Mendocino County RCD News & Updates
In the Spring 2020 Newsletter:
  • Note from our Executive Director
  • Virtual Earth Week 2020
  • Helpful Resources
  • Highlighted Project
  • Willits News
Note from our Executive Director
The MCRCD mission is to conserve, protect, and restore wild and working landscapes to enhance the health of water, soil, and forests in Mendocino County. In these last few weeks, the words "conserve, protect, and restore" gained new meaning as we have had to conserve our own well-being, protect ourselves and others, and restore our work life into a new remote system. I am pleased to report that our entire team has quickly adapted to home offices and expanded use of online systems to keep the organization functioning. We have held regular meetings, changed workshops to online, and continued essential field work, albeit in a different way. This is allowing us to keep ourselves, as well as the organization, healthy. We have been able to continue to provide support to the County of Mendocino and carry on our contracts with other local, state, and federal agencies. 

With the privilege of being up and running comes an obligation to help. As Executive Director, I am in regular contact with regional and state organizations to stay informed on requirements, participate in external advocacy, share resources, and to provide any support our partners may need. I am grateful to be part of such a spirited and durable team that works diligently to ensure the health of each other and the organization, as well as the water, soil, and forests of Mendocino County. Many thanks to you, our community, for your continued support of MCRCD. Please join us as we embrace “Earth Week”, highlighted next in this newsletter.
-Megan McCluer
Virtual Earth Week 2020
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, MCRCD will be celebrating all week! During this time of sheltering in place, spending time in nature, observing and listening, can renew and lift our spirits and deepen our appreciation and connection to the natural wonders that surround us. Please tune in to our Facebook from now until April 24th , where we will be sharing messages, photos, tools, and videos of ways we are engaging with nature and celebrating this beautiful planet we call Earth. Please join us and share your stories, pictures, and experiences!
Helpful Resources
CDFA Healthy Soils Program Technical Assistance
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program (HSP) provides financial assistance to growers and ranchers across California to implement conservation management pract ices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve soil health. The m aximum grant award is $100,000, and applications can be submitted until June 26th. The MCRCD received grant funding to provide technical assistance to applicants, and the shelter-in-place order is not going to stop us! Katy Brantley and Linda MacElwee are available for virtual "office hours" every Tuesday from 3-4:30 pm via Zoom . Email us with questions ( katy.brantley@mcrcd.or g , ) and join us any Tuesday for support. Check out the CDFA HSP website for the application, view our Facebook event for office hours details, and review the many resources available on the MCRCD website .
Sudden Oak Death Testing
The Sudden Oak Death blitz scheduled for May 2nd at the Galbreath Preserve in Yorkville has been revamped in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, you have the chance to have trees on your property tested for sudden oak death (SOD) at no charge during that weekend!

Mandatory registration is through the UC Cooperative Extension by April 20th .
This effort is taking place all over California during a five-day period and will help scientists understand the spread of the pathogen and help landowners protect their trees. The results will be made available to all participants at a UC Berkeley conference in the fall. If you have questions, you can contact Margot Rawlins at 650-996-8322 or or Kerry Wininger at . Visit the Sonoma State University Center for Environmental Inquiry’s website to learn more.
Highlighted Project
Large Wood Projects Enhance Fish Habitat and Flows in the Navarro
Funded under a Wildlife Conservation Board planning grant are three large wood accumulation projects to optimize low flows in critical reaches of the North Fork Navarro, Flynn, and Mill Creeks, all tributaries of the Navarro. The large woody accumulation projects optimize streamflow by creating and enhancing salmonid habitat in low-flow conditions (such as deeper pools that remain wet and connected longer into the dry season). In 2019, MCRCD worked with local contractors Blencowe Water Management and Pacific Inland, Inc. to install 43 pieces of large wood in Flynn Creek, a tributary to the North Fork Navarro. Flynn Creek Road connects Highway 128 to the town of Comptche. The treatment area included the first 1-mile reach extending from just above the highway crossing and is partially visible from the road. Trees for the project were donated by Mendocino Redwood Company. During our mild winter flows, the wood performed well. We look forward to seeing this site under a big storm event next winter!
-Patty Madigan
Flynn Creek site before treatment
Flynn Creek site after treatment
Willits News
The Willits Bypass Mitigation is a compensatory mitigation project managed by MCRCD. A working landscape focusing on the rehabilitation of native habitats, the project has a public education and outreach program that offers guided educational tours and workshops. 
Life has slowed down for us two-legged beings recently. Yet as we take time to notice more around us, we see that spring is happening. Birds are singing and nest building, flowers are blooming, and the California buckeye is fully leafed out and is a vibrant green. On the mitigation lands, we are putting up bird boxes to increase nesting habitat for a variety of birds. The three we put up this year are: Wood duck (which is also used by Common mergansers), Western Bluebird (which is also used by Tree swallows), and Oak titmouse nesting boxes. We have been paying attention to where each of those birds are found and researching the heights and locations that are appropriate. The California Waterfowl Association donated the Wood duck boxes, Peregrine Audubon’s Dave Bengsten built some of the bluebird and titmouse boxes, and the Audubon chapter donated a few more to us. We still would like to put up American Kestrel nesting boxes but are hoping someone will donate them. It is a satisfying project we like to do together. It is especially good when a pair of birds are successful raising their young in one of them!
-Marisela de Santa Anna
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