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eNewsletter | October 2022

In This Month's Edition

  • RCD Updates: Water Releases in Green Valley and Dutch Bill Creeks, No-Till Drill Rental + Free Native Pollinator Seed, LandSmart Grazing Informational Session Recording Now Available
  • Resources: Technical Assistance for Conservation Plans is Available, California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program, Join the North Coast Soil Hub Emailing List for Quarterly Newsletter, California Small & Underserved Producers (CUSP) Drought Funding 
  • Workshops: CalCAN Summit 2022, CARCD 77th Annual Conference, CA-NV Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar, Farming with Soil Life - Soil Animals and Microbial Processes, Reusing the Rain: DIY Rain Barrel Systems, Schoolyard Habitat Workshop 
  • News: Sonoma-Marin Ag Project Tentatively Awarded Carbon Farming Grant, Plastic Gobbling Enzymes in Worm Spit May Help Ease Pollution

What's New at Gold Ridge?

Water Releases for Endangered Fish in Green Valley Creek and Dutch Bill Creek

In conjunction with the Russian River Coho Partnership, Gold Ridge is working with two landowners (Green Valley Farm and St. Dorothy’s Rest) and with the Camp Meeker Rec and Park District to release water into Green Valley and Dutch Bill Creeks during the dry season as a way of boosting streamflow when the creeks are running very low (they sometimes dry out completely).

These water releases will benefit coho salmon and steelhead trout, endangered fish that spend a year in the creeks before migrating to the ocean. Research has shown that when flow drops low enough for pools in the stream to disconnect from each other, juvenile fish survival drops pretty quickly. The Camp Meeker release comes from their water system, which draws water from a well adjacent to the Russian River in Monte Rio, and the other two release water from reservoirs. We started with GVF + M and CMRPD in 2015 and added St. Dorothy’s last year. The releases are monitored weekly and will stop when winter rains begin, and the creeks start flowing again. 

Gold Ridge is in the process of securing funding to cover this work for the next few years, as well as develop Voluntary Drought Initiative agreements between the landowners and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). 

No-Till Drill Rental + Native Pollinator Seed

The Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District is renting out a No-Till Drill. A rental agreement form is required to be completed prior to borrowing the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District's Great Plains No-Till Drill 606-NTD-0975, 6-foot pull-type seeding implement.

By completing this form and submitting it, Lessee acknowledges receipt of a completed Equipment Loan Agreement and agrees to all of the terms and conditions of such Equipment Loan Agreement. 

We are also looking for landowners to incorporate native wildflower seed into their rangeland seed mix as part of our Monarch and Pollinator Habitat Restoration Project. Landowners will receive the wildflower seed for free, and a discount on the drill rental fees. The project is supported by the North Bay Monarch Working Group, and it is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Unlike larvae that rely only on milkweed to survive, adult monarchs use diverse nectar sources for food. Nectar plants are a key component to prime habitat for monarchs and other pollinators. Wildflower seed will be made available, and we ask that you incorporate it into your forage seed mix.  The Insectary Seed Mix is available at LeBallister's in Santa Rosa. Application rate is 15 to 25 lbs. per acre.  If you agree to participate, we will reduce the No-Till Drill rental fee to $100 per day and we will pay for the seed mix.  This type of seeding is not recommended for hay or silage fields.

More Information on No Till Drill
Pollinator Conservation Resources from Xerces Society 

LandSmartⓇ Grazing Informational Session

Sonoma Gold Ridge RCDs hosted an informational session on October 6th, 2022. During this Zoom meeting, we described the role of Resource Conservation Districts in community conservation work, described the LandSmart Grazing program and detailed how it would work for landowners, and walked through a demonstration of the application.

This Zoom meeting was recorded for those that were unable to attend, and it was posted to the Gold Ridge RCD YouTube page. Closed Captions are available for the recording in both English and Spanish.

Photo credit: Jim Coleman

Watch the Recording Here


Interested in Conservation Agriculture Planning?

For the past number of years, we have been developing conservation plans to support the agricultural producers in our District. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is currently offering funding for the development of plans to be eligible for their Climate Smart Agriculture programs. These plans address risks that climate change poses to agriculture, including but not limited to, drought, uncertain water availability, increased temperatures, and increased pest pressures. We need your participation. Please help us gauge your interest in Conservation Agriculture Planning in our District. 

Carbon Farm Plans (CFPs) identify realistic carbon practices for your operation to assist you in meeting your on-site conservation goals. CFPs evaluate all elements of your farming and land management practices and challenge you to find more climate beneficial alternatives when feasible. 

