eNewsletter | November Edition
In this month's edition:

  • Post-fire natural resource considerations for landowners 11/17
  • Russian River Streamflow 3-pager: what you need to know
  • Upcoming: "Working Lands of the Laguna Watershed" virtual panel
  • Working lands calendar: November Highlight
  • Monarch butterfly Thanksgiving count is almost here!
  • Agricultural Support and Protection Program (ASAP) Emergency Matching Grant Program from Ag + Open Space now taking applications
  • USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 taking applications
  • UCCE Ranch Water Quality Plan Instructor's Guide now available
  • Wildfire preparedness information for farms and ranches
What's New at Your RCD
Post-Fire Considerations for Landowners: Q&A session 11/17
As we continue to field inquiries and conduct site visits with people impacted by fire in our community, we have decided to host a Q&A session to offer some tips for managing your land after fire. Please join us for a conversation hosted by staff from Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to discuss post-fire considerations on your property.

You will hear from experienced staff who bring a wealth of technical and field expertise the table, we will share information about available resources from your local RCD and NRCS offices, and get your questions answered in a friendly and open environment.

Katie Robbins, Project Manager, SRCD - Introduction
Jessica Pollitz, Engineer, SRCD - Winterization considerations
Kevin Cullinen, Project Manager, SRCD - Erosion concerns
Jason Wells, Forester, SRCD - Post fire forest management and RCD resources
Andrew Loganbill, District Conservationist, NRCS - technical resources and funding

Please RSVP for this session. A Zoom meeting link will be sent to you. The session will be recorded and made available following the session. If you have questions, please contact Christine Kuehn, Education and Communications Manager at ckuehn@sonomarcd.org. Meeting begins promptly at 5PM.
Russian River streamflow: what can be done
Coho salmon generally spend the first full year of their lives in small streams, and steelhead can rely on this important habitat for even longer. In coastal California, many of these streams are flow-impaired and become intermittent, or dry completely, during the summer/fall dry season. Flow releases, which add water to streams from sources such as agricultural ponds, can enhance streamflow and improve habitat conditions for juvenile fish, thereby increasing their chances of survival. 

Read more about the Russian River Coho Partnership and local on the ground work with landowner partners to support fish populations, hear about lessons learned, considerations for getting started on a flow release project, and find a list of project takeaways. Download the PDF to see the full 3-pager!
Join us for "Working Lands of the Laguna Watershed"
Panel Discussion hosted by the Laguna Foundation, Sonoma RCD and Sonoma Ag + Open Space
Thursday, December 3, 2020. 5:00 - 6:15pm.

Working lands are an important part of the character, history, and culture of the Laguna de Santa Rosa; we are fortunate to have a healthy farm and ranch economy that provides an abundance of local food as well as beautiful rural scenery. Join the Laguna Foundation, Sonoma Ag+ Open Space, the Sonoma RCD, and featured panelists Misti Arias of Sonoma Ag + Open Space, Doug Beretta of Beretta Family Dairy, and Stuart Schroeder of SRJC’s Shone Farm for a discussion on the role of working lands, family farming, and critical connections to the natural lands in the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and foster your own appreciation and understanding of this important part of our watershed and community. There is no charge for this outing, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.
2020 Working Lands Calendar: November highlight
This calendar was produced in partnership with the following organizations:
Community Engagement
Monarch Butterfly Thanksgiving Count is almost here!
The annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, a massive community science event is about to take place along the California coastline. Running from November 14th through December 6th, the count will bring together community members, scientists, and conservation professionals to tally the amount of western monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, overwintering in stands of trees along the coast and assess their habitat. Here in Sonoma County the count will be taking place at historic overwintering sites from Bodega Bay north through Sea Ranch. This effort is critical to understanding the health of the monarch population and has been taking place since 1997. The data collected by dedicated volunteers has helped to show the steep decline of the western monarch butterfly, and the population is now facing the possibility of extinction.

