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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Confronting the Challenges of Climate Change by Rattan Lal

Lal is a professor of soil science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at the Ohio State University.

This talk was part of the “Confronting the Challenges of Climate Change” symposium. The symposium on the topic of energy and the environment was held in honor of Theodore “Ted” Brown, the Founding Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

This talk was presented at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on October 16, 2018.


NRCS, UC Davis Announce Release of SoilWeb 2.0 App Update

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California at Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play offsite link image     and Apple App Store offsite link image    .

“SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed to scale across any device, desktop, tablet or smart phone,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “SoilWeb app is a portable interface to authoritative digital soil survey data from NRCS, giving users access to practical detailed scientific soil information on the go.”

The SoilWeb app provides users with information relating to soil types that are associated with their location. The images are then linked to information about the different types of soil profiles, soil taxonomy, land classification, hydraulic and erosion ratings and soil suitability ratings. Identifying soil types is important to understanding land for agricultural production purposes and determining flooding frequencies and suitable locations for roads or septic tanks. SoilWeb provides gardeners, landscapers and realtors with information relating to soil types and how to optimally use the soil. Although soil survey information can be used for general farm, local, and wider area planning, a professional onsite evaluation may be needed to supplement this information in some cases.

More info here.  


Common Range Plants in California’s Interior Valley, Foothills, and Coastal Zone

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This plant guide is a result of requests from many NRCS field offices who conduct conservation planning on California’s rangelands. The desire to know which plant species provide a forage base for livestock, was the impetus for this guide. California’s annual grassland and oak woodlands are a vast area of the state, com-promising approximately 14.5 million acres. The area is dominated by a Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and summer drought. Rains typically begin in middle to late October and continue through April, followed by a summer drought. During the dry season annual plants survive as seed and perennial herbaceous vegetation becomes dormant. The area of the state dominated by the annual grassland vegetation type extends from the Sierra foothills to the east, west to the Pacific coast and from the south coast to just north of Redding in Shasta County. This annual grassland area is dotted with native perennial grasses, forbs and legumes, each providing a unique structural and functional capacity on the landscape. They provide livestock and wildlife forage at various times of the year and with various qualities.
This guide will help the user identify the species and their forage value. It can be used to assist with conservation planning, resource assessments, Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) plant identification, prescribed grazing plan development, and indicators of rangeland health.
The guide covers many areas of the state dominated by annual grasslands and include 9 Major Land Resource Areas (MLRA’s) including the Central California Coastal Valleys (14), Central California Coast Range (15), California Delta (16), Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta (17), Sierra Nevada Foothills (18), Southern California Coastal Plains (19) and Southern California Mountains (20) and to a lesser extent the non-forested portions of the Coastal Redwood Belt (4), and Siskiyou-Trinity (5). Within the grasslands of MLRA 4 and 5 annual grasslands are mixed with perennial grasses, as are coastal portions of MLRA 14 & 15 where sufficient moisture will support native perennial grasses. The plants included in this guide are a mere snapshot of those most dominate throughout the state.
It is by no means a complete list of herbaceous plant species that occur in the state. There are thousands of grasses, forbs and legumes in California. When species occur that aren’t included here, further investigation should occur using any of the various plant guides that cover species of California.
Source:  USDA NRCS (uploaded to the fabulous On Pasture website).