The RCD offers a number of ways for the community and agricultural producers to get involved with our programming: LandSmart workshop series for land owners and managers, annual partner events like the Petaluma River Fall Trash Cleanup in September, volunteer opportunities as they arise in conjunction with our On-the-Ground projects. We also attend a number of community events annually! See the listings below for ways to get involved today:

Managing Rural Roads | Friday, Dec. 7, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Southern Sonoma ranch – address provided to registrants only

Managing Rural Roads: Classroom & field workshop for heavy equipment operators and land managers who maintain dirt roads

Come learn how to maintain rural roads to reduce annual maintenance costs and prevent erosion. We will share tools to help you implement best management practices (BMPs) on your roads and comply with future water quality regulations. We will also take a walking tour of road treatments recently implemented and will discuss potential grant funding available for rural road erosion control.

Topics Covered:
Road shaping techniques and equipment required
Stream crossing fail-safe structures
Following typical construction drawings in a real world setting
Checklist for determining whether or not your roads are “storm-proof”
Estimating time and cost involved in upgrading roads

This workshop has been funded wholly or in part by the USEPA and the State Water Board. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the USEPA or the State Water Board, nor does the USEPA or the State Water Board endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.

Demo Workshop: Tillage & Compost in the Vineyard | Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, 3575 Slusser Road, Windsor, CA 95492


Join Sonoma RCD and Jackson Family Wines to learn about their Healthy Soils Demonstration Project, which is looking at how tillage and compost application influences soil health and productivity within a working vineyard. The workshop will describe the long-term field trial started in 2018 at Saralee’s Vineyard and highlight what management practices other vineyards can adopt to improve soil health and sequester more carbon in their soil. The workshop will conclude with a field tour of the test plots so please dress accordingly. Morning pastries, coffee, and tea will be provided by Jackson Family Wines.

This field tour is part of the RCD’s ongoing Soil Health Series. Please visit the North Coast Soil Hub at to learn more about soil health and other upcoming events in the region.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Anya Starovoytov, project manager at (707) 569-1448 ext 109 or email

The 2017 Healthy Soils Demonstration Project is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.

Range Tailgate: Cows, Compost and Carbon | Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Private ranch located in Petaluma. Address provided to registrants only.

Join us on the ranch to take a look at areas where we’ve recently applied compost! This is the first in a series of workshops on this property to observe management changes over time. Come learn about Carbon Farm Planning and multi-beneficial soil management practices for rangeland properties. We’ll discuss our current Healthy Soils project and what practices we are doing to help sequester carbon, increase water holding capacity on the ranch. We’ll also hear from the rancher about other anticipated benefits such as increased forage production.

This field tour is part of the RCD’s ongoing Soil Health Series. Please visit the North Coast Soil Hub at to learn more about soil health and other upcoming events in the region.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Kari Wester, project manager at (707) 569-1448 or email

The 2017 Healthy Soils Demonstration Project is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.

Cover Crops, Tillage and Vineyard Soil Health Tailgate! | Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Ridge Vineyards, Healdsburg

Join Sonoma RCD and David Gates, Senior VP of vineyard operations at Ridge Vineyards, to hear insight on their cover crop and alternative tillage practices. Participants will tour practices in the vineyard, followed by a lively discussion and Q & A on different strategies to optimize soil health and grape quality. The tour includes an optional visit to their hedgerow at the end of the morning.

This field tour is part of the RCD’s ongoing Vineyard Soil Health Series. Please visit the North Coast Soil Hub at to learn more about soil health and other upcoming events.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Keith Abeles, water resources specialist at (707) 569-1448 or email 

Fire Resiliency for North Coast Homes and Forests | Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Timber Cove Resort Sonoma Coast

This workshop is intended to reach several goals at one time:
– Current thinking on fires, its history in California, and what we can and cannot do to manage it, and the implications this has for fire and fuels management on private and regional scales.
– Options in terms of fuels management regional scale, and gather feedback from the community about what we all might like to see done.
– Funding options available to large and small landowners to meet their property management goals.


