoma County Regional Parks and TrimTab Media. Her documentary film work has aired on cable television and local and national PBS stations and her print work has appeared in multiple publications including Civil Eats, Grist, Made Local Magazine and the Press Democrat newspaper. She has worked as a Communications Coordinator for California FarmLink and co-owned a small organic cut flower farm in Petaluma, CA. Ariana has a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, a bachelor's degree in community studies from UC Santa Cruz and a certificate in ecological horticulture from UC Santa Cruz. On behalf of the whole RCD, we are thrilled to welcome Ariana to the team!
A note from the Board Chair:

As the new Board Chair, my main goal is to continue to support the RCD's hard-working staff in their day-to-day efforts. Sometimes the challenges that landowners and working families face managing their farms and ranches, including elevated fire risk, soil erosion, and water conservation are daunting. Our RCD staff offers a helping hand of partnership and knows how to acquire grants so that financial resources can be brought to the lands to address some of these challenges. 
 
One of the things I'd like to focus on during my term as Board Chair is getting the word out about the RCD. Even though the RCD has been connecting landowners with technical expertise and financial resources for more than 70 years, I feel like there are a lot of people that still don't know about us. In this time of unprecedented fire risk and the need for fuel load management, post fire land treatment, and other conservation practices, the RCD is a partner that everyone should know about.

Bruce Abelli-Amen
Board Chairman
Sonoma Resource Conservation District
Mark West Creek Watershed public meeting recap
On April 9th, we hosted a public meeting via Zoom to present work conducted by the RCD and the Coast Range Watershed Institute, in cooperation with the Pepperwood Foundation, Friends of Mark West Watershed, and Sonoma County Regional Parks, as the group nears the completion of a 3-year hydrologic study of the upper Mark West Creek watershed. Thank you to the 90 people who listened into the informative session! The public meeting session and Zoom chat history have been recorded and are now available to you here and on our website. For more information, please contact Kevin Cullinen at 707.569.1448 ext 103 or kcullinen@sonomarcd.org .

This important Study has been made possible by grant funding from the California Wildlife Conservation Board.
Earth Day turns 50!
In celebration of Earth Day's 50th anniversary, RCDs across California are launching a social media campaign recognizing our beautiful planet. What better time than now to appreciate and be grateful of the natural world as we isolate indoors. We're planning to post short personal videos on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday, April 22nd sharing our own stories about what the environment means to us, why we work in natural resource conservation, what about the outdoors brings us joy, and how our RCD is continue providing services to residents.


Share your story and tag us! @sonomarcd
#viewfrommywindow #togetherathome #earthday50
2020 Working Lands Calendar: April landowner highlight
Community Engagement
AFT: Farmer Relief Fund application
American Farmland Trust is excited to announce that the application for AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund is now live! AFT will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. If this describes your farming operation, apply here.

The application (available in both English and Spanish) is easy to complete but will require applicants to include sufficient detail to ensure AFT is awarding producers that have the greatest needs. Applicants will be asked to estimate their financial loss. The initial application period goes until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1.
CAFF: Financial Aid for California Farmers!
Throughout this crisis, family farmers have proven essential to keep our local communities fed, healthy and functioning. But we've also seen just how vulnerable they can be too. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, farmers from across California–particularly farmers of color and those from immigrant communities–are facing an economic storm that many were unprepared for.

Today, CAFF announces a new emergency fund to directly support family farmers, to help ensure they make it through this crisis. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000, with half of the funds reserved for farmers of color and those from immigrant communities. Learn more about eligibility, applying and how to donate.

Información disponible en español también 
Workshops and Events
Sheep & Grapes online workshop
A free, 2-part online workshop about the production, soil health, and climate benefits of integrating sheep into the vineyard. Hear from Wine Country farmers, as well as university and extension specialists. Happening April 17th and 24th from 8-11 am!

Due to current public health concerns, this workshop will be held online. Please register for each day separately. Thank you for your understanding.


<<= Click the flyer image to see the agenda and lineup of speakers!




Day 1: April 17, 2020, 8-11 am
Please register at the following link:  Zoom Registration

Day 2: April 24, 2020, 8-11 am
Please register at the following link:  Zoom Registration

Presented by Napa RCD, UCCE, Fibershed, and CAFF
Attend a technical workshop to receive the latest science-based information on how to best manage your soil, water and wildlife on
your property.
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