eNewsletter| February Edition
Planting the next generation
in the Sonoma Creek watershed
"We lost so many trees to the fire, we jumped at this opportunity to begin restoring our cherished woodlands. We look forward to seeing them grow up along with the naturally regenerating oaks on the property."
- Susan Keegin, Sonoma Creek landowner

In January, our team completed its first official “ReOaking” project within a regional planting effort that developed after the North Bay wildfires. Working at a 40 acre property in Kenwood that was impacted directly by the fall 2017 wildfires, four different species totaling 125 oak trees were planted, along with 25 other species of oak woodland plants such as Buckeye, Toyon, and Coyote Brush.

The installation was made possible with the hard work of the Sonoma Ecology Center and Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation restoration crews, and financial support from the North Bay Watershed Association. This is the beginning of a broader regional effort working with the Napa County RCD and other partners to restore oak woodland plants to areas where this type of habitat is diminishing. Properties impacted by fire have been ranked as a high priority for this effort.
Contact Us
Keith Abeles
Soil and Water Specialist
(707) 569-1448 ext 112
Whats New at Your RCD
North Coast Soil Health Hub 2017-2018 achievements
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 for agriculture along the North Coast. Please join in to share, discuss, and question the specific needs, successes, and challenges in agriculture on the North Coast. The Hub is starting with the vineyard industry and will include other agricultural industries over time.

In 2019, North Coast Soil Health Hub resolves to build off of the first few years of work in exciting ways. The Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino RCDs are thankful to our industry partners and growers who have been part of the Soil Health Hub since it launched in 2017 and look forward to what is ahead!
Instagram reaches 500 followers!
Thank you for following us on Instagram! Here you can see the latest conservation projects at work for you across our district, check out what we're up to, and learn how you can get involved.

We do post "field selfies" sometimes too, keep an eye out @SonomaRCD !
Sonoma County Farm Bureau's "The Face of Farming" released
The Sonoma County Farm Bureau recently published, "The Face of Farming" as a Press Democrat insert. This 16-page insert includes examples of the many ways local farmers and ranchers steward the land. We were pleased to see so many of the faces we collaborate with to plan and implement soil, water and wildlife conservation projects represented in such a thoughtful way.

Team spotlight
Meet Katie Robbins, Program Assistant.

Katie has been a program assistant with the RCD for a year and a half, and plays an important role in supporting all of our LandSmart program areas. In her role, she assists with the development of conservation plans and project implementation, GIS, coordinates efforts of the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, monitors groundwater levels, educates youth during on-farm field trips, as well as provides technical assistance to our community - to name just a few! 

Her favorite part of her job is the diversity. "I have the amazing opportunity to directly work with landowners, many partnering agencies, and community members all while bringing my two interests of natural resources and agriculture together," Katie said recently. As a lifelong resident of Sonoma County and an active 4-H and United Anglers of Casa Grande High School in Petaluma her passion for both natural resources and agriculture has inspired her to work at the intersection of these two fields to find workable solutions for all parties involved.

Outside of the RCD, you can find Katie working on her hobby farm with her menagerie of animals, out on the water fishing, or rehabilitating sick and injured marine mammals. 

Keep an eye out for our next staff spotlight in March!

Community Engagement
2019 LandSmart ® Vineyard Planning Workshops
March 6, April 4 and May 6
(Each workshop will have identical content)
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Napa Valley College Community Room (Room 1731), Napa for morning session; Carneros vineyard for afternoon session
$50, includes lunch, payable via check or Donate button at NapaRCD.org
RSVP: Frances Knapczyk, frances@naparcd.org or call ( 707) 690-3124
Workshop Schedule:
Morning Session – In the classroom, bring your laptop!
  • LandSmart Vineyard Plan Template (please download before workshop)
  • Waste Discharge Requirements for Sediment in Napa River and Sonoma Creek
  • LandSmart/Napa Green Land certification
Afternoon Session –   Vineyard tour showing how to assess and document waterways and unpaved roads for water quality concerns

