Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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

Healthy Habitat


The bad news is that the drought is back and that’s not good for spawning fish. The good news better habitat awaits coho salmon and steelhead in two North Bay creeks.

In Sonoma County, the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District worked with the Thomas Creek Ranch Homeowners Association to restore lower Green Valley and Thomas creeks in Forestville as a winter coho salmon wetland habitat several years ago. Only recently, in the aftermath of the last drought, have those efforts borne fruit. In Marin County, meanwhile, officials are cheering the performance of newly restored floodplains on Lagunitas Creek, one of the most productive salmon creeks in the state.

The Forestville project began in 2014 when the conservation district constructed a 220-foot side channel and wetland along Green Valley Creek, and realigned a section of Thomas Creek to create a deep backwater “alcove” for fish. The drought made it difficult to tell if the construction was making a difference in the coho salmon population, due to the sluggish winter flow.

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Source:  Alex T. Randolph and Tom Gogola, The Bohemian, March 6, 2018

How dedicated Sonoma County volunteers are re-sprouting oak trees burned in the fires


Image result for north bay oak tree

Consider the acorn. By kindergarten, most children know that the smooth, brown shell hides a secret: it’s a ‘baby oak with a lunch box,’ recalls Brent Reed, now Ecological Program Manager with Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. Inside its weather and insect-resistant coat, every acorn is a live packet of waiting pre-programed cells, primed for growth, surrounded by a dense store of energy-rich carbohydrates and minerals. When conditions finally trigger its cells to begin growing, there’s enough food in the acorn’s pantry to build and drive a tap root as much as four feet down into the soil, create and unfurl a set of sugar-making leaves, and hoist them on a rigid mast into the sunlight.

Scattered among the wine country’s hillsides, mountains and valleys, the oaks that produce these acorns are part of the unique defining character of Sonoma County. But to naturalists, they’re also something more. Essential to the health of the local environment, mature oak trees are a combination of high-rise condominium, supermarket, water management and superhighway systems. In short, they are teeming centers of life.

The towering and ancient oaks are also part of the human community. Once a primary food source for native people, today they provide shade for homes, backyards and parks. They line neighborhood streets, bridge urban and rural boundaries, clean the air, sequester carbon and shelter wildlife.

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Source:  Stephen Nett, The Press Democrat, March 7, 2018