2015-2016 Funded Projects
Biomass Utilization: A Renewable Resource for Energy Production in California
Project Leader: Yana Valachovic UC Cooperative Extension Del Norte and Humboldt Counties
This RREA project evaluated and informed public dialogue on the merits of renewable resources in energy production and worked to increase UC’s internal capacity to understand biomass and the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. CCA is a program that enables city and county governments to pool the electricity demand of their communities for the purpose of supplying electricity and local community leaders had expressed to us their interest in forming a CCA but needed additional information before a decision was made. We produced workshops, developed fact sheets and resources for biomass and CCA’s, and also created a woody biomass website. One important impact of this RREA project is that State Assembly member Wood (D-Healdsburg) sponsored AB 1923, a legislative fix for BIOMAT, the state biomass program, and in September 2016 the bill became law.
Development of Ecosystem Service Frameworks for California Rangelands: A Focus on Soil Health
This RREA project increased landowners and managers knowledge of soil health as a key component in ecosystem services. A toolkit was created and utilized at workshops we presented at ten different locations on the importance of soil health, why and how to take soil samples, how to interpret sample results. Also, training was provided to workshop participants on using a template we had developed for ecosystem services management decisions.
Reducing Barriers to Improved Vegetation Management Across Jurisdictional Lines
Project Leader: Theresa Becchetti UC Cooperative Extension San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties
The 2016 Rangeland Summit "Wildfire and Rangeland Management - Mediating Impacts to Conservation and Ranching", co-sponsored by UC Cooperative Extension and the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition(CRCC), addressed challenges and opportunities to improve rangeland management aimed at reducing the scope and severity of catastrophic wildfire. RREA funding supported the live webinar broadcast of the summit that allowed for off-premise participation, and supported the production of a video of the summit and field tours, available online post-summit.
Development of Wild Pig (Sus scrofa) Damage Quantification App for Smartphone Use
On California's managed rangelands wild pigs have become a significant and damaging pest. This RREA project developed a tool to assist in assessment of the relative costs and benefits of control actions taken for wild pig management on California's natural and graze lands; a GIS-based mobile app that allows managers and the public to report sightings of wild pigs. The app, Wild Pig Damage, can be used to enter sighting data from anywhere, even where Internet service is not available and is available for free download at the app store.
Sharing Open Space: Outreach to Reduce Conflict Between Working Rangelands and Recreation Sharing
This RREA project produced three videos that illustrate the dos and don’ts in sharing open space with livestock grazing and an explanation of the benefits of grazing in parks. The videos are located on the park websites and that link is on the signage developed by our interpretative trails project funded by the ANR Competitive Grants Program.
Redwood Region Forest Science Symposium
Project Leader: Gregory Giusti Retired/Emeritus: UC Cooperative Extension Lake and Mendocino Counties
With its limited range and high value the coast redwood forest is a microcosm of many of the emerging science and management issues that are currently facing forested landscapes; RREA funds provided assistance with planning and implementing of the 4th multi-day conference focusing on redwood and other coastal forests types in the northern portion of California's redwood region. The 2016 symposium was held in Eureka and over 300 attended including land managers, academics, policy makers, conservation groups, and forest landowners.
Extending the Central Coast Bioregion to CA Naturalists
Project Leader: William Tietje UC Cooperative Extension San Luis Obispo County
This RREA project partially funded production of a publication detailing the history, geology, watersheds, plant and animal communities, management, and environmental issues of California's Central Coast bioregion. The publication will be part of the California Naturalist Handbook and also be available online.
Estimating Water Tradeoffs in Beef Cattle on California Rangelands
Project Leader: Julie Finzel UC Cooperative Extension Kern County
Utilizing RREA funds, a student intern was hired and focused on assessing water needed to produce beef on California rangeland and on the role rangeland plays in the cattle production cycle. They intern assisted in developing an extensive document promoting rangeland management using beef cattle, a newsletter-type publication for livestock and natural resources extension advisors and their clients and is a free publication available online.