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NR 2002-11
February 27, 2002

Contact: Carol Dahmen
Mark Oldfield
Don Drysdale
Ed Wilson
(916) 323-1886

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION ISSUES $120,000 IN GRANTS
TO RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE

SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Conservation today announced grants totaling $120,000 to 12 Resource Conservation Districts throughout the state to promote land and water stewardship projects at the grass-roots level.

Resource Conservation Districts are locally governed agencies set up as special districts under California law with their own locally appointed or elected boards of directors. RCDs are authorized to undertake projects such as watershed planning and management, agricultural land conservation, recreational land restoration, irrigation management, forest stewardship, wildlife habitat enhancement and conservation education. There are 102 RCDs in the state.

"Resource Conservation Districts do a remarkable amount of work to protect and enhance local watersheds throughout the state, and the Department of Conservation is pleased to support their work through this annual grants program," DOC Director Darryl Young said.

This year's grants range from $2,138 to $18,590 and involve resource conservation districts headquartered in Yreka, Redding, Capitola, Escondido, Fallbrook, Lakeport, Grass Valley, Woodland, Dixon, Tulelake and two in the eastern Sierra. The grants will provide for such diverse activities as purchasing a no-till drill that leaves existing ground cover intact as mulch, expanding public outreach and education programs, creating a demonstration garden and upgrading equipment.

DOC received 33 applications requesting more than $478,000 -- well up from the 19 applications/$294,000 in requests received the previous year.

"These grants help our districts do a great deal of beneficial work in their watersheds," said Tom Wehri, executive director of the California Association of

Resource Conservation Districts. "The grants program is a good example of how state and local government can work together for positive change."

In addition to supporting land conservation, the Department of Conservation administers the state's beverage container recycling program; regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells in the state; studies and maps earthquakes, landslides and mineral resources; and ensures reclamation of mined lands.

Following are thumbnail sketches of each of the grants announced. The RCD’s name is followed by the city in which it is headquartered and the amount of the grant received. The local contact person is noted in bold.

 Nevada County RCD/Grass Valley ($17,349) – The RCD will buy a new no-till drill and expand its No-Till Drill Soil Conservation Outreach program. The program provides landowners the opportunity to rent a no-till drill in order to renovate or re-establish mismanaged pastures. The equipment is designed to seed and fertilize a field in one application. The soil is not disturbed or exposed to wind and water erosion. Local contact: Cyndi Brinkhurst, (530) 272-3417.

 Mono RCD/Minden, Nev. ($2,138) – The grant will enable the RCD to conduct a public tour to educate citizens and policy makers about local land conservation issues. The tour will include several ranches that are good examples of effective irrigation and grazing practices. Participants will receive an informational packet containing fact sheets, contact names and various brochures. Local contact: Kimberly Hansen, (775) 782-3661 ext. 101.

 Mission RCD/Fallbrook ($9,655) – The RCD will expand its Storm Water Pollution Prevention (SPP) outreach program to more schools, including ones located on Indian reservations. The program will train teachers, science coordinators and other staff to conduct SPP presentations to students at their schools. Local contact: Judith Mitchell, (760) 728-1332.

 Yolo County RCD/Woodland ($5,360) – The grant will allow the RCD to publish and distribute a guide for farmers about monitoring on-the-ground projects -- for example, measuring water quality. The 100-page Monitoring on Your Farm guide provides information about the equipment needed, costs, procedures, time requirements and other issues involved in effective monitoring. Local contact: Paul Robins, (530) 662-2037.

 West Lake RCD/Lakeport ($8,310 ) – The RCD plans to increase public awareness of local watershed issues by developing a display that will be used throughout the county. The display will highlight the role that the RCD plays within the community and promote good stewardship of the land through education. Local contact: Greg Dills, (707) 263-4180.

 Ulatis RCD/Dixon ($18,590) – The RCD will create a demonstration garden of watershed-friendly plants. Local residents will be able to learn about the benefits of native plants and their impact on the community. The garden will provide landowners with information about which plants can be used to stabilize and hold stream banks and soil, and how to reduce chemical input into the landscape. Local contact: Kathleen Robins, (707) 678-1655 ext. 109.

 Western Shasta RCD/Redding ($15,604) – Using the grant money, the RCD will prepare five educational hands-on workshops, organize and conduct a tour, and expand the distribution of its newsletter to enhance community outreach within the Cow Creek Watershed. The RCD coordinator will work closely with a local watershed management group to ensure a coordinated effort in addressing the watershed’s problems. Local contact: Mary Schroeder, (530) 224-3250 ext. 1.

 Lava Beds-Butte Valley RCD/Tulelake ($13,320) -- Recently established to assist landowners in the Klamath Valley in addressing critical water issues and concerns, the RCD is in the process of building and expanding its capacity. It will develop a newsletter to inform local residents of the district’s mission and capabilities. The RCD's emphasis will be on building support, increasing public awareness, identifying additional funding sources, and addressing local resource concerns. Local contact: Mike Byrne, (530) 667-2068.

 Alpine RCD/Minden, Nev. ($4,565) – The RCD will survey and collect information about noxious weed infestations along the Carson River corridor. A report will be developed that identifies the type and extent of the infestation, and recommended treatments for eradication. Local contact: Kimberly Hansen, (775) 782-3661 ext. 101.

 Shasta Valley RCD/Yreka ($4,476) – The grant will be used to upgrade the district's equipment and software. The district will use the equipment to produce and distribute educational materials, newsletters, maps, and databases. Local contact: Richard Christie, (530) 842-6121 ext. 10.

 Santa Cruz RCD/Capitola ($17,333) - The RCD plans to increase awareness about the danger of wild land fires among local residents by developing three fuel load management demonstration projects, such as the removal of invasive plants or the implementation of a fuel break. The RCD will partner with state, federal and local agencies to develop a coordinated program that includes the demonstration projects and targeted outreach and educational materials. Local contact: Ms. Carey Cooper, (831) 464-2950.

 Greater San Diego RCD/Escondido ($3,300) – The grant funds will be used to upgrade the district's display module to enhance outreach activities and educate the public. The display will be used at various events to publicize conservation topics such as non-point source pollution, water and air quality, and storm water runoff. Local contact: Ms. Marty Leavitt, (760) 745-2061 ext. 3.

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