 Why Complete a LandSmart Vineyard Plan?
  • Comply with water quality regulations (WDRs) in Napa River & Sonoma Creek watersheds
  • Achieve Napa Green Land Certification
  • Document Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Help prioritize and schedule BMPs and take advantage of cost share opportunities
  • No-cost certification (under current grant funding - subject to change in 2019)

Workshop Sponsors: Napa County RCD, USDA NRCS
Current Funding Opportunities
CDFA funding available for Water Efficiency in Ag Operations applications due March 8
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce a
competitive grant application process for the 2018 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Round 1. Applications Due March 8, 2019.

The 2018 SWEEP funding arises from the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (Sec 3. Division 45, Chapter 11.6. Section 80147 (b) of the Public Resources Code), which allocated $20 million to CDFA to provide grant funding directly to California agricultural operations to incentivize activities that reduce on-farm water use and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from irrigation and water pumping systems on California agriculture operations. The program's objective is to provide financial incentives for California agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that save water and reduce GHG emissions.

Get Involved
CA Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Grower Workshop
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
9:00 am-12:30 pm
Sonoma State University, Stevenson Hall
1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Room: Stevenson 2044
*Sonoma RCD staff will be available to assist with LandSmart at this workshop

The CSWA Farm Plan walks growers through a hybrid of the Resource Conservation Districts’ (RCD) LandSmart Plans and California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing. These workshops are designed to assist growers who have already begun completing the CSWA Farm Plan Template or LandSmart. Workshops will be held in computer labs where there will be technical assistance available to work on your Farm Plan, including mapping assistance, LandSmart questionnaire and table completion assistance, technical guidance with engineers and Qualified Professionals, and assistance compiling needed action items for compliance. Growers are encouraged to attempt to complete as much of their Farm Plan as possible in advance and bring your questions. Please note, CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE vineyards are not automatically in compliance with the General Waste Discharge Requirements for Vineyard Properties in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek Watersheds. The CSW A Farm Plan template must be completed and verified for any vineyard using the CSWA Third-Party Program.

"The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance values the partnership we have enjoyed with the Sonoma RCD over the years, including sharing networks and expertise to enhance winegrower education and having their 'boots on the ground' to help winegrowers implement practices that protect soil health and conserve natural resources. By utilizing the LandSmart program and partnering with the collaborative Sonoma RCD team on the recent Region 2 Waste Discharge Requirement for Vineyards, we were able to offer the additional resources needed to serve more wingrowers impacted by the permit."

Allison Jordan, Executive Director
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
Sustainable Equine Management
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Petaluma watershed location

Please join Daily Acts and the RCD in learning how to plan and implement practical, efficient and cost-effective strategies for managing horses and equestrian facilities for both horse health and environmental integrity.

The Sustainable Equine Management Workshop will be of value to all of our equestrians, and the greater community! There is also the opportunity for a consultation with Alayne Blickle of  Horses For Clean Water !
Vineyard Soil Health Symposium
2nd Annual
Friday, March 8, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sonoma County Winegrowers NEW Office
in Santa Rosa

Growers will gather for a morning of presentations and discussions on improving vineyard soil health. The program will begin with academic researchers and professionals sharing information on tillage management alternatives, cover crops, compost application, and best practices for vineyard floor management. This will be followed by a grower panel discussing their experiences with implementing these practices, and the benefits, drawbacks and complexities of integrating them into their operations.

Please check back for more details. If you have any questions please contact Keith Abeles, Soil and Water Specialist at 707-569-1448 ext 112 or email at  kabeles@sonomarcd.org .

Visit the North Coast Soil Health Hub for information on soil health trials and research going on in our region:  http://soilhub.org/

Hosted by the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and Sonoma County Winegrape Commission with support from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
Attend a technical workshop to receive the latest science-based information on how to best manage your soil, water and wildlife on
your property.
With a tax deducible donation you can support conservation projects that protects water resources, improves soil health + restores habitat for endangered species.
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