9am Supervisor Hopkins – Introduction and presentation of three-year fuels reduction program
9:20am Nina Hapner, Kashia Band of Pomo Indians – Fire’s inevitable role in California forests
9:40am Caerleon Safford, Sonoma County Fire Safe Council – Structure and defensible space, CWPP
10:10 break
10:30am Roger Sternberg, CalFire – Northwest Sonoma forests: What needs to be done, and where
11am Dennis Hall – A regional PTEIR: how it helps, what its limits are
11:30pm Lunch
12:15pm Fred Euphrat, SRJC – Forestry infrastructure in NW Sonoma County, and how that shapes the options we have. Traffic. Jobs.
12:45pm Bill Stewart, UC Berkeley – Carbon farming, co-gen and biochar. Where these tools work, and where they don’t.
1:30pm break, with coffee, tea, and cookies.
1:45 Maggie Sepulveda, NRCS; Meghan Reeves, CalFire and Aaron Fairbrook, Sonoma RCD – Funding sources for forest landowners.
2:30pm Facilitators: Stephanie Larsen and Steven Swain – Feedback and discussion

Petaluma River Watershed: A Sloug of Change | Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Petaluma Community Center at Lucchesi Park, 320 North McDowell Blvd

Come learn about an exciting report recently completed by the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) and Sonoma RCD on the historical ecology of the Petaluma River watershed. SFEI will highlight interesting details about the history of this unique watershed and share insights about how historical data can be used to improve future management and conservation decisions. Anyone interested in learning more about the past, present, and future of the Petaluma River is encouraged to attend.

To read the full report please visit:

QUESTIONS? Please contact Anya Starovoytov, Sonoma RCD project manager at (707) 569-1448 or email

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 99T34001 to Sonoma RCD. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.


Vineyard Soil Health Symposium | Friday, Mar. 9, 2018

Friday, March 9th
9:00 AM – 12 Noon
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office
3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Post Symposium Resources
PowerPoint Presentations:
Visit the North Coast Soil Health Hub to learn more:


About the Symposium

Hosted by the Sonoma and Gold Ridge RCD’s: Professionals and growers will discuss vineyard practices that improve soil health and sequester carbon.

Topics include cover crops, compost, alternative tillage techniques and planting woody plants. Each topic will feature an introduction from a knowledgeable professional, followed by a grower panel who will share their experience, perspective, and considerations for implementing the practices. Professionals introducing topics include: Glenn McGourty, UCCE Farm Advisor-cover crops, Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost-compost, Charles Schembre, Napa County RCD-tillage, and Rachael Long, UCCE Farm Advisor-planting hedgerows and woody plants. Additionally, Renata Brillinger, Executive Director from the California Climate and Agriculture Network will share a brief overview of the State’s Healthy Soils Program and other climate smart agriculture programs. Experienced growers featured on the panels include: Tom Gore from Constellation Brands, Jake Terrell from St. Francis Vineyards, Kris Hicks from Vimark Vineyard Management and several other notable local producers. There will be time for Q&A and lively discussion between panelists and attendees. It promises to be an informative and illuminating event.

9:00        Introduction and Acknowledgements

9:05        Panel 1: Cover Crops (40 mins)
Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino County
Jake Terrell, St. Francis Winery
John Gorman, Stuhlmuller Vineyards
Mike Stutler, Constellation Brands

9:45        Panel 2: Alternative Tillage Practices (40 mins)
Charles Schembre, Napa County RCD
Kris Hicks, Vimark Vineyards
David Gates, Ridge Vineyards
Ross Cannard, Enterprise Vineyards

10:25     Break (5 mins)

10:30     Overview of Healthy Soils and other State Climate Smart Agricultural Programs (10 mins)
Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network

10:40     Panel 3: Compost (40 mins)
Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost/Renewable Sonoma
Mike Stutler, Constellation Brands
Dave Huebel, Hafner Vineyard
Tate Soinila, Jackson Family Wines

11:20     Panel 4: Hedgerows (30 mins)
Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension Sacramento Valley
David Gates, Ridge Vineyards
Lou Preston, Preston Farm and Winery

11:50     Closing Remarks
12:00     Adjourn

To Live or Die: A Post Fire Tree Assessment Workshop | Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Sunday, February 25th
9:45 AM – 12 Noon (FULL)
1:45 – 4 PM (FULL)
Pepperwood Preserve’s Dwight Center for Conservation Science
2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Open to the general public. FREE.
Space is limited, RSVP required: REGISTER HERE

How can you tell if one of the trees on your property is dead or alive after the fire?
Once you identify a dead tree, should you leave it or have it cut down? At this workshop, you’ll learn how to assess trees damaged by fire—including oaks, firs, redwoods,
bays, and madrones—and learn steps you can take to help your property rebound. A short
classroom presentation will be followed by a walk to observe trees damaged by the Tubbs Fire
at Pepperwood. Light refreshments provided. Dress to be outdoors, rain or shine.

