Can't view email? Click here to view as webpage

Mendocino County RCD Newsletter

Spring 2024

Spring is here and Summer is coming!

In This Issue:

Turkeys in the Springtime on the Willits Mitigation Lands!

  • Program Highlights
  • Water
  • Soils
  • Forestry
  • Land Stewardship
  • MCRCD Staff Updates
  • Ways to Get Involved

Program Highlights

Click here to visit the MCRCD website

Water Program News

In December 2023, California awarded $98 Million in funding for 11 community-led Climate Resilience Projects across the state. Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD)'s application with four tribal communities was a top applicant and was awarded about $2.5 million in project development funds for the Transformative Activities for Tribal Communities in Russian River Watershed and Surrounding Areas project (Press Release: California Awards $98 Million for 11 Community-Led Climate Resilience Projects Across the State - Strategic Growth Council).

In March 2024, the RCD staff submitted the Final Report to Caltrans for a 13-year long Geyserville Bridge Replacement Mitigation project. The Assistant Executive Director and our in-house Fisheries Biologist, Joe Scriven, presented this project to the Mendocino Council of Governments and the California Transportation Commission (CTC) at an April 2024 Town Hall meeting in Fort Bragg. The presentation can be watched on YouTube and the RCD's project share starts at about 1:25:00 into the recorded programming, where the Geyserville Bridge Mitigation project is highlighted along with Eel River TMDL Implementation and Planning Project and the Willits Bypass Mitigation Project!

Climate Resilience in the Navarro Watershed

MCRCD has partnered with various organizations, including Dogwood Springs Forestry, San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), Anderson Valley Land Trust, Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, Anderson Valley Fire Department, and Navarro River Resource Center, to help facilitate two successful community meetings for Building Climate Resiliency in the Navarro River Watershed! Be on the lookout -- there will be a final community meeting in the Fall.

This project is funded by the Environmental Defense Fund, building on and supporting community driven stewardship efforts to increase climate benefits and ecosystem resiliency within the natural and working lands of the Navarro Watershed. This project develops an initial framework for potential investments in the improvement of the Navarro Watershed’s environmental and ecological assets, and is a model for climate mitigation and resilience in California and beyond.

Mill Creek

Mill Creek, a tributary to the Navarro River, in the Navarro River Watershed. Check out the Mill Creek Collaborative Water Management Plan!

For more information about Navarro's Climate Resilience efforts, click here!

Soils Program News

Highlights and Accomplishments

The Soils Program has been busy out in the field and managing programs behind the scenes in the office! After the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) 2024 Healthy Soils Program closed applications in February, the number of farmers assisted by MCRCD in Mendocino and Lake County totaled to 31 applications, for $1.3 million dollars in funding. For producers who did not receive awards through the Direct to Producer Healthy Soils Program solicitation, we recommend you reach out to the RCD again if you have questions on other avenues for receiving funding to implement soil health practices on land you manage.

Ferrington Vineyard's Soil Health Workshop 2024!

On May 1, 2024, we had an interactive discussion with local winegrowers in the Anderson Valley at a soil health & carbon beneficial practices workshop.

Click here to learn about the Ferrington Vineyard's Field Trial!


MCRCD is still accepting limited applications for implementing climate-smart ag practices through CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program Block Grant with Zero Foodprint! Contact Seth Myrick ( and Meagan Hynes ( for more information.

We can also assist with native and invasive plant species inventorying as well as assisting farmers & ranchers in evaluating the health of their soils through testing and monitoring.

June 2023: The team inventorying native and invasive plant species on a site for management considerations as part of the Carbon Farm Planning process. 

January 2024: The Sustainable Ag team talking with a land steward near Ukiah about pond habitat management during a site visit for a Carbon Farm Plan.  

To learn more about the Soils Program, click here!

Forestry Program News

The North Bay Forest Improvement Program

After five years, the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation/After-the-Fire stepped down as Lead Agency and Administrator for the North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP). Starting in April 2024, this highly successful program was transferred over to Conservation Works as the role of Lead Agency and program Administrator. Prior to this transition, the Mendocino County RCD helped a total of 16 landowners complete over 300 acres of forest health and resilience projects around the county. Although the program will be in a short hiatus during the transition period, it will ramp back up again early this summer once the legal transfer is complete. If you are interested in applying for NBFIP, please reach out to Adam Coleman ( or Ned Formaker ( to find out more.

NRCS – Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The Mendocino County RCD is grateful to be able to continue our support of our Federal Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) partners and the EQIP Forestry Program by providing technical assistance to landowners who are interested in, or who have already completed, EQIP projects. Over the last year, the MCRCD assisted 12 landowners with forest inventories, technical report write-ups, GIS mapping, and other services to ready their EQIP projects. We were fortunate that all 12 of these projects were funded, resulting in 171 acres of forest health and resilience treatment acres in Mendocino County! If you are interested in applying for EQIP, you can contact us at the RCD, or reach out to Carol Mandel, who is the NRCS District Conservationist based out of Ukiah, at (707) 485-3233.  

Northern Mendocino Forest Health Collaborative Project

Forest health work continues on Usal Redwood Forest and on Northern Red Mountain, with 854 total treatment acres completed since the start of the grant in late 2021. The two images below show how vegetation management treatments can help to reduce fuel loads, allowing the residual trees to be healthier, grow larger, and be more resilient to disturbances such as fire, infestation, and disease. The image on the left shows the landscape before treatment and the second image on the right shows the same landscape after the vegetation management & fuel load reduction treatment.

To learn more about the Forestry Program, click here!

