eNewsletter | June Edition
In this month's edition:

  • Spring edition | Soil Hub eNewsletter
  • Sonoma County forestry technical assistance feature
  • Welcome to the team Lewis!
  • USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program now taking applications
  • Sea Grant California partner focus
  • Napa RCD irrigation management workshops

What's New at Your RCD
North Coast Soil Hub | Spring Newsletter
Check out this quarter's edition of the North Coast Soil Hub Newsletter ! Soil Health Hubs are agriculturally focused networks that address region specific needs, successes and challenges. Regional hubs are focused on specific needs for specific crops, soils, climate, land management practices, and marketing.

Farmers are continually trying to increase farm resiliency, stay ahead of the regulatory curve, save money, and enhance marketability. This network is working together toward these goals through identifying the co-benefits of improved soil health in soils and agriculture specific to the North Coast. Please join in to  share, discuss, and question the specific needs, successes, and challenges in agriculture on the North Coast.  If you aren't signed up to receive the newsletter, email us at northcoastsoilhub@gmail.com .
National Association of Conservation Districts: Sonoma feature
May 26, 2020
Thanks to an NACD Technical Assistance (TA) Grant , the Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) in California has their first ever professional forester. The district had wanted to bring someone on for a while, but they didn’t have the funds until 2018, when they were awarded their first TA grant. The grant allowed them to bring on Jason Wells as their registered professional forester.

According to Wells, interest in forest management was spurred by two fires in 2017, one of which burned through the city of Santa Rosa. “The RCD started being bombarded with questions about forest management, and they didn’t have anyone on staff that was capable of doing that,” said Wells. Thankfully, now they do.

“Without this grant, I wouldn’t have been hired,” he said. Wells works closely with their neighbor, Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, to address forest health issues throughout Sonoma County. The county spans approximately one million acres, about 500,000 of which are forested.

“We consider forests anything that has a tree canopy cover about 10 percent or more,” Wells said. Wells spends most of his time working with landowners to develop Forest Management Plans using a California Cooperative Forest Management Plan template, which will allow landowners to access cost-share funds. These plans work to meet the goals and objectives set by the landowner, which Wells also often helps create.

“I think one of the biggest things about my position is that because forest management really hasn’t been something that people think about very much in this area, a lot of what I’m doing is providing general knowledge to people about forest management,” Wells said. “’Why should you do this? Why is this a beneficial thing? How is this working to create a working, better ecosystem?’ All of those kinds of things." Wells has spent time helping various partners in the county develop a Prescribed Burn Association (PBA), which helps bring people together to prevent wildfires.

“A PBA is landowners helping landowners bring fire onto their property,” Wells said. He also offers insight into community wildfire protection plans, which identify fire-prone areas and recommend treatment methods, and participates in many community workshops that focus on wildfire risk and forest heath.

The grant also gave Wells the opportunity to expand his knowledge base, learning about the local programs that could help landowners. “I’ve had the opportunity and the funding source to spend time researching everything. So, now, when I go talk to a landowner, I’m very comfortable knowing what they have available to them,” he said. “That, I think, was the biggest thing about this first grant.”

Welcome to the team, Lewis!
Please join us in welcoming the newest addition to our team, Lewis Campbell as our summer forestry technician! Lewis, comes to us with a degree from UC Berkeley in Environmental Sciences and Forestry, field experience working for CAL FIRE on Jackson Demonstration State Forest, and brings valuable skills from his time working as a forestry technician with a sustainable harvest timber company in Chester, CA. Lewis will support Jason Wells, RCD RPF, this summer to gather inventory data and support the development of forest management plans with local landowners. He will be moving to Oregon following his time with the RCD to begin a Master's of Forestry program in Oregon State University. Lewis' goal is to to pursue a California Registered Professional Forester's License to help small landowners manage their forests to reduce wildfire risk and adapt with climate change. We are thrilled to have his experience and passion on our dynamic team, welcome Lewis!
2020 Working Lands Calendar: June highlight
Community Engagement
USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is now open
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? USDA is providing critical support to our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb sales declines and increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. See the CFAP Fact Sheet + Eligibility Requirements for more details.
How to apply for CFAP assistance
As part of applying for the program, you’ll need to contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office at your local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment. Call the Sonoma County FSA main line at (707) 794-1242 and press 2 for the Farm Service Agency. Schedule an appointment to discuss your CFAP application. You can go online to www.farmers.gov/CFAP   to download applications and related forms. Your local FSA staff will work with you via phone, email, fax, mail, or online tools to complete your application. Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. 

