- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
“I thought you all might enjoy this bit of good news from Humboldt County. Yesterday reminded me of the important role we at UCCE can play in these types of local issues,” wrote Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE area fire advisor in Humboldt County.
Concerned about habitat loss and fuel buildup on private lands in Humboldt County, Quinn-Davidson and Jeff Stackhouse, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, recently formed a Prescribed Burn Association.
Thanks to Senate Bill 1260, which was signed into law last year, air districts are receiving grants from the California Air Resources Board to support local prescribed fire programs.
Stackhouse and Quinn-Davidson attended the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District Board meeting Sept. 18 in Weaverville to suggest their district subsidize the air quality permit fees for prescribed burners.
“Our district has decided to use some of these grant funds to subsidize air quality permit fees for prescribed burners in the district. This is welcome news to those of us with the PBA who have been working for the last year to alleviate air quality permit fees, which can be $250 to $1250 for bigger projects. For our PBA burns, air quality permit fees are one of our biggest project costs, and now those fees will be waived.”
The air board's original plan was to subsidize projects with a focus on wildfire risk reduction. At the meeting, she and Stackhouse encouraged them to broaden the scope and include all projects that have a public benefit, including burns focused on habitat restoration, range improvement, forest improvement, cultural resources, etc., in addition to fuels reduction.
“We suggested that they tie the subsidy program to Public Resources Code 4475, which was amended through SB1260 to include an expanded definition of ‘public benefit burning.' They accepted our suggestion and amended the rule to reflect this broader suite of project types, which covers most of the great burning we're all doing in the North Coast: oak woodland restoration, medusahead/starthistle/blackberry control, coyote brush/coastal rangeland/prairie burning, understory fuels reduction, etc. With this cost relieved, we can start thinking about planning more projects and bigger projects! Yesterday, a 300-acre burn would have cost $1,250 (permit) + $65 (smoke management plan). As of today, those costs will be $0.”
The district's proposal also recommended excluding federal agencies and timber companies from the subsidy program, but Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse asserted that any entity doing work that benefits the public should have equal access to the subsidy. In response, the Board voted to expand the program to include federal agencies and timber companies.
“Based on what air district staff said at the meeting, it sounded like this would save landowners about $14,000 to $18,000 per year in fees district-wide. I think it'll be even more than that in the coming years, with all the interest we have in prescribed fire,” Quinn-Davidson said.
“We're still working with the district to think about longer term solutions to their fee structure, but in the meantime, this is a fabulous step in the right direction!” Quinn-Davidson said.
S. Kaan Kurtural joined UC ANR as a Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis on Nov. 16.
Prior to joining UC, Kurtural was the inaugural Bronco Wine Company Research Chair in Viticulture at California State University, Fresno. From 2005 to 2008, Kurtural was a Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist at the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on improving production efficiency, fruit quality and pest management in vineyards.
Kurtural has done extensive research on mechanization of crop load management for optimizing grape yields and composition in the San Joaquin Valley.
Kurtural is part of a team recently awarded a $6 million, four-year USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant for precision vineyard management. Kurtural leads the variable-rate crop load study in winegrapes, juice grapes and tablegrapes. He is also planning field trials to look at different rootstocks under different irrigation regimes to evaluate them for drought tolerance, water-use efficiency and rooting systems. One rootstock trial with red grape varieties is planned at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and a rootstock trial with white grape varieties will be conducted on the UC Davis campus. He also expects to work with other researchers on fertilizer use and efficiency and its effects on grape flavonoids, red blotch virus and training systems for mechanical production efficiency.
Kurtural, a native of Turkey, earned his B.S. in plant and soil science, M.S. in pomology and Ph.D. in plant biology, all at Southern Illinois University.
Based at the Oakville Station, Kurtural can be reached at email@example.com and (707) 944-0126.
To read more about Kurtural, visit http://news.bftv.ucdavis.edu/ven/index.html?display_article=1349.
Theodore Grantham joined UC ANR on Dec. 1, 2015, as a Cooperative Extension specialist in climate and water in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the relationships between hydrological and ecological processes in studies relevant to the management of water resources. Through applied, cross-disciplinary investigations that employ hydrological and hydraulic modeling, empirical field studies, geospatial analysis and ecological statistics, his work aims to inform sustainable, cost-effective water management policy and practice in California.
Prior to joining UCCE, Grantham was a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Fort Collins Science Center. He also spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher with the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis and one year as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Barcelona.
He has over 10 years of experience investigating California water management challenges, working in partnerships with research institutions, government agencies and NGOs. His previous research has largely focused on understanding ecosystem water needs and identifying strategies to incorporate ecological principles in water management practices, policy and decision-making.
Grantham completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and a B.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University.
