Our local Fire Safe Council, FireSafe Sonoma, is a great place to start learning how to keep your home, property, and neighborhood better withstand potential wild fire. Check out their publication on Living with Fire in Sonoma County and learn more at their web site – http://www.firesafesonoma.org/main/
The Forestland Steward is a free quarterly newsletter with lots of useful information for forest landowners. You can access the Fall, 2012 issue on “Fire Adapted Communities” , as well as past issues on Planning for Fire (Spring, 2008) and lessons learned from the Angora Fire (Spring, 2010) and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
The Fire Safe specs provides step-by-step instructions for prioritizing where projects should be located and how to install and maintain them.
SUDDEN OAK DEATH: The best source of information, including a free monthly newsletter and calendar that includes training opportunities, is the comprehensive website run by the California Oak Mortality Task Force. Access it here – www.suddenoakdeath.org
An abbreviated version of the wealth of information available may be found on the SUDDEN OAK DEATH FACT SHEET.
FOREST MANAGEMENT: Do you need help figuring out where to get started? The Forestland Steward ran a series of issues on this subject starting in Winter, 2006. You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
NATIVE OAKS: California has at least 20 species of oaks in the genus Quercus. Oak woodlands provide habitat for over 331 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. This information and much more is available in the beautiful University of California Cooperative Extension publication, Living Among the Oaks. You can access a free download here – http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/Items/21538.aspx. Lots more can be learned at the Oak Woodland Management web site – http://ucanr.org/sites/oak_range/
Another useful publication from the University of California Cooperative Extension is Regenerating Rangeland Oaks in California. It is also available for downloading here –
For an abbreviated version of this information, see oak planting fact sheet.
Additional information is available in the Summer, 2009 issue of the Forestland Steward newsletter. You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
WILDLIFE HABITAT: Worried that your fire safe project may be bad for the birds, deer, and other animals you share your property with? See the Summer, 2010 issue of the Forestland Steward newsletter for lots of good advice on “Balancing the Needs of Wildlife with Fuels Management”. Steps you can take to “Encourage Wildlife in your Forest” can be found in the Summer, 2002 issue. You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
For more tips on things to do for the animals on your property see the fact sheet on wildlife fact sheet.
FOREST CONSERVATION: One of the most powerful, effective tools available for the permanent protection of private lands in Sonoma County is a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or puglic agency that restricts the use of a particular property in order to protect its conservtion values. Conservation easements are used to achieve a variety of conservation purposes, including open space preservation, agricultural preservation, and natural resource protection. To learn more, visit this link – http://www.sonomalandtrust.org/protect/protect_your_land.html
Are the taxes on your forest property a burden? Have you started grooming a family member to take over the property when you are older? Here are three sources of information to start getting answers to these tough questions.
An excellent overview of “Succession Planning” is provided in the Spring, 2011 issue of the Forestland Steward newsletter. You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
More detailed information is available in the US Forest Service publication,” Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland?”. A free download is available here – http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/forest/pdf/estplan.pdf
The University of California puts on an excellent workshop on this subject called Ties to the Land. Most of the workshops are over for this year, but watch this web page for further information –
COMMUNITY FORESTS: Community forests are owned or managed by local residents for the benefit of their community. See the Community Forests Fact Sheet for an introduction to community forests in California. See the Winter, 2011 issue of the Forestland Steward to learn more about “Community-based Forestry”. You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html .
Visit http://coastridgecommunityforest-org.webs.com to learn more about our local Coast Ridge Community Forest. This organization assists landowners develop and implement best forest and land management practices based on a shared vision of sustainability.
The University of California Cooperative Extension hosted a “webinar” lecture series on community forestry in April, 2011. These lectures may be viewed on-line at http://ucce-plumas-sierra.ucdavis.edu/Community_Forests_Webinar/ (scroll down to “Webinar Links” near the bottom of the page)
Forest management projects take time and money, but there are a variety of programs that may provide help.
The Gold Ridge and Sonoma Resource Conservation Districts are local agencies that conduct a variety of programs designed to help landowners address resource management issues. See their web sites at www.goldridgercd.org, www.sscrcd.org, and www.sonomarcd.org for lots more information.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is a federal agency offering a number of programs to assist rural landowners. Follow this link for a fact sheet on their Environmental Quality Incentives Program – http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/
California’s cost-share program for forest landowners is the California Forest Improvement Program. See the CFIPFACT sheet for more information.
The Russian River Watershed Directory lists a number of other local agencies who are potential sources, starting on page 23. Download a free copy here – http://sotoyomercd.org/RussianRiver/RRWatershedDirectory2012.pdf
Do you know what watershed you lie in? For an introduction to “Where is your Place in the Watershed?” see the Fall, 2009 issue of the Forestland Steward . You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link – http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
Once you get your feet wet, there is almost no end to the information available on our local watersheds and fish! For general information on our region, try the following links (If alphabet soup makes your head spin, you can look abbreviations up in the Forest Conservation AcronymBrochure_SCFCWG)
CalFish a California Cooperative Anadromous Fish and Habitat Data Program:
California Central Coast Coho Recovery Plan, NOAA 2012:
Water Quality Control Plan for the North Coast Region, NCRWQCB, 2011: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/northcoast/water_issues/programs/basin_plan/083105-bp/basin_plan.pdf
North Coast Integrated Regional Water Management Plan:
For information on specific watersheds, try the links below
Gualala River Watershed Council:
North Coast Watershed Program
Russian River Watershed Association:
North Coast Integrated Regional Integrated Water Management Plan:
Russian River Watershed Directory, September 2012:
Petaluma River: http://sonomarcd.org/htm/district-watersheds/htm
(Note that this site has information, watershed studies, reports, and resource links for all watersheds within the boundaries of the Sonoma RCD)
Friends of Petaluma River:
Salmon Creek Watershed Council:
Bodega Land Trust:
Did you know that most human-caused sediments in North Coast streams come from roads? Learn how to start “Working to Reduce the Negative Impacts of Roads” in the Winter, 2005 issue of the Forestland Steward . You can access this free quarterly newsletter and find out how to sign up for their mailing list through this link –http://ceres.ca.gov/foreststeward/newsletter.html
For detailed step-by step instructions on road construction and maintenance, see the Handbook for Forest and Ranch Roads. Follow this link for a free download – http://www.krisweb.com/biblio/gen_mcrcd_weaveretal_1994_handbook.pdf
The University of California Cooperative Extension hosted a Rural Road Webinar lecture series on roads in 2012. These lectures may be viewed on-line at – http://ucanr.edu/sites/forestry/Webinars/
Maps help us find our way and visualize where we are. They are also an invaluable tool relied on for all aspects of forest management. Here are just a few of the many on-line maps available for our local area.
See the “Forest Cover” map to learn where forests and woodlands are located in Sonoma County.
Geographical Information Systems provide a powerful tool for combining maps with database information. Try some of the following links to tap into some of the vast array of information available for our region and state-wide!
CAL FIRE’s Forest Practice Watershed Mapper is a GIS application for viewing and querying data. It not only contains locations and summary statistics on timber harvesting, it is a good resource for viewing fisheries’ status – http://frap.cdf.ca.gov/watershed_mapper/default.html
Forest Practice GIS data representing timber harvesting (THPs and NTMPs) is available for download at ftp://ftp.fire.ca.gov/forest .
CAL FIRE’s Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) is a good resource for statewide data, geographical information, and maps – http://frap.fire.ca.gov/
The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)has a wealth of data, maps, and tools for identifying vegetation and wildlife resources – http://www.dfg.ca.gov/about/data.html .
The California Geological Survey (CGS) has maps and resources available online too.
Many perspectives on of all the topics above were shared during the three – day North Coast Forest Conservation Conference held in June, 2012. Follow the link below to see the agenda, and PowerPoint presentations – http://sonomalandtrust.org/news_room/forest-conference.html
Protecting forests across landscapes and through generations…