Featuring presentations by:

  • Greg Giusti, Registered Professional Forester and UC Cooperative Extension Advisor (emeritus)
  • Michael Gillogly, Preserve Manager, Pepperwood Preserve
  • Anya Starovoytov, Project Manager, Sonoma Resource Conservation District
Fire Recovery and Replanting: Information and Free Resources for Landowners | Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Saturday, February 24th
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. Pre-registration required (see below).

Did the fires directly impact your property or do you live in the wildland urban interface and want to incorporate native, resilient plants into your landscapes? Do you need help with erosion control and assessment? Are you not sure how to assess whether your burned oaks will survive or not? Join us to find out what resources are available to you. The Laguna Foundation is teaming up with Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and the Milo Baker Chapter-California Native Plant Society to restore and replant native plants in areas impacted by the October 2017 fires. This presentation will include an overview about the fire’s impacts in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed and the region, and will provide information about soil erosion, native plants, and water quality. While the information and resources are meant especially for landowners impacted by the October fires, the general public is welcome to attend (pre-registration is required so we know how many people will attend and because seats are limited). Whether your land is a tenth of an acre or 100 acres, the native plants on your property provide wildlife habitat, prevent erosion, and improve water quality. We are growing a variety of native trees and shrubs with seeds collected locally to share with landowners next fall. Attend this presentation to learn more and to sign up for the free resources.

Speakers will include Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, as well as the Foundation’s Ecological Program Manager, Brent Reed.

Photo credit: oak re-sprouting photo by Gary Morgret

Hydrologic Study to Inform Future Water Resiliency in Mark West Watershed | Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

Saturday, February 17th
10:00 AM – 12 Noon
Monan’s Rill Community Building (address given to those who register)
Snacks and light refreshments provided. Please carpool.

Sonoma RCD, Coast Range Watershed Institute, and Friends of Mark West Watershed invite you to join us to listen to Matt O’Connor (Coast Range Watershed Institute Hydrogeologist) describe a multi-year study of the Mark West Watershed that is starting this year and how you can get involved to help gather data. The goal of this study is to produce a detailed watershed model that describes how geology and soils interact with water as it moves through this watershed.

Who should attend?

  • Folks concerned about future water security in our watershed
  • Potential citizen volunteers interested in gathering data and stream observations
  • Landowners willing to share well depth and monitor water elevation in wells
  • Landowners and residents curious about the complex relationship between soil/geology and water in this watershed
  • People who are dedicated to protecting our endangered Coho population

This study is funded by the State of California’s Wildlife Conservation Board

Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival | Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

Saturday, February 10
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
That’s when we’ll do it all again at the fantastic Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival, held on the grounds of the Milt Brandt Visitors Center!  Rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Food, wine, beer, silent auction, live music, archery, fishing, tours, demonstrations — just about anything you can imagine, and it is FREE!

Come on by to visit with staff and see our interactive watershed model!

More information here:

27th Annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show | Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11 
7:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Join Sonoma County Winegrowers for the 27th Annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 from 7:00 am – 1:30 pm at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts located at 50 Mark West Springs Road (behind the Sutter Hospital).

Our theme for the event is “Sonoma County Strong and Sustainable.” We hope to see you there as we reconnect and rebuild with friends and colleagues, reflect on the past season and the challenges our community has faced, and celebrate the New Year and the great successes to come!

Dollars & $ense is always a wonderful opportunity for our growers to gather as a community. We hope you will join us for another great program, trade show featuring more than 50 vendors, and a delicious luncheon with Sonoma County wines. The Sonoma RCD is excited to participate in this annual event!  Click here to register for Dollars & $ense.

For general information about the seminar, please contact Andriana Duckworth, Relationships & Programs Manager, at

LandSmart Workshops

These unique workshops are targeted to support land owners and managers with natural resource conservation practices and cutting edge land management techniques. Expert practitioners offer insights and resources to participants through detailed presentations and field tour sessions. Collaboration with other local and regional stakeholders to design and execute these informative workshops provides an invaluable opportunity for agriculturalists to gain tangible tools to support the efficiency and sustainability of their operation.