Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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

Never Underestimate the Intelligence of Trees


Consider a forest: One notices the trunks, of course, and the canopy. If a few roots project artfully above the soil and fallen leaves, one notices those too, but with little thought for a matrix that may spread as deep and wide as the branches above. Fungi don’t register at all except for a sprinkling of mushrooms; those are regarded in isolation, rather than as the fruiting tips of a vast underground lattice intertwined with those roots. The world beneath the earth is as rich as the one above.

For the past two decades, Suzanne Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest & Conservation at the University of British Columbia, has studied that unappreciated underworld. Her specialty is mycorrhizae: the symbiotic unions of fungi and root long known to help plants absorb nutrients from soil. Beginning with landmark experiments describing how carbon flowed between paper birch and Douglas fir trees, Simard found that mycorrhizae didn’t just connect trees to the earth, but to each other as well.

Simard went on to show how mycorrhizae-linked trees form networks, with individuals she dubbed Mother Trees at the center of communities that are in turn linked to one another, exchanging nutrients and water in a literally pulsing web that includes not only trees but all of a forest’s life. These insights had profound implications for our understanding of forest ecology—but that was just the start.

Continue here.

Source:  Brandon Keim, October 31, 2019, Nautilus

Where is SOD this year? 2019 Blitz results meeting


Sudden Oak Death 

2019 Blitz Results Meeting

Tuesday, November 12

6 – 8 PM

Where:  University of California Cooperative Extension Office

133 Aviation Blvd, #109, Santa Rosa, CA

  Cost:  Free

  Click to register or visit

At this meeting, local and Statewide results of the 2019 Sudden Oak Death citizen science survey, the “SOD Blitz,” will be made public. The meeting promises to be extremely interesting with the discovery by volunteers of outbreaks in areas previously thought to be uninfested. A detailed update on the status of infestations around the Bay Area will also be given. New treatment and new diagnostic options will be presented as well.

Click here to Register

For more information on the SOD Blitz project, click here

Hosted by the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County Sudden Oak Death Specialists. Thanks to the USDA Forest Service for program funding. Questions?

Sudden Oak Death Workshops November 2019 – Mendocino & Sonoma

UC Berkeley Forest Pathology & Mycology Laboratory and UCCE Sonoma


These treatment training workshops lead by professionals and academics of UC Berkeley, CalFire, and UCCE will cover biology, history,   regulations, control, and new diagnostics for SOD and other Phytophthoras. These events are primarily aimed at tree care professionals, government and NGO employees, and managers and docents of open space districts and parks, but are open to the public.  ISA CEUs applied for.


Monday, November 18, 10 am – 3 pm

UCCE Sonoma Office, 133 Aviation Blvd #109, Santa Rosa



Tuesday, November 19, 10 am – 3 pm

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens,18220 CA-1, Fort Bragg




Test to Assess Knowledge of Phytophthora ramorum and Sudden Oak Death

Biology and Diagnostics of Phytophthora ramorum

Phytophthora ramorum Regulations

Disease diagnosis, new strains, new sampling protocols

Disease Management

Practical Aspects of Phytophthora ramorum Control

Final Test to Assess Knowledge Gained from Course

In-Class Review and Discussion of Test Answers


Questions or need to cancel? Contact Kerry at

For SOD information , meeting schedules & disease distribution maps visit

For information about the 6-8 pm 11/12 Santa Rosa SOD Blitz Results Meeting visit:

Hosted by the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County Sudden Oak Death Specialists.    Thanks to the USDA Forest Service for program funding.

Sonoma RCD is offering two upcoming workshops and technical assistance on the CDFA SWEEP program and application process


This program offers funding to growers to upgrade irrigation equipment and integrate scheduling tools that help reduce energy use and improve water use efficiency. Growers who have implemented soil health practices will receive additional points for that in the application scoring process.

There is still available spots for the workshop at the Sonoma RCD office this coming Wednesday, October 30, 5:00-6:30 pm. Please register in advance to ensure they have a space for you.

Sonoma RCD will also host a webinar with the California Sustainable Winegrower’s Alliance, on Wednesday, November 20, 10:00-11:30 AM.

Please register in advance at:

More information is available on the attached flyer. You can also visit our website at:

Or go to the CDFA SWEEP website at:

Applications are due December 16, 2019.

These U.N. Climate Scientists Think They Can Halt Global Warming for $300 Billion. Here’s How

$300 billion. That’s the money needed to stop the rise in greenhouse gases and buy up to 20 years of time to fix global warming, according to United Nations climate scientists. It’s the gross domestic product of Chile, or the world’s military spending every 60 days.

The sum is not to fund green technologies or finance a moonshot solution to emissions, but to use simple, age-old practices to lock millions of tons of carbon back into an overlooked and over-exploited resource: the soil.

“We have lost the biological function of soils. We have got to reverse that,” said Barron J. Orr, lead scientist for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. “If we do it, we are turning the land into the big part of the solution for climate change.”

Continue here.

Source:  Adam Majendie and Pratik Parija / Bloomberg / 24 October 2019

New Discovery on the Mechanics of Keeping Carbon in the Soil and What It Means For Your Pastures

Image result for stomata

Imagine you’re a carbon molecule floating in the atmosphere and your mission is to get from there into the soil and stay there for decades.

Your first step – slip into a plant through an open stoma.

Inside the plant you go through your first transformation: photosynthesis. You’re combined with water (H20) and photons from sunlight to become glucose (C6H12O6). You’re now part of the body of the plant. From here, there are multiple routes to your destination, some that take much longer than others. You could become part of the body of a cow, or part of her manure. You might be part of a plant that gets trampled onto the soil, or you might be part of the roots that get sloughed off periodically underground.

Continue here.

Journal article here.

Source:  Kathy Voth, On Pasture, October 21, 2019

Macroeconomic and Financial Policies for Climate Change Mitigation: A Review of the Literature

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of this century. Mitigation requires a large-scale transition to a low-carbon economy. This paper provides an overview of the rapidly growing literature on the role of macroeconomic and financial policy tools in enabling this transition. The literature provides a menu of policy tools for mitigation. A key conclusion is that fiscal tools are first in line and central, but can and may need to be complemented by financial and monetary policy instruments. Some tools and policies raise unanswered questions about policy tool assignment and mandates, which we describe. The literature is scarce, however, on the most effective policy mix and the role of mitigation tools and goals in the overall policy framework.

Author/Editor:  Signe Krogstrup ; William Oman

Publication Date:  September 4, 2019

Electronic Access:  Download PDF.