A Grazing Management Design and Implementation Activity (DIA) is a site-specific plan developed for a client who wishes to plan and implement decisions on land where grazing related activities or practices will be planned and applied. Landowners can manage the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals with the intent to achieve specific ecological, economic and management objectives. 

Pollinator Habitat Enhancement projects plan, design, and document the conservation practices needed to address a pollinator habitat resource concern. A pollinator habitat enhancement plan is a site-specific plan developed for a client that addresses the improvement, protection, restoration, enhancement, or expansion of flower-rich habitat that supports native and/or managed pollinators.

Questions? Reach out to William Hart, our Ag Programs and Conservation Plans Project Manager, at

Interested? Fill Out This Form

California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program 

Are you a well owner in the southern Sebastopol area or around Bodega Bay? The Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District and the Sonoma County Water Agency are working to implement the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) program, designed to collect groundwater-level elevations in existing private wells to better understand the water resources of west Sonoma County. The groundwater well monitoring program is voluntary, confidential, and at no cost to the landowner. We are seeking participants in the CASGEM groundwater well monitoring program specifically in the southern Sebastopol area, around the Hessel Road, Blank Road, and Canfield Road neighborhoods, and around Bodega Bay.

If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact Will Spangler at

Click Here for More Information

North Coast Soil Hub Quarterly Newsletter

The North Coast Soil Hub network addresses region-specific needs, successes and challenges in order to support the diversity of producers farming and ranching in the North Coast across Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, & Sonoma counties.

Their quarterly newsletter provides resources and information on local events, webinars, job openings, and other regional opportunities related to soil health and agriculture. Be sure to sign up for the quarterly newsletter to keep up with important regional events and opportunities! You can find the most recent newsletter here.

Click Here to Sign up

California Small & Underserved Producers (CUSP) Drought Funding 

Direct-to-Producer Opportunity through CARCD

CDFA has awarded CARCD $1M to administer drought relief reimbursement funds to small/underserved producers in your networks beginning now through 2024. 50% of funds will be awarded to socially disadvantaged farmers, immigrant farmers, and undocumented farmers. 

You can find the application, as well as more information about the program, here.

CUSP Application
Sonoma County Drought Resources
Marin County Drought Resources


CalCAN Summit 2022

Nov. 3th - 14th

Yolo County & UC Davis

Register Here

The Summit is a two-day event featuring tours of three Yolo County farms on Day One and a conference with presentations and speakers on Day Two. It provides the opportunity to network and learn the latest in climate-resilient farming in California!

CARCD 77th Annual Conference 

Nov. 30th - Dec. 2nd

Lake Natoma Inn, Folsom, CA

Register Here

California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) continues the tradition of bringing together representatives from federal and state agencies, non-profits, private industries, farming communities, and RCDs to share knowledge, build partnerships, and address urgent natural resource challenges. 

California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook 

Nov. 28th 


Register Here

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System November 2022 Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar is part of a series of regular drought and climate outlook webinars designed to provide interested parties in the region with timely information on current drought status and impacts, as well as a preview of current and developing climatic events.

Farming with Soil Life - Soil Animals and Microbial Processes 

Nov. 9th 6:00AM-9:00AM 


Register Here

Participants will learn about common soil invertebrates, their ecology and roles in soil health, scouting methods, and management strategies to increase beneficial soil animal populations.

Reusing the Rain: DIY Rain Barrel Systems 

Nov. 1st, 5:30PM-7PM


Register Here

Are you curious about how to capture the rain to save water and money? Did you know that rain barrel systems can be creatively designed and beautiful too? Join Santa Rosa Water and Daily Acts for a presentation by local rainwater harvesting expert Jesse Savou

Schoolyard Habitat Workshop

Nov. 10th, 9AM-3PM

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Register Here

As part of School Garden Network's Schoolyard Habitat Program, this workshop will involve presentations, practical demonstrations, participatory group activities, and an opportunity for schools and teachers to connect with community partners and curriculum specialists. 

Other News

Sonoma-Marin Ag Project Tentatively Awarded Carbon Farming Grant

The Sonoma Marin Ag and County Climate Coalition project has tentatively been awarded a national grant to promote successful carbon farming as well as forge regional and local food partnerships to boost climate-smart agricultural products.

This grant was tentatively awarded through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The amount of the grant is still being negotiated by the USDA and project partners, but the estimated funding ceiling for the project is $10 million.

Click Here to Read the Full Article

Plastic Gobbling Enzymes in Worm Spit May Help Ease Pollution

Enzymes found in the saliva of wax worms (the caterpillar larvae of wax moths, Galleria mellonella) degrade one of the most common forms of plastic waste, according to research published by biologist Federica Bertocchini from Madrid's Margarita Salas Center for Biological Studies.

Click Here to Read the Full Article

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