About the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District
Who we are
The Sotoyome Resource Conservation District (RCD) is a local non-regulatory organization whose mission is to promote responsible natural resource management through voluntary community stewardship and technical assistance.
Since 1945, the RCD has facilitated natural resource conservation through community involvement, education, technical expertise and scientific research. The RCD is committed to utilizing voluntary, cooperative and scientifically sound methods to ensure that the natural resources of the watersheds within the District are sustained, conserved, restored and protected within a landscape of productive agriculture, growing cities, and wild lands.
The RCD covers over 665,000 acres in the northern two-thirds of Sonoma County and 40,000 acres in Mendocino County. Our district includes major portions of the Russian River Watershed and the entire Gualala River Watershed. Click here to see
maps of our district.
A legal subdivision of the State of California, the RCD is organized to support natural resource management solutions through partnerships with individuals, organizations and agencies. Our function is to "make available technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them so that they meet the needs of the local community for conservation of soil, water and related natural resources." 96% of our annual budget come from competitively sought grants and fee for service work and 4% from local property taxes from landowners that reside in our district.
- Education: Promote watershed-based land stewardship of natural resources.
- Assessment: Evaluate watershed conditions and functions.
- Planning: Provide resource conservation planning services.
- Implementation: Implement resource conservation practices and projects.
- Monitoring: Evaluate the success of our implemented practices and projects.
What is the origin of the word "Sotoyome?"
The name Sotoyome was given to a land grant, dated September 28, 1841 and November 12, 1844. According to Barrett (Pomo, pg. 218), the name is derived from a place name meaning "the home of Soto;" Soto was an important chief of the Southern Pomo village of Wotoakka'ton. The native inhabitants of the region surrounding what was to be Fitch Mountain were known as the Sotoyomi.
The expansion of settlements in Sonoma County was accomplished largely through Vallejo family ties. In 1837, Mariano Vallejo's mother-in-law, Senora Maria Ignacia Lopez Carillo, arrived from San Diego with the remainder of her large family. One of her daughters, Josefina Carillo, eloped with Captain Henry D. Fitch, later owner of the Sotoyome Ranchero where Healdsburg is now located. According to Josefina Carillo Fitch, patentee of the land grant, the name consists of soti, "brave" and yomi, "rancheria." "Home of Soto" or "Brave Rancheria."