Willits Mitigation Lands News


MCRCD’s Land Stewardship Program continues to focus primarily on the Willits Bypass Mitigation Project. Spring is a busy time for project staff coordinating the introduction of livestock to mitigation grazing pastures, clearing the way for contractors and consultants to return to the project, inspecting and repairing infrastructure after winter flooding, managing for invasive species, administering the outreach and education program, and performing annual monitoring. Although hectic after a long winter, staff enjoy being out in the pleasant spring weather doing meaningful work on a beautiful landscape.

Bypass Mitigation lands use domestic livestock, primarily beef cattle, to reach some of the mitigation planning goals. A working landscape requires a lot of moving parts to be successfully managed, including maintaining over 22 miles of wildlife friendly fencing, 42 livestock troughs, 8 wells, and three sets of livestock corrals. Coordination with grazing lessees including agricultural leases, education on planning goals, and monitoring the introduction, removal, and effects of grazing on mitigation pastures is all overseen by project staff.

Habitat maintenance moves into high gear with the spring bloom when MCRCD staff and project contractors converge on mitigation lands to seek out and remove many of the invasive and non-native plant species that threaten the quality of native habitats. The project is home to many beautiful native plants, but two high value species, Baker’s meadowfoam (Limnanthes bakeri) and North Coast semaphore grass (Pleuropogon hooverianus), are of particular concern as both are listed as rare and threatened in California. Much of the project planning revolves around ensuring these plants continue to thrive.

Blooming baker's meadowfoam clearer

Blooming Baker's meadowfoam

The project’s outreach and education program components continue to offer great opportunities to members of the community to visit mitigation lands monthly, learn about conservation, wildlife, and native habitats. The program also continues to operate MCRCD’s interpretive room at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits. In April, staff welcomed all the kindergarten classes from Brookside Elementary School. Kids had the opportunity to view and try to identify different animal skulls, handle bird feathers and snake skins, and learn about all the different wildlife that live in the Little Lake Valley.

Educational tour group viewing habitats with project staff.

Nature Journaling on the Mitigation Lands

Join Laura Corbin, art teacher and nature journalist, and Marisela de Santa Anna, Project Interpreter and Wildlife Biologist for the Willits Bypass Mitigation Lands project, for a morning of drawing Purple Camas, Buttercups, Blue-eyed grass, and whatever else you see out on the north end of the Willits Mitigation Lands!

Meet at 9 am at the County Museum for "Nature Journaling on the Mitigation Lands" on May 18th and plan on being back by 12:00 pm.

Check out the Weekly Willits Blog Posts!

Staff Updates

Erin Brown

Interim Associate Water Project Manager

In April 2024, Erin Brown (she/they) joined MCRCD as the Interim Associate Project Manager for the Water Program. Since earning a BS in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University, she has done forestry work in California, salmonid hatchery work in Alaska, and bat and stream surveys in Oregon and Washington; basically, using any excuse to get outside! In her off time, Erin spends her time painting, baking, gardening and going on hikes with her dog and fiancé. She is looking forward to serving North Bay communities through many watershed resilience projects.

Ned Formaker

Forestry Project Manager

Ned (he/him) joined the MCRCD forestry team in November 2023 as a Forestry Project Manager. Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019 with a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies, Ned has held a variety of jobs, including, fish hatchery technician, forestry technician, a commercial port sampler, and a Covid-19 health screening associate. Ned’s goal is to help North Bay communities protect, conserve, and restore forest lands, and we’re excited to have him as part of our team!

Genna Fudin

Soils & Water Technician /

GrizzlyCorps Fellow

Continuing a 4-year partnership with UC Berkeley’s AmeriCorps program, we also welcomed Genna Fudin to MCRCD as our 2023-2024 GrizzlyCorps Fellow! Genna comes to MCRCD as a young career professional in regenerative agriculture, currently working with the Soils and Water Programs on soil health and water resources projects as well as education and outreach. Her experience includes supporting carbon monitoring projects on working rangelands in California and Texas. With a BS in Environmental Sciences from UC Berkeley and a focus on Regenerative Food Systems, she hopes to continue building skills in sustainable food movements and is thrilled to serve Mendocino and Lake Counties.

Meagan Hynes

Soils and Water Project Manager

In October 2023, Meagan Hynes joined our team as Soil and Water Project Manager! Meagan is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) with a BS in Botany from Oregon State University and a PhD in Soils and Biogeochemistry from University of California, Davis. She comes from a multidisciplinary background with experience in soils, water, and plants. She consulted on urban, agricultural, and various natural systems from 2014-2023 through her own company. During this time, she also taught Plant and Soil Science at CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB). From 2020-23, Meagan was also adjunct research faculty at CSUMB for a project implementing healthy soil practices.

Jessica Reid

Associate Project Manager

Jessica joined MCRCD as a GrizzlyCorps Fellow in 2022 and in August 2023 became an Associate Project Manager for the Soils & Water programs. She graduated from Amherst College in 2020 with a BA in Geology and Russian. After her undergraduate study, Jessica worked as a research geologist for the USGS Earthquake Science Center, focusing on tsunamis and related geohazards. Her interest in climate action and land stewardship, as well as a desire to get involved with environmental challenges close to home, led her to GrizzlyCorps and MCRCD. Jessica wears many hats at the RCD, where she has led education & outreach efforts for the Russian River Cleanup project, assists the Soils Program in writing Carbon Farm Plans and managing a multi-year WCB-CARCD Hedgerow Habitat Implementation grant, and largely assists the Water Program in monthly well monitoring and Quagga & Zebra Mussel Monitoring in the Ukiah Valley sub-basin.

Ways to Get Involved

Stay Inspired
Stay Connected
Stay Informed

Learn more about our programs:

Visit Our Website
Follow us on social media!
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube