Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

We inspire and partner with our community to protect the natural resources and agricultural future of our District.

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Christo’s Running Fence 40 Years Later: Photos, Stories & Memories

In 1976, after a long process, Christo’s large-scale artwork “Running Fence” was installed over 24.5 miles of Sonoma and Marin farmland. The artist made as much of an impression on the local community as his artwork did. 


The hamlet of Valley Ford hasn’t changed much in the last four decades. There’s more traffic, of course: It’s located on scenic Highway 1, and Bodega Bay is just 8 miles to the west. But Dinucci’s Italian Dinners is still there, serving the family-style meals that made its initial reputation more than a century ago.

Local ranchers still come to the Valley Ford Market for coffee and the latest talk on lamb prices and government regulation. And the land itself seems immutable: The rolling pastures broken by eucalyptus windbreaks — speckled with fat sheep and sleek cattle — present a prospect as timeless as the nearby Pacific Ocean.

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Source:  Glen Martin, Sonoma Magazine, August 2016

How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard

“A forest is much more than what you see,” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

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California Just Made Climate Change History. How Did it Happen?


The day before yesterday Jason Barbose sat in the gallery of the California Senate and saw something that just a few weeks ago he wasn’t expecting: Senators casting the final vote on an historic set of bills—Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) and Assembly Bill 197 (E. Garcia)—that reaffirm the state’s commitment to addressing climate change through 2030. After the vote was over, Jason and his colleagues shared hugs, smiles, and tears as the weight of the accomplishment washed over them. It was a great day.

There will be a time for a more thorough examination of how we achieved this victory, but here is my quick take of what just happened.

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Source:  Jason Barbose, Western States Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists, August 26, 2016

Soils to Reverse Climate Change: “Carbon Farming” and the Untapped Potential in Ecological Approaches


Are there agricultural practices that might offer more potential than the ones commonly discussed in the “carbon farming” conversation? In a companion post, I wrote about what the science tells us about cover cropping and reduced tillage, two practices getting a lot of attention in what I’ve called the “carbon farming” rage. Here I want to address some more agroecological practices, those that incorporate ecological principles, and what is known from field research about their ability to add carbon to the soil.

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Source:  Andrea Basche, Kendall Science Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists, May 12, 2016

Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change

Published on Mar 4, 2013

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

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