CFAP Webinars for Stakeholder Organizations and Ag Producers
Interested in assisting your members and Ag producers in participating in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program? Join the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for a webinar designed just for you. Learn CFAP basics and resources available to help you reach the Ag producers you serve.These webinars will be recorded and made available online after each live event.

The first webinar,  Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Stakeholder Webinar , will take place on Fri, Jun 5, at 3 p.m. ET and is intended only for stakeholder organizations that serve farmers and ranchers. Please preregister by clicking on the webinar link above to enter your name, email, and organization information. This allows FSA to ensure adequate lines for all participants on this webinar. Email fsaoutreach@usda.gov with any questions.

Producers, Farmers and Ranchers:
Webinars for producers, farmers and ranchers will begin on June 9. View dates below and visit FSA Outreach for more information.   Ag producers can learn more about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and how to submit additional commodities for USDA consideration through the NOFA process. 

Webinar Dates & Topics:
  • June 9 at 3:00 p.m. EDT - Outreach CFAP Webinar for Specialty Crops Producers
  • June 11 at 3:00 p.m. EDT- Outreach CFAP Webinar for Dairy & Non-Specialty Crops Producers
  • June 16 at 3:00 p.m. EDT - Outreach CFAP Webinar for Non-Specialty Crops & Livestock Producers
  • June 18 at 3:00 p.m. EDT- Outreach CFAP Webinar on FSA Programs in the Time of Coronavirus

Visit the FSA webinar page for pre-registration links.
Producers are also reminded of the CFAP Call Center available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.
Happy National Pollinator Week June 22-28, 2020!
"National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as 'National Pollinator Week' marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles." Check out the Pollinator Partnership for ways you can increase habitat in your own backyard!
Partner Focus
California Sea Grant
Streamside Landowners: The key to salmon and steelhead recovery
May 19, 2020
Media contact: Nicolas DeNezzo

" Coho salmon populations, once estimated to return to Russian River streams in the tens-of-thousands, dropped to fewer than 10 adults per year by the early 2000s. Today, thanks to intensive, collaborative efforts by resource agencies, non-profit organizations, private businesses, educational institutions, and thousands of private landowners, the coho population is slowly climbing its way back and hundreds of adults are now returning each winter. " Read the full story here . The RCD is grateful for our long-term partnership with California Sea Grant and their Russian River Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Program, which has been working to help the fish populations by conducting research and monitoring in the region since 2004. Located in Windsor, they monitor native coho salmon and steelhead at every life stage, provide scientific information to the many diverse stakeholders, and work closely with partners to inform and support salmonid recovery. This important work would not be possible of course without the collaboration with local landowners who not only permit stream access through their properties, but are passionate and dedicated stewards of the watershed.
Virtual Workshops | Resources
Napa RCD Irrigation Water Management Workshop: June 24 & 26
Join Napa RCD for a 2-day Irrigation Water Management Online Workshop through Zoom. Please register for each day separately.

Agenda- Day 1 (June 24, 8-11 am):
  • Learn about different soil properties and how these properties affect water retention and distribution in your soil.
  • Learn about soil-water-plant relationships.
  • Learn how to use soil moisture and evapotranspiration data to develop an irrigation water management plan. This will help you determine when is the best time to irrigate and how much is the ideal amount to apply during every irrigation event.
  • Learn the principles behind an irrigation system evaluation based on distribution uniformity

Agenda- Day 2 (June 26, 8-11 am):
  • Hear from a few local companies about their different technologies available to measure soil moisture, evapotranspiration and plant water stress.
  • Hear from a panel of Napa Valley growers about their experience with soil moisture probes and plant water stress technologies in developing and implementing an irrigation water management plan.

  • Miguel Garcia, PhD: Sustainable Ag Program Manager. Napa Valley Resource Conservation District
  • Ernie Wilson: North Coast Account Manager. Tule Technologies.
  • Jacob Moreno: Sales Representative. Irrometer Technologies
  • Tyler Cooper: Sales Rep. Ranch Systems
  • Dylan Lundstrom: Sales Rep. Vintel
  • Adrienne Uboldi: Vineyard Manager. Grower Relations Manager. Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners.
  • Jessy Franchini: Cellar Master-Enologist. Edgar Alfaro: Vineyard Manager. Dalla Valle Vineyards
  • Red San Pedro: Vineyard Manager. Fil Rouge Vineyard
  • George O’Meara: Vineyard Manager. Double O vineyard.

Brought to you by Napa RCD and CA Department of Water Resources
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