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Carbon Sequestration on Rangelands: Addressing Climate Change

Fig 1: Loren Poncia checking sugar levels of grass

Carbon is the energy currency of most biological systems, including agricultural ecosystems. All agricultural production originates from the process of plant photosynthesis, which uses sunshine to combine carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air with water and minerals from the soil to produce plant material, both above and below ground. Agriculture is the ONE sector that can transform from a net emitter of CO2 to a net sequestered of CO2 There is no other human-managed realm with this...

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 1:27 PM
Tags: carbon (1), greenhouse (1), rangeland (8)

North Bay Food Policy Council Convening

North Bay Food Policy Council Convening

50 food and agriculture leaders from Sonoma County and the North Bay gathered on June 8, 2017 in Petaluma for the North Bay Food Policy Council Convening. Participants represented the Sonoma Food System Alliance and three North Bay food policy councils. Food Policy Councils are multi-stakeholder coalitions that work on devising local level solutions to nutrition, agriculture, and food systems issues. Participants shared highlights of their work across the region, exchanged best practices and...

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Using InVEST to assess ecosystem services

Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District sign

From UCANR California Agriculture magazine Using InVEST to assess ecosystem services on conserved properties in Sonoma County, CA The purchase of conservation easements on agricultural land is one approach to preventing residential development on working landscapes. The authors present a low-cost tool for assessing ecosystem service values across large areas, a step toward quantifying the benefits of land conservation. Abstract Purchases of private land for...

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 4:49 AM
  • Author: Van Bustic, UCCE and UC Berkeley
  • Author: Matthew Shapero, UC Berkeley
  • Author: Diana Moanga, UC Berkeley
  • Author: Stephanie Larson
Tags: InVEST (1), Sonoma Land Trust (1)

How Grazing Livestock are Beneficial to Vernal Pools

Fig 1 California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), CaliforniaHerps.com

On a global scale, rangelands are a fairly diverse array of biomes - deserts, scrub, prairies, and chaparral, but in Sonoma County, they comprise oak savannahs and grasslands; one such is our vernal pools. Vernal pools are defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency as “…seasonal depression wetlands that occur under the Mediterranean climate conditions”. They are a rare and interesting sight to see in the spring after they have filled up with water. Especially this...

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:33 AM

Conservation Easement Payment Structures: Lump Sums, Annuities, and Payments for Ecosystems Services

Beef cattle photo by Sheila Barry

Rangeland owners in the Bay Area face substantial pressure to develop their land.  The short term financial gains from developing rangeland for vineyards or residential construction can be very large.  In Sonoma and Marin Counties several conservation groups, including the Marin Agricultural Land Trust and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, are dedicated to preserving rangeland and the cultural and environmental amenities that only open space can...

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 1:27 PM
Tags: ecosystem services (1), PES (1), rangeland (8)

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