Grantham, who is located in Berkeley, can be reached at (510) 664-4664 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aparna Gazula joined UC ANR on Jan. 4, 2016, as a UCCE area small farms advisor in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and San Benito counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Gazula had been a Cooperative Extension agent in commercial horticulture since 2009 at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Alachua County, where 97% of all farms in the county are small farms. She was responsible for planning, delivering and evaluating educational programs for the vegetable, fruit, nursery and landscape management industries. Gazula, who speaks Hindi and Telugu, has worked with peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, strawberries, Asian vegetables and microgreens. She conducted variety trials for peppers and fresh market tomatoes and has studied drip irrigation, nutrient management and pest management.
Gazula earned her B.S. in agriculture from A.N.G.R. Agricultural University, India, an M.S. in horticulture and crop science from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in horticulture from University of Florida.
Based in San Jose, Gazula can be reached at (408) 282-3127 and email@example.com.
Carissa Koopmann Rivers joined UC ANR Cooperative Extension on Feb. 1, 2016, as a livestock and natural resources advisor in Siskiyou County. Rivers is a fifth-generation partner in her family's cow/calf operation in the Alameda County town of Sunol. She and her husband also manage their own set of commercial and registered Red Angus cattle.
Prior to joining UCCE, Rivers was a junior specialist in the Rangeland Watershed Laboratory at UC Davis and from 2011 to 2015 was a land manager for the National Audubon Society. She specializes in livestock grazing systems, rangeland ecology and management, livestock management and wildlife and livestock interactions.
Rivers earned her Master of Agriculture degree in integrated resource management from Colorado State University and her B.S. in animal science, livestock production management, from California State University, Fresno.
Based in Yreka, Rivers can be reached at (530) 842-2711 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenya Quinn-Davidson is the new UC ANR Cooperative Extension area fire advisor for Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino and Siskiyou counties beginning March 1.
Since 2011, Quinn-Davidson has been a staff research associate II with UCCE in Humboldt County. During her time there, she has focused on fire science outreach as the coordinator for the Northern California Region of the California Fire Science Consortium, and worked on various research projects with her UC colleagues. She is passionate about oak woodland ecology and restoration, and recently led the development of a successful $2.6 million grant for oak woodland restoration in the North Coast. She is also the director of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council.
Quinn-Davidson earned a B.S. from UC Berkeley in conservation and resource studies, and an M.A. in social science from Humboldt State University (from the Environment and Community Program).
Based in Eureka, Quinn-Davidson can be reached at (707) 445-7351 and email@example.com.
Lucas Frerichs joined UC ANR as government affairs and community relations manager on Jan. 4.
“I am excited to use my experiences working in state and local government to assist UC ANR in building more effective relationships with local and state elected officials and community leaders throughout the state of California,” said Frerichs, who has served as a Davis city councilman since 2012.
Frerichs brings to UC ANR a decade of experience working in the California State Assembly in Sacramento. Most recently, from 2010 to 2015, he served as legislative director for Assemblyman Rich Gordon, chairman of the Assembly Rules Committee, advising Gordon on agriculture, housing, natural resources, energy and the budget process.
Frerichs spent his childhood in upstate New York and Alaska, but has been active in the Davis community since graduating from Davis High School. In addition to the city council, Frerichs serves as vice chair for the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (Amtrak California), and as board member for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Yolo County Transportation District (Yolobus) and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy. He is also an appointed member of the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. On environmental matters, Frerichs is a board member for the Yolo Basin Foundation, which oversees the management of 16,000 acres of wetland habitat in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.
Based in the ANR Building in Davis, Frerichs can be reached at (530) 750-1218 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
IFT honors German and Winter
Both will receive their awards in a ceremony of the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Exposition in Chicago on July 16, 2016.
For a full list of the Institute of Food Technolgists' 2016 Achievement Award recipients, visit
The Lone Star Ranch, owned and operated by the Moore Family in Kneeland, was recognized as the North American winner of the 2016 Society for Range Management's Excellence in Range Management award. The sustainable way the Moores manage livestock, silviculture and vegetation is supported by the work of Jeff Stackhouse, UC ANR Cooperative Extension livestock advisor in Humboldt County. The ranch was recognized regionally by the Society for Range Management for Excellence in Range Management last fall, then advanced to win the national award.
The award was based upon the positive impacts of the Moore family's efforts in environmental stewardship, community support and inter-agency collaboration.
Dina Moore serves on the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The ranch employs numerous business enterprises, including, but not limited to: sustainable beef grazing and timber harvest, goat grazing for vegetation management, and a heavy equipment business to install restoration projects and improve roads. Sediment reduction in streams from road runoff is one of the greatest successes of the Lone Star Ranch and the Yagger/Van Duzen Environmental Stewards (YES), a landowner non-profit organization headed by Dina Moore.