CDFW Confirms Wolf Depredation in Modoc County
Last week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released a Livestock Loss Determination confirming a wolf depredation of a 250-pound calf in Modoc County on May 13.
According to the report, on the morning of May 13, “a ranch employee reported that he witnessed a wolf attacking a 250 lb. calf by its throat.” While investigators did not believe the bite marks and hemorrhaging were extensive enough to “clearly implicate a wolf,” the investigators swabbed the bite wounds and calf hide for saliva, which was then analyzed by a CDFW geneticist. The samples came back as belonging to a male wolf.
The full Livestock Loss Determination is available here.
Happening this week: Working Rangelands Wednesday Webinar Focused On Water Quality
Don’t miss this week’s Working Rangelands Webinar taking place on Wednesday, June 3 at 1pm PDT, which will feature Dr. Ken Tate, Professor and Rustici Specialist in Rangeland Watershed Sciences, discussing current issues surrounding grazing and water quality on California’s rangelands and pastures. Register here to receive a zoom link the morning of the webinar.
Working Rangelands Wednesdays is a bi-weekly webinar series where topics around rangeland agriculture in California and across the West are explored.
If you are not able to view the webinar live or want to watch previous Working Rangelands Wednesdays sessions, visit the UC Rangelands YouTube channel. For questions, please contact Dr. Leslie Roche at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$10 Million Available through NRCS Stewardship Program; Apply by June 12
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in California has received a historic $10 million to help farmers, ranchers and forestland managers enhance their levels of stewardship and receive payments for doing so. The 2020 application deadline is June 12.
Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners expand stewardship activities and receive payments for both their existing conservation work and new enhancements they undertake. Enhancements are available to help improve soil health and pollinator habitat, address changing weather patterns, and improve the quality and quantity of rangeland forage. Examples of ranching projects which might be funded include control of invasive plants, including yellow star thistle, patch burning, improving wildlife habitat, advanced grazing management and protection of riparian areas and other sensitive habitat.
CSP contracts run for a term of five years, with an option to renew the contract for another five-year term at its conclusion. Contracts cannot exceed $200,000 for the five-year term, though there is no annual limit so long as the term limit is not exceeded. Contracts begin August 1 and annual stewardship payments begin after October 1.
Unlike in prior years, CSP can now also be utilized to fund stewardship efforts on public lands.
“California has been a leading state in conservation implementation including USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) participation for more than two decades,” said RaeAnn Dubay, assistant state conservationist for Farm Bill programs. “This means we have hundreds of farmers who have successfully completed prior conservation projects and are well positioned to move to the next level of conservation with additional practices through CSP.” Dubay added that in today’s unfortunate pandemic circumstances, this $10 million investment in conservation can also help support rural economies throughout California.
“This is a program especially well-suited to California where many agricultural industries and supporters promote and reward advanced levels of stewardship,” said Dubay. “CSP can help with those additional goals. It can also help producers meet regulatory requirements or further work they have been doing to promote organic production, forest health and rangeland management.”
While conservation applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should at a minimum express interest in applying for CSP to their local NRCS office no later than June 12, with the application and plan completed by the end of the month.
Further details about the CSP program can be found on the NRCS California website, here. For additional information about applying for CSP, please schedule an appointment with your local USDA Service Center (which you can find here), or contact RaeAnn Dubay at (530) 792-5653 or Victor Hernandez at (530) 792-5628.
LAST CHANCE: BLM Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration Feedback Due Tomorrow
As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin in April, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting feedback on a Draft programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin, which includes portions of northeastern California. The document considers targeted grazing as among the suite of management tools for both fuels reduction and rangeland restoration.
Permittees and other interested parties are encouraged to review the draft PEIS (available here) and to submit comments to BLM by the June 2 deadline at its online e-planning portal, here. Specifically, ranchers are encouraged to support BLM’s Preferred Alternative, Alternative B (“Protect, Conserve, and Restore Sagebrush Communities”), which encourages the use of targeted livestock grazing for fire fuels reduction.
CCA staff will be submitting comments by tomorrow’s deadline and will keep you apprised of any developments.
Grazing and Prescribed Burning for Fire Safety Workshop Set for July 2
Please join the University of California Cooperative Extension on Thursday, July 2 at 9:00 for a virtual meeting to hear results from a study investigating how livestock grazing influences fire safety and to discuss the development of a Prescribed Burn Association in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
This 1-hour workshop will provide updates on two fire-related grants:
- UCCE San Benito County has been conducting research on how much forage/fuels livestock consume in counties across California, and how grazing influences fire safety in the State. They will share results from the study. This research is supported by a grant from the California Cattle Council.
- UCCE San Benito County and the RCD of Monterey County (RCDMC) were recently awarded a CAL FIRE grant to develop a Prescribed Burn Association (PBA). Next steps will be discussed to develop a PBA in San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties; new collaborative burning and potential research opportunities with CAL FIRE; and working with a burn boss to lead your prescribed burn on private or public land.
Speakers will include Devii Rao (UCCE), Jamie Tuitele-Lewis (RCDMC), Jonathan Pangburn (CAL FIRE), Phil Dye (Prometheus Fire Consulting), and Felix Ratcliff (LD Ford, Consultants in Rangeland Conservation Science).
The virtual workshop is free to attend by Zoom or by telephone, but registration is required. To register, click here or contact Devii Rao at email@example.com or 831-205-3125. Once registered, you will receive Zoom/call-in information. Registration deadline is June 26. To read the flyer and learn more, click here.