The Sotoyome RCD promotes conservation and stewardship on ag lands through the LandSmart initiative. LandSmart is a regional collaborative program that helps land managers meet their natural resource management goals while supporting productive lands and thriving streams. LandSmart was developed by the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District (RCD), Southern Sonoma RCD, Napa County RCD and Mendocino County RCD in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), land managers, and environmental agencies.
Water Conservation and Streamflow Restoration
This RCD program was developed to respond to both the emerging water security needs of landowners and the decline of stream flows in many of our local creeks. We assist landowners by providing free vineyard irrigation audits and provide information and technical assistance on
We also develop, fund, and implement on-the-ground projects that fulfill landowners' water needs while keeping water in creeks at critical times for endangered fish.
Water Quality Credit Trading
Water Quality Credit Trading (WQCT) is an innovative approach to achieve water quality goals and regulatory requirements by the purchase of pollution reduction “credits” from other sources, including water quality management practices on ag lands. The Sotoyome and Gold Ridge Resource Conservation Districts, in collaboration with consultants, partners and local agricultural landowners/managers, are working on a project to develop a water quality credit trading market in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed. This will be the first WQCT market in California where agriculture provides nutrient credits through implemented conservation practices for a wastewater treatment plant buyer, and will serve as a template transferable to other watersheds in California. For more information, please visit www.lagunawaterquality.org
Watershed Planning Program
includes the development of local Integrated Watershed Management Plans involving numerous stakeholders to determine how to more effectively manage the watershed in which they live. These plans are designed to promote balanced solutions that satisfy environmental, domestic, agricultural, and economic interests.
Habitat Enhancement program,
we work with private and public landowners to enhance the natural environment and habitat conditions for fish and wildlife. Projects include stream habitat enhancement for salmonids, erosion control, riparian and wetland restoration, and rural road sediment reduction projects. Since 1997, we have successfully installed over 240,000 board feet of large woody debris, planted 14,000 native plants, improved 132 miles of rural roads, and removed over 1,600 acres of invasive Arundo donax.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Education
This program provides
educational resources and experiences
that encourage a connection to the conservation of land and its agricultural and natural resources. Through our annual
"Living on the Land"
workshop series we have educated thousands of landowners on natural resource and sustainable agriculture. We also offer programs for school children to learn about creek stewardship, biology, and sustainable agriculture.
Science & Monitoring
Watershed Monitoring program,
we have collected over ten years of physical, chemical, and biological data on streams throughout the Russian River that documents baseline stream conditions, helps us to identify opportunities to enhance current conditions in the natural environment, and helps landowners to document the effectiveness of their own voluntary conservation efforts.
Fee for Service
The RCD provides fee for service work
to business, agencies and individuals for a variety of resource conservation project needs.