Sierra Valley  Ranch Field Day
August 8, 2008

Rancher Lewis Van Vleck
explains his ranch planning  
and water quality conservation project to the group.

Ranchers discuss potential funding partners to assist     
landowners with resource stewardship projects.   

Dan Martynn of the NRCS discussed solar powered
off-site stockwater options for grazing operations.
Contact Dan at the Quincy NRCS Office 530-283-1175

    Van Vleck Ranch Field Day
    and Bar-B-Que

    co-sponsored by:
    Plumas-Sierra UC Cooperative Extension
    Upper Feather River Watershed Group
    Plumas-Sierra Farm Bureau
    Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen

    Among the topics discussed:
    Local water quality monitoring
    Solar powered temporary fencing  
    Water-Quality & Conservation Projects by local ranchers
    Documentation Ideas to assist UFRWG met ILRP requirements

        The 2008 Sierra Valley Ranch Field Day  
    began at the historic Pasquetti barn on the Lewis
    Van Vleck Ranch.  A review of Special Study
    Projects conducted through the 2008 Irrigation
    Season was lead by the Prop 50 Project Team.

          The Landowner and his project partners led
    the group across the project area to discuss
    details about the NRCS Riparian Grazing Rotation
    Project on the ranch.

    Temporary electric fencing.      

    Participants walked downstream to neighbor
    Alan Abrams who shared his goal of
    demonstrating riparian enhancement and
    managed grazing can improve both practices.   

    The advantages of solar powered electric fencing
    in flood prone areas where heavy spring runoffs
    can cause expensive damage to permanent
    fences was demonstrated.   Similar fencing is
    used on the Feather River Land Trust property in
    Sierra Valley.

    John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board
    discussed programs available for landowners to
    partner with the WCB in planning and funding
    conservation projects on their ranches that could
    benefit both grazing operations and wildlife habitat.

    Karen Sweet, Executive Officer of Alameda
    County RCD and a California Cattlemen
    Association member, encouraged UFRWG
    ranchers and agricultural irrigators to look for
    ways to share their good stories. Water and
    resource stewardship has been a vital part of
    farming and ranching operations for some time.  
    She emphasized that the success of our resource
    dependant agriculture industry hinges on the
    continued good care of these resources as well
    as promoting public confidence in our products
    and management practices.

   Lunch Break included informational speakers           
under the shade at Van Vleck Ranch headquarters

    Holly George, UCCE Farm Advisor and Prop 50
    Team Leader provided a great variety of
    informative speakers for the Field Day:

    Dan Martynn, NRCS discussed the new Farm Bill
    which will provide assistance to landowners through
    the local NRCS and RCD offices for resource
    conservation projects and drought assistance.

    Dennis Heiman of the State Water Board
    has been meeting with northern California coalition
    groups to help develop a more practical Irrigated  
    Lands Program for predominately grazing and
    rangeland watersheds.

    Russell Reid, chairman of Upper Feather River
    Watershed Group informed the attendees that the B
    of D is reviewing options for post Prop 50 and is
    currently budgeted to cover  expenses until further
    funding is secured for the UFRWG.

    Dr. Ken Tate,  rangeland watershed specialist has
    offered to help interested landowners with ranch
    water quality self-assessments.   Ken has
    specialized in water quality research related to
    rangelands and irrigated pastures at UC Davis.  He
    is currently assisting several mountain rangeland
    watersheds with their ILRP planning.

               Dr. Tate is rancher friendly !!  
Taking his turn at the gate during a Forage Identification
training day for the Prop 50 Team.                        
Participants toured Sierra Valley ranches to learn first
hand about the water quality efforts of local landowners.