Our regional count coordinator, Mia Monroe, is one of the co-founders of the Thanksgiving Count, and while covid-19 is preventing her from training new volunteers and taking them out to the field this year, there are still ways you can help support western monarchs if you haven’t previously been involved. Everyone is encouraged to document sightings of monarch butterflies and native milkweed plants at Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper, a website operated by the Xerces Society and several state and federal Fish and Wildlife organizations. If you are able to support monarch populations by planting native milkweed and nectar plants, this can go a long way in helping stabilize their population levels. It’s important to remember that all pollinator plantings should be pesticide free, and well away from areas where they might be contaminated with pesticide drift. Any milkweed that is planted should be native to our area, like heart leaf milkweed, Asclepias cordifolia, as tropical milkweed varieties are often hosts to the monarch parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha. Lastly tell your friends about what is happening with western monarch butterflies and stay informed by checking the results of this year’s Thanksgiving Count as they are published online.

For more information on the upcoming count or to learn more about Monarchs please visit:


Infographic and The Monarch Highway Poster from Pollinator Partnership, visit their link above or click on the image >>>
Virtual Workshops | Partner Resources
Agricultural Support and Protection (ASAP) Emergency Matching Grant Program
Offered by Sonoma Ag + Open Space
In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the Sonoma County agricultural community, Ag + Open Space has created the Agricultural Support and Protection (ASAP) Emergency Matching Grant Program. The ASAP Program will support farmers and ranchers who can demonstrate that financial assistance is needed to prevent the lands they farm from going fallow or being devoted to non-agricultural uses as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds awarded through the ASAP Emergency Matching Grant Program will contribute to keeping agricultural lands productive by mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sonoma County’s agricultural community, the vitality of which is essential in the provision of local food, natural resource protection, scenic open space, and economic opportunities.

Applicants accepted into the ASAP Program will be required to provide financial contributions, called matching funds, toward keeping the ASAP-funded agricultural operation in production.


For any questions, please contact:
Jennifer Kuszmar,
Matching Grant Program Coordinator
USDA is providing critical support to our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). CFAP 2 provides vital financial assistance to agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (CARES Act) and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act authorized the funds for the original CFAP. CCC funds will be used for CFAP 2, with the exception of tobacco, which will use remaining CARES Act funds. FSA is accepting applications for CFAP 2 from September 21, 2020, to December 11, 2020.

Please visit Farmers.gov/CFAP for a detailed list of commodities that are eligible under the CFAP 2.0 program. This website contains the most up-to-date information regarding the program as well as one-to-one support with the CFAP 2 application process, you can call 1­877-508-8364 to speak with a USDA employee who can assist you with any questions you may have. The call center also provides service to non-English speaking customers. View and download PDF Fact Sheet here.
Ranch Water Quality Plan Instructors Guide
Offered by UCCE
UCCE is excited to announce the release of the Ranch Water Quality Plan Instructor’s Guide, now available through the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications Catalogue and on the UC Rangelands Website, including the associated instructional and educational videos curated on YouTube. Click here to see an overview video of the Ranch Water Quality Planning Instructor’s Guide.

The online and PDF presentation of these materials is the next evolution of the Ranch Water Quality Planning program, based upon the more than 30 years of research and education conducted by UC Cooperative Extension and partners. The Guide provides the resources and tools to plan and implement Ranch Water Quality Planning workshops and field days for grazing livestock producers, agency staff, and other stakeholders interested in grazing management and water quality. These new resources provide a wealth of contemporary information about water quality management on rangelands.
NEW wildfire preparedness information for farms and ranches
"It's not a question of if, but when the next major wildland fire will occur. As wildland fires continue to intensify, it is important to remember the specific considerations facing farmers and ranchers. Wildland fire is becoming a year-round reality. Many of the areas at greatest risk could be your ranch or farm property. Agricultural properties that border non-urban areas often have unique challenges, making them more difficult to protect from a wildland fire.

This Read, set, Go! Program Farmers & Ranchers brochure is designed to hep you better understand wildland fire mitigation efforts to best protect your household, livestock and livelihood." Download the full four page PDF by clicking the image to the right >>>
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