regions & communities
xučyun, Verona Band, Alameda County
For over five hundred years, indigenous communities across the Americas have demonstrated immense resilience and resistance in the face of violent efforts to separate them from their land, culture, and each other. They remain at the forefront of movements to protect the earth and the life it sustains. GrizzlyCorps acknowledges that public recognition and collaboration are necessary steps towards honoring these regions - beginning with careful reflection of the type of service GrizzlyCorps hopes to encapsulate. As we work to bring awareness of and give a platform to other voices, we remember that tribal territories have long fought to have their voices not only heard, but included in the creation of this society.
GrizzlyCorps recognizes that the University of California, Berkeley sits on the territory of xučyun, the traditional ancestral homeland of the Chochenyo Speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. We celebrate the continued vitality of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and members of the flourishing community who persist today. Establishing new traditions with an obligation towards remembrance is critical to sharing these voices, histories, and legacies of all the places in which we serve. GrizzlyCorps moves forward in advocacy for the healing of these lands and waters, while demonstrating our commitment to creating a real relationship with the local Ohlone and Indigenous communities across the state.
The fellows of GrizzlyCorps live and work on the ancestral, contemporary, and unceded territory of Indigenous people across the state, encompassing what is now known as California. For our current members, these lands include those of the Graton Rancheria, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk, Mountain Maidu, Patwin, Chumash, Yana, Winnimem Wintu, Paskenta Band of Nomlaki, Tachi Yokuts, Nisenan, Yurok, Popeloutchom (Amah Mutsun), Awaswas, and Pomo peoples. We honor the land and those who have been the original stewards of these regions since time immemorial, and commit to forming deeper partnerships to address past and ongoing land-based injustices through our work.
We come together to acknowledge what our service means, to be humble and listen to the voices that speak, to hear the Ohlone and countless others on this land who speak. Imbuing this thinking in how we partner with different communities and organizations all over the state is critical in defining respectable allyship. This acknowledgement, brief and in no way complete, aims to celebrate the traditional stewardship practices on these lands from generations past. Nothing will remedy the historical traumas of these lived experiences, but it is with intent and meaning that we pay homage to a better future.
Upper Salinas Las-Tablas Resource Conservation District
San Luis Obispo, CA
Project Title: Healthy Soils Outreach and Assessment
The US-LT RCD has served northern San Luis Obispo County since 1951, supporting landowners in their management of soil, water and natural resources. They work with agriculturalists of all types to improve their soil health. The US-LT RCD has a one of a kind VermiCompost project at a local vineyard which includes frequent soil and greenhouse gas sampling. They also provide one-on-one technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are looking to implement soil health practices on their land such as no-till, cover cropping, and compost application. The US-LT RCD believes that agriculture is part of the solution to climate change and that increased soil health is a major component to sequestering carbon.
San Luis Obispo County lies on the Central Coast of California, right in the middle of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Because of slow-growth policies and large swaths of land in private ownership, we do not have the urban or suburban sprawl typical in much of California. Agriculture and tourism are two of the most important pieces of our economy. With excellent weather year round, and beautiful scenery, there is ample opportunities for outdoor exploration. Staff members are all outdoor enthusiasts and on the weekends most of us will be hiking, biking, surfing, rockclimbing, kayaking, or finding other ways to enjoy this very special place we live.
We are small but mighty, we maintain a very small staff but we work on a huge variety of resource conservation projects, both large and small. We all enjoy coming to work, because of the work we get to do and the people we get to work with. We all strive for the best outcomes possible at all times, but we do so in a casual atmosphere. Sometimes we do staff hikes instead of staff meetings. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important at the US-LT RCD.
Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Project Title: Regenerative Grazing Outreach
Sequoia Riverlands Trust is a land trust that owns and manages grazing land (Preserves) in Tulare County in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada and on the San Joaquin Valley floor. There are nine Preserves ranging in size from 1800 acres to 40 acres. Each of the Preserves has a single cattle lessee that have varying experience with planned grazing and the benefits of carbon sequestration in grasslands.The GrizzlyCorps member working with Sequoia Riverlands Trust will communicate with grazing lessees with the goal of education regarding carbon sequestration and planned grazing and how to best accomplish agreed upon goals. In addition to planned grazing education the GrizzlyCorps member will create grazing plans using Pasture Map and trial soil data maps that could improve carbon sequestration opportunities on some of the Preserves with diverse terrain. Severe drought has killed many tree species and restricted available surface water, yet grasslands persist in a mixture of non-native and native species. The challenge is to improve the thinking about grasslands and their ability to hold carbon and water in a region that produces most of California's nuts and fruits and would prefer more dams as a method of water storage. The GrizzlyCorps Member contribution will lead to greater acceptance of grazing practices that promote carbon sequestration in the Southern San Joaquin Valley that can be demonstrated on Preserves owned by Sequoia Riverlands Trust.
The Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) office is in Visalia: the “jewel of the San Joaquin valley”, located about 20 miles southwest of the Sierra Nevada foothills, where most of SRT’s nature preserves are found. Visalia lies within the Kaweah River watershed, and at approximately 140,000 residents is the largest city and official seat of Tulare county. A number of beaches along the stunningly beautiful central coast of California are less than a two-and-a-half hour drive away, and the tallest living trees in the world, the coast redwoods, only slightly farther in Big Sur and Santa Cruz.
Placer County Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Healthy Soils Program, Landowner Agriculture Assistance, and Carbon Farm Planning
The GrizzlyCorps member serving with Placer County Resource Conservation District will have the opportunity to work in several areas including, stormwater, forestry and agriculture, however, the focus will be on the Healthy Soils Program. The member will work with Placer RCD staff to outreach to landowners, stakeholders and partners to develop and increase capacity of the Placer RCD Healthy Soils Program. By applying NRCS standard practices this position will work with Landowners to create Carbon Farm Plans (CFP), which is a whole farm approach to optimizing carbon capture on working landscapes. The position works with a farmer or rancher to assess all the opportunities for GHG reduction and carbon sequestration on their property.
Placer RCD workplace culture is passionate, team-oriented, fast-paced and collaborative. As an RCD we work directly with the community and pride ourselves in getting work done “on the ground” by implementing environmental practices that have a positive impact for landowners, our community and local ecosystems. Placer RCD Staff are encouraged to think creatively and critically and to participate in ongoing professional development. The office atmosphere is one of support and open communication, where we value each other’s input and ideas. Our offices are in Auburn, California (Placer County). Placer County is a destination for visitors from around the world, but for its local residents, there is a personal sense of how fortunate we are to live, work and play in such a beautiful county. From the suburbs of Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin to the foothills of Auburn, our historic gold country, the opportunity to enjoy a variety of lifestyles is never-ending. The gem of our county is scenic North Lake Tahoe, known for its beauty, size and clarity, but we also have numerous small towns known for their unique and rich heritage that make up the landscape along Interstate 80, which is something we are also quite proud of in Placer.
Project Title: Evaluation of Soil Health Practices: Science and Practicality
Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve our toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners, and government to steward the natural resources we all depend on, because we know that common ground is our most valuable resource. Our most successful programs have been in the agricultural sector and we are exploring other areas of agriculture we may consider working with.There is great interest in building up soil health, both globally and within California specifically. The biggest focus has been on soil carbon sequestration; that focus leaves two major benefits as mere footnotes: improved water supply reliability and water quality. Additionally, building soil health is not a “cut and paste” approach – factors such as soils, climate, and cropping systems will influence approaches and outcomes. Given Sustainable Conservation's strong background with agriculture, we are evaluating whether and how we could integrate soil health practices into our core mission of improving water supply reliability and water quality. The project we would like to have a GrizzlyCorps Member undertake is a research project to develop answers to questions including:
What role could Sustainable Conservation play in improving understanding of the benefits of improved soil health on soil-water-plant relations like soil water retention and nutrient retention?
What combination of soil health practices work well together to improve benefits to water supply reliability and water quality? And how might this change with different soils, climates, and cropping systems?
What are the practical challenges to implementing these combinations of soil health practices? In particular, we are interested in the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast regions.
Could dairy manure be safely, economically, and agronomically integrated into these soil health practices? If so, how?
Sustainable Conservation works with California's agricultural sector to help continue and grow the legacy of stewardship of people and lands. Our culture supports a commitment to collaboration, encourages continuous learning, and welcomes diverse perspectives. The team has a variety of professional backgrounds, from government and policy to private business to research science. The GrizzlyCorps Member will be working under the mentorship of staff who have many years of experience in the conservation and sustainability space and with varied expertise, including agronomy, soil science, on-farm practices, and conservation incentives. Working here will help the GrizzlyCorps member develop a better understanding of the sustainability sector and the operations of a non-profit organization.
University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
Project Title: Supporting small-scale diversified farms through training in soil health practices and community engagement
The UCCE Small Farms and Specialty Crops advisor and program staff assist small-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers to thrive economically through extension support, training, research on specialty crops, and policy communication. Our work supports farmers of a diversity of cultures who operate a wide variety of farming operations, often with limited resources. These include the large population of Hmong, Lao, Mien, and other Southeast Asian refugee farmers in Fresno County, with the specialty Asian vegetable industry valued at about $17.5 million annually. Recently, a group of Hmong farmers have received funding through the Healthy Soils Program to implement practices such as compost application, cover crops, and windbreaks on their already diversified farms.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will assist small-scale, socially disadvantaged, and highly diversified farms to integrate practices that improve soil health with current management practices. The Member will work directly with farmers to identify and implement soil health and conservation practices that address production issues on their farm such as nutrient management, insect pest management, and weed management. The position will include assisting with small group trainings on topics related to soil health practices such as nonchemical weed management, beneficial insects for pest control, and use of equipment for compost application and cover crop seeding. A focus of this position will be expanding support for implementation of soil health practices to the African-American Farmers of California on their demonstration farm in Fresno and assisting with related educational activities for youth development programs connected with demonstration farm. Other duties can include assisting with our project’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and its economic effects on small-scale farms in the San Joaquin Valley, including access to PPE and support with crop buyback programs and accessing new markets, participating in ongoing research projects on specialty crop production, and assisting with efforts to inform policies affecting the farmers we support.
Fresno offers many of the benefits of a large city, within one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions and within driving distance of some of California’s most well-known national parks. The local food scene includes restaurants providing a large diversity of cuisines, several farmers markets, and farm stands selling fresh produce, as well as an emerging craft beer scene with local breweries. While the San Joaquin Valley is known for larger-scale agriculture, 78% of the 6,081 farms in the county were small farms in the 2012 USDA agricultural census. Many of these farms are operated by farmers of color and are highly diversified both in their crops and marketing strategies, selling to farmers markets and niche markets as well as to wholesale produce buyers.The Member will have multiple opportunities to gain professional experience through ongoing projects in field research, conservation incentives programs, policy analysis and communication, and marketing and small business development.
Project Title: Sustainable Rangeland and Open Space Management
The McConnell Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Redding, California. The Foundation serves communities in far northern California including, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity and Modoc counties and international programs in Nepal and Laos. It is a broad-based funder, giving in the area of arts & culture, the environment, education community vitality, health care, livable communities, recreation and social services. The Foundation has supported these programs for over 30 years, but in the last several years has increasingly focused on climate adaptation, disaster recovery and development of programs centered on community and ecosystem sustainability.
GrizzlyCorps Members will be assigned to work in the Foundation's land management department working on climate smart agriculture and regenerative ecosystem projects. The projects focus on soil health in rangeland and agricultural systems, fire management at a regional level - forest health and hazardous fuel reduction, reforestation – and scientific monitoring, educational outreach and planning with Foundation staff and partner organizations. The work will address sustainable food production, carbon sequestration - soil health and reforestation, wildfire mitigation – prescribed fire, managed grazing, hazard fuel reduction, creation of community defensible space, ecosystem services – water use, filtration and infiltration, habitat restoration, community vitality – open space management, recreation, community outreach and education, local organizational capacity building – inform regional planning and management strategies.
Through project implementation and partner collaboration the Members will seek to produce beneficial outcomes in the areas of sustainable food production, climate adaptation and climate mitigation. With scientific monitoring, data collection and community outreach the Members will share and inform the community on project benefits, successful management strategies and value added collaboration with local agencies and organizations to increase operational capacity to advance regional efforts.
The McConnell Foundation has a business campus, open space properties and agricultural land in and around the city limits of Redding, California. The Members will split their time between the Foundation’s business campus and the Foundation’s working-lands and open-space properties where they will implement projects. GrizzlyCorps members will gain practical knowledge of working lands management in relation to regenerative agriculture and climate-smart adaptation strategies. Members will gain skills to implement, assess, and promote those strategies within rural communities. In addition to the Foundation’s Land Stewardship Coordinator and staff, members will actively participate with a diverse group of stakeholders, including resource professionals, working lands producers, and agency personnel to implement projects that promote soil health in rangeland and agricultural systems and fire management at a regional level. Members will be involved with assessment and monitoring of these conservation projects, including identifying metrics to quantify soil health benefits, and ecological and economical co-benefits.
The Resource Conservation District of Tehama County
Project Title: Agricultural, Environmental and Wildfire Readiness Assistance
The Resource Conservation District of Tehama County (RCDTC) is a special district assisting Tehama County citizens to manage, conserve, improve and enjoy the natural resources of the county. The RCDTC also partners with other organizations and RCDs throughout the northstate to provide services to the larger region. The RCDTC works on a broad array of projects that range from community wildfire protection and forest health, to enhancing fish passage in local rivers and streams, to mitigation plantings, to assisting farmers and ranchers with irrigation efficiency and soil health, along with a variety of natural resource education programs.
The member will have the opportunity to work alongside RCDTC staff both with office tasks and field work. The tasks may include assisting with:
Planting habitat for a fish passage project on the Sacramento River
Creating defensible space around homes for elderly and disabled residents
Operating the Mobile Irrigation Lab that tests the efficiency of irrigation systems
Providing technical assistance to farmers and ranchers for applications to CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program
Creating Carbon Farm Plans for interested farmers and ranchers
Increasing habitat for endangered species, assisting with wildfire readiness and water conservation projects all address symptoms of climate change. Improving soil health through climate smart best management practices and sequestering carbon as identified in carbon farm plans can improve crop production, increase soil’s water holding capacity and remove carbon from the atmosphere with the ultimate goal of mitigating the cause of climate change.
Staff is made up of a diverse background of study that provides depth to the team and breadth to the scope and scale of what we are able to offer our community.
The RCDTC’s foundation is providing a suite of service to include site monitoring and restoration, conservation plan development, irrigation system and soil health evaluation, and educational outreach. Staff has extensive experience providing technical assistance to landowners, land managers, and tenants to implement various natural resource conservation practices and will share their knowledge gained from over 30 years of collective experience with the Member.
Partnerships are the keystone to the RCDTC’s project success and staff recognize the value in establishing and maintaining working relationships with other entities to coordinate collaborative multi-disciplinary projects. The Member will benefit from exposure to these partnerships with private landowners, NGOs and federal and state resource agencies.
East Merced Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Conservation Outreach & Planning for Drought Resiliency
Merced County has been ground zero for climate adaptation that in 2016 brought The Nature Conservancy here to assess over a two year period the climate and multiple benefits which may be achieved through land use, management and conservation activities.
East Merced RCD has supported education at all levels; including but not limited to teacher workshops, classroom demonstrations and presentations to landowners of importance of resiliency in air, land and water issues. The GrizzlyCorps member will assist with conservation planning and implementation of USDA NRCS programs, Carbon Farm Plans, and restoration projects that can help with carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases. The position will also have some time dedicated to education and outreach as well as connecting with local colleges and universities on research projects and field trials.
Regenerative agriculture is a strategy for drought resiliency which the San Joaquin Valley is facing in weather patterns and regulatory efforts such as SGMA. The GrizzlyCorps Member will be directly tied to climate adaptation and capacity building at the RCD to offer programs that assist landowners and the community to understand best management practices.
Merced is located in the heart of California and is known as the gateway to Yosemite. As one of the top 5 agriculture counties in the United States, there is a variety of agricultural systems to learn from and have impact on. There is opportunity to see even more research and field trials implemented in the San Joaquin Valley with our newest University of California campus. As part of a small organization, the member will have a significant role in developing and implementing programs. The value of professional development gained from working on a project or program from the ground up is irreplaceable and cannot be found in larger organizations that tend to be departmental approach. The full spectrum of experiences will include program guidelines and development, outreach and education, and implementation.
Sonoma Resource Conservation District
Santa Rosa, CA
Project Title: Building Local Capacity to Combat Climate Change through Management of Agriculture and Forest Lands
The Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) is a local government agency dedicated to addressing Sonoma County's most pressing natural resource issues by empowering landowners to be part of the solutions. In existence since 1946, we have built a strong reputation among landowners and partner organizations, which enable us to build bridges among disparate interests and make good work happen on the ground. Our county has been hit hard by the impacts of climate change, in the form or wildfires, floods, and drought. Forest and agricultural landowners have the opportunity to work on the cutting edge of these issues to increase the resilience of their own land and the community around them. The GrizzlyCorps Member will help build the RCD’s capacity to meet these community needs in several key ways:
Tracking science and policy around agricultural carbon sequestration and formulating recommendations for how this information can inform the RCD’s programming
Conducting landowner outreach to learn more about climate impacts and resilience needs of forest and ag landowners, in order to inform RCD programming
Interfacing with community groups and tracking grassroots climate resilience efforts (e.g. Community Wildfire Protection Plans) in order to inform the RCD’s priorities for larger-scale programming
Supporting RCD staff on the development of Forest Management Plans and Carbon Farm Plans, including field work, research, mapping, and carbon sequestration calculations;
Supporting the RCD’s sustainable agriculture youth education programs and working with staff to explore potential programming in forestry education.
The RCD’s office is located in Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County. While Sonoma County is a relatively rural county, the Santa Rosa metropolitan area is the largest on California’s North Coast. Our county is home to a wealth of hiking trails, a variety of ocean beaches, and the Russian River which has been a popular recreational destination for locals and tourists for over 100 years. Serving with the RCD presents an excellent professional development opportunity in that the Member will work closely with and learn from a multidisciplinary team which includes two Professional Engineers, a Registered Professional Forester, a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, and other professional staff with a diversity of natural resources experience. A hallmark of our organization’s success is our trusting relationship with rural and agricultural landowners. The Member will have the opportunity to grow professionally by interacting with landowners that have a breadth of land management experiences. We work with land uses such as forest, vineyard, and dairy; with landowners who have owned and farmed their properties for generations, and with others who are new to farming; with those whose views on conversation and management are more traditional, and those who are seeking to try new and innovative practices.
Blodgett Forest Research Station
Project Title: Research to Extension Continuum: Building Forest Resilience on Private Lands
Berkeley Forests is the forestry and wildland fire research center at the University of California Berkeley. Berkeley Forests features a network of statewide research forests, which act as living laboratories for educational visitors, hosts for innovative forest research, and training centers for future land stewards to sustain resilient forests in a changing climate. A mix of long-term research installations, short-term field experiments, and natural controls provides a breadth of examples to best understand how forest management can evolve over the coming century.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is a University of California research and extension network dedicated to developing and delivering research-based information on agriculture and natural resources. Local Cooperative Extension Advisors deliver unbiased research-based information to support healthy families and local communities throughout California.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will assist with:
(1) Applied forest research in the areas of natural fire reintroduction, silviculture improvement for forest resilience, and adaptive management for climate change,
(2) Development of educational materials and assist with landowner workshop trainings, and
(3) Collaborations with regional UC academics to improve local access to natural resource education.
California faces a burning issue with the increasing pace and scale of severe wildfires. Current wildfire extremes follow the well-documented drought across the central and southern portions of the state with correlated tree mortality across the central and southern Sierra Nevada mountain range. With nearly 8 million acres of forestland owned by small landowners (<50 acres) in California, it is essential that best management practices are utilized by all Californians to protect forest lands in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner. Development of novel research and delivery of research findings to local communities will facilitate management planning, permitting, and cost share opportunities for forest restoration, fuels reduction, and habitat enhancement plans.
This community partnership is designed to offer the GrizzlyCorps member an opportunity to experience a variety of forest communities and their approach to management of forest systems. The (1) primary host location will be the iconic UC Blodgett Forest Research Station near the town of Georgetown, California. This station is located in a unique forested setting that offers hands on experience living and working with forest professionals and academics. The station is an applied research forest where the member will experience the evolution of forest practice from new innovation to practical implementation. In addition, the member will have opportunities to (2) partner with UC ANR outreach and extension experts to experience the multiple perspectives of forest management in various northern California counties. The UC ANR network works to connect the latest science and policy to land managers, private land owners, local governments, and NGOs with a network of advisors embedded in counties as trusted experts. Each advisor works to solve locally relevant issues to support the overall mission of enhancing the sustainability of our forest ecosystems.
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
Project Title: Climate Smart Farming Outreach and Assessment
CAFF has been working for over 40 years to build sustainable food and farming systems that benefits family farmers, communities and ecosystems. We have programs in a number of areas including Food Safety, Farm to Market, Farm to School, Policy advocacy and Climate Smart Farming. The Climate Smart Farming program (CSF) is one of CAFF's core on-the-ground programs. Within CSF we work with farmers, researchers, and local extension professionals to investigate and promote farming practices that have the capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change, conserve natural resources like topsoil and water and improve on-farm productivity and resilience in the long-term.
The GrizzlyCorps member will be joining the CSF team to work on projects included but not limited to Biointensive no-till production systems, cover cropping in perennial crops and integrated crop livestock systems. Each of these projects brings together on-farm research with the grower's experience to better understand both the science behind climate smart farming and the benefits and tradeoffs that affect successful adoption in the long-term. Throughout each project we conduct outreach and engagement with the broader agricultural community to facilitate farmer-to-farmer conversations around these practices, both through in-person field days and the development of educational resources. Depending on the project, the member may be involved in field work such as soil sampling (training will be provided), data organization and assessment, project documentation and the development of educational resources for farmers based on our project findings and peer-reviewed research. This work will address the dynamic environmental challenges of climate change (extreme heat, drought and flooding), loss of biodiversity and natural resource depletion.
The purpose of the Climate Smart Farming program is to address these challenges through the lens of climate smart/ regenerative agriculture by working directly with farmers to investigate and increase the implementation of these farming practices. We believe this purpose strongly aligns with that of GrizzlyCorps and that the member working on the Climate Smart Farming program at CAFF will promote the purpose and goal of GrizzlyCorps through engaging with the agricultural community to collaboratively respond to climate change while gaining important experience, training and education.
Sierra Institute for Community and Environment
Project Title: Engaging Communities in Collaborative Forest and Watershed Management
The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment promotes healthy and sustainable forests and watersheds by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource management. For over 25 years, Sierra Institute has applied lessons from research to inform capacity building approaches for rural communities. Our work continues to inform state and national policy decisions, as well as guide the advancement of novel solutions with local communities and natural resource managers.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will work with staff, local teachers, and natural resource professionals to develop integrative natural resource educational programming linked to community well-being; assist with the development of education modules focused on classroom and field-based learning of natural resource management; assist with day and overnight field trips collecting ecological data with high school students; assist with classroom and field-based learning activities; support high school interns in the school production garden and with restoration of native plant propagation projects; support other field work as needed. In addition to natural resource education programming, the member will work with Sierra Institute’s Watershed Coordinator, USFS staff, NGO partners, and other stakeholders within the South Lassen Watersheds Group to develop citizen science projects as part of a multi-party monitoring program.
The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment is working in partnership with the Lassen National Forest and a diverse group of stakeholders, including industry, environmental non-profits, and tribes, to accelerate restoration across the 800,000-acre focal landscape of the South Lassen Watersheds Group, a collaborative planning for the future of forest management, climate resilience, and economic development in critical upper watersheds. The member’s service will improve the capacity of students and residents alike to monitor the climate benefits of forest restoration (e.g., carbon sequestration and wildfire emission avoidance/reduction), ultimately enhancing the resilience of local communities.
Taylorsville is surrounded by many outdoor recreation opportunities such as Lake Almanor, Plumas and Lassen National Forests, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. These adjacent public lands feature untouched backcountry routes in winter, and endless, empty dirt roads to explore in summer. Adventures that lie just out the back door of the office.
Sierra Institute strives to cultivate innovative projects through a collaborative-minded office culture—staff often work on interdisciplinary projects both internally and with external partners. Sierra Institute staff must be adaptable, finding their roles must expand to fit the needs of specific projects and partnerships. The diversity of our work provides opportunity to think critically about how communities engage with natural resource management, from workshops to assess community capacity to field trips with high school students to marking timber.
Mendocino County Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Forest Ecosystem Management Education and Planning
The Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) is a non-regulatory, public agency providing conservation leadership through technical, financial, and educational support for voluntary stewardship of natural resources on public and private lands in our community. We work with communities to conserve, protect, and restore natural resources in a landscape that supports agriculture, timberland, wild lands, and urban areas. We provide technical assistance, educational programs, monitoring and assessment services to landowners to help meet local and regional conservation goals.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will work on multiple natural resources concerns within forested landscapes, including vegetation management to enhance forest health and resiliency, water quality and instream flows improvement, and fire adapted communities facilitation. Work will include assisting in the coordination of forest health workshops, creating and gathering forest management and fire resiliency educational material, creating outreach material (such as fact-sheets comparing management practices and cost-share programs), assisting in forest inventory data collection and analysis for fuel reduction treatments and forest management plans, and helping coordinate landowner site visits to provide on-the-ground technical assistance.
People living in remote areas with swaths of dense forests between homes increases the population's vulnerability to wildfire, drought, and pests, making it a unique challenge to ensure the county's forestlands are safe for people, wildlife, and the rest of the environment. The GrizzlyCorps Member will support MCRCD's challenging and rewarding efforts to actively manage for multiple benefits with a diverse population of landowners and residents.
This is a unique professional development opportunity for someone interested in a career with conservation organizations, non-profits, or small local governmental agencies. MCRCD's culture is very much of a collaborative spirit and our partnerships with landowners, industry, state, local, and federal government agencies, and other conservation organizations strengthen our projects and increase staff knowledge. One of the highlights of working for MCRCD is the development of lasting relationships with partners and who are often seen off the clock at community events. MCRCD's work naturally integrates staff into the community as leaders and friends
The office is located in Ukiah, the county seat and largest city in Mendocino County. With its accessible location along Hwy 101, Ukiah is located just 2.5 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Mendocino County is known for its towering redwood and Douglas-fir forests, expansive oak woodlands, the county boast 10 river systems, unique and beautiful coastline, inland valley wine production, ubiquitous cannabis cultivation, and historical back-to-the-land settlers. The Ukiah community offers a small town feel with the benefit of many of the amenities found in larger cities.
Marin Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Messaging Regenerative Agriculture
The mission of the Marin Resource Conservation District (Marin RCD) is to conserve and enhance Marin County’s soil, water, air, vegetation and wildlife. The Marin RCD is a founding member of the Marin Carbon Project and offers carbon farming programs to facilitate implementation of carbon sequestration projects in Marin County. We partake in innovative projects that explore alternative land stewardship practices relying on local history to guide our decisions about the future. Our GrizzlyCorps member will join Marin RCD staff and participate in an elaborate partnership network, consisting of colleagues from Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Point Blue Conservation Science: Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Point Reyes National Seashore working on the greater issues of climate change, resiliency and mitigation on our agricultural landscapes. Specifically, our GrizzlyCorps member will connect with our partners through farm visits and meetings and develop a messaging platform for the Marin RCD. The Marin RCD’s GrizzlyCorps member will meet the GrizzlyCorps goals and address issues of climate change, resiliency and mitigation opportunities by: 1) educating the general public about the role agriculture can play in addressing climate change and 2) outreaching to farmers and ranchers about the soil health, resiliency and mitigation opportunities available to them as land stewards.
The Marin RCD’s office is located in Point Reyes Station which is adjacent to the Point Reyes National Seashore, about one hour northwest of San Francisco. The Marin RCD is run by a Board of Directors who are agricultural producers and staffed with 5 people: Agroecologist, Conservation Program Manager, Urban Streams Manager, Bookkeeper and Executive Director. Our organization is currently developing its carbon farming program but needs help with messaging to all generations of Marin’s farmers and ranchers, the general public, organizations and agencies. We value teamwork and work well with our local, state and federal partners to apply restorative and regenerative practices on farms and ranches. It is through this teamwork that the Marin Carbon Project was initiated and remains viable today. The Marin Carbon Project is a consortium of organizations that seeks to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural and forest soils through research, demonstration and implementation in Marin County. This position will be an exciting opportunity to work with core partners who developed this nationally–recognized program.
UC Hopland Research and Extension Center
Project Title: Climate Change Project and Education Coordination, Climate Resilient Rangeland Planning, Prescribed Fire Coordination
The UC Hopland Research & Extension Center is a multi-disciplinary research and education facility in Mendocino County located roughly 2 hours north of UC Berkeley. We are stewards of more than 5,300 acres of oak woodland, grassland, chaparral, and riparian environments.
Our mission is to maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity through applied research, adaptive management, and educational activities, while also supporting working landscapes, with diverse agricultural products and recognized ecosystem services derived from these landscapes. We conduct research projects and educational programs in wildlife ecology and management, animal science, entomology, plant ecology, public health, watershed management, and soil ecology.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will work on various climate change and regenerative agriculture projects including; developing and coordinating educational workshops on climate change effects and adaptation, from daylong workshops to multi-day events; assisting with development of land management plans including grazing strategies, fencing realignments, field camp development; coordinating prescribed burn activities; assisting with various outreach projects to extend UC knowledge and programs into local communities; assisting with citizen science projects.The work will address various environmental challenges including; how north coast communities adapt to climate change effects; how to effectively use prescribed fire to meet multiple land management and ecosystem service goals; how to integrate grazing multiple species into effective regenerative agricultural land management systems.
The Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) is known throughout UC ANR as one of the most beautiful locations within our statewide REC system. The site is over 5300 acres from 600-3000 feet in elevation and with a very diverse mixture of oak woodlands, rangelands, riparian areas, and chaparral. The core of HREC is our headquarters area nestled in a small valley surrounded by oaks and madrones. We have a conference center, dormitory, 7 houses, an office building with lab, sheep barn, warehouses, outbuildings and a full set of workshops (wood, metal, mechanics) to support our working ranch. We have a sheep flock of about 200 animals, 40 miles of dirt roads to access the site, and a diverse fleet of vehicles and equipment of all kinds to serve our needs. Our staff of 8 are highly skilled individuals in their respective areas including research, administration, business, livestock, community education, facilities, equipment, agriculture. Alongside our HREC staff we also house staff for two statewide programs, IGIS and California Naturalist, which add to the richness of our offerings and skill sets from which the Member can learn diverse skills.
Trinity County Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Weaverville Community Forest Planning and Inventory
The Trinity County Resource Conservation District (the District) is a steward of the Weaverville Community Forest (WCF) located in Trinity County, CA. This stewardship is a collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, and the District to manage the forests around Weaverville to benefit the local economy, maintain the viewshed, and create a resilient forest with the input of the local community. The WCF is home to many recreational trails, timber lands, historic resources, and wildlife habitat. This opportunity has the flexibility to adapt to meet the interests of the GrizzlyCorps Member and provide a place for that member to start projects or monitoring protocols that will continue after their service is complete creating a long lasting effect for the WCF. As the climate is changing and impacting wildfire severity this position will provide opportunities to participate in or develop projects related to wildfire management.
The Trinity County Resource Conservation District (the District) is a special district of Trinity County with its headquarters nestled in Weaverville, California at the foothills of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Weaverville, the County seat of Trinity County, is approximately sixty minutes from Redding in Shasta County and two hours from Arcata along HWY 299. Trinity County has a population of approximately 13,600 people and over 76% of the land in Trinity County is managed by the federal government. The mission of the District is to assist in protecting, managing, conserving, and restoring the natural resources of Trinity County through information, education, technical assistance, and project implementation programs. The District has a very open community with 12 full time employees and 14 seasonal employees. The District is divided into six main project areas; education and outreach, revegetation, road improvement, geographic information systems, forest health/fuel reduction, and watershed management. Each program coordinator works in tandem with one another to accomplish objectives on our multidisciplinary projects, each program area playing to their strengths to provide quality service to members of the public and our funding sponsors.
The District has a vibrant and diverse community which benefits from supporting diverse ideas and approaches in the workplace. The District supports initiatives and new ventures which benefit the local community. A GrizzlyCorps member that would be selected for this location would have the opportunity to work with each project area to incorporate what each discipline has to offer to benefit the Weaverville Community Forest. This opportunity will provide opportunities for networking with BLM and USFS land management officials, one-on-one partnerships with local registered professional foresters, and local non-profits. A GrizzlyCorps member will walk away with the completion of an essential planning document, experience in developing and planning projects in a collaborative environmental, complete forest health inventories, and much more.
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Sacramento Valley, CA
Project Title: Carbon Farm Outreach Coordinator
The Yolo County Resource Conservation District (YCRCD) is a special district recognized under state law and serves over 650,000 acres, including diverse agricultural operations, rangeland, public open space, and developed areas and municipalities. The YCRCD has accomplished a number of successes in improving water quality, addressing water conservation issues in urban and rural areas, preserving and restoring habitat, and developing new ways of achieving conservation goals. The mission of YCRCD is to protect, improve, and sustain the natural resources of Yolo County. The YCRCD uses a model of cooperation and voluntary action instead of regulation to solve complex local, regional, and statewide issues.
The GrizzlyCorps Member will work with RCD staff to improve our outreach into the community. This work will be diverse and includes tasks such as writing press releases for local newspapers, improving communication of conservation workshops and events, populating our new website with locally relevant information on climate-beneficial conservation, mentoring for high school students learning about on-farm climate beneficial practices such as planting native hedgerows and riparian buffers that sequester carbon, working with our County government to incorporate reporting of climate-beneficial agricultural practices into meeting their Climate Action Plan goals, coordinating with the Sacramento Valley Carbon Farm Hub, assessing our outreach strategy to better meet the needs of our diverse community, and assisting staff with public education workshops covering a variety of conservation issues including wildfire management. The Carbon Farm Outreach Coordinator will be addressing GHG reduction through promoting and implementing on-farm practices that sequester carbon. This work will increase resilience for California agricultural landscapes on irrigated and non-irrigated crop lands as well as private rangeland and public open space.
We are looking for an AmeriCorps Member to join our incredible team here at the Yolo County RCD. We have a staff of 10 and a dynamic and collaborative work environment. Specific projects we are currently working on include planning and implementing habitat enhancements and conservation practices on the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, municipal open spaces, farm and ranchland, and involvement in restoration implementation and establishment activities on several ongoing projects on public and private land that include native pollinator hedgerows, riparian restoration, stormwater drainage structures and agricultural field borders. We embrace a problem‐solving approach to resource management and enjoy working with partners and clients with different perspectives, priorities and temperaments. Field and office work is split about 50/50. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of agricultural practices and some background and interest in habitat restoration.
El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District
Project Title: Forest Resilience Assessment and Outreach
The SOFAR All Lands Cohesive Strategy is a landscape level restoration strategy in the South Fork American River watershed. This 410,000-acre landscape is a model for assessing and resolving resource conflicts operating in California’s forests today. Fire exclusion and past management decisions have resulted in complex fire issues that are exacerbated by drought, climate change, and many other factors. Values at risk within the watershed include communities, popular recreation sites, private timber, sensitive species and habitat, old growth forest remnants, managed forestlands, water delivery systems, hydroelectric power generation facilities, the Highway 50 transportation corridor (Gateway to South Lake Tahoe), and cultural sites.
Our dedicated and diverse group of stakeholders, including federal, state, local agencies, and non-government organizations, and individuals, have been working together to create a fire-resilient ecosystem that protects and conserves high value resources. We take an all lands approach, and the primary goals of the collaborative are: 1) Restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes; 2) Creating fire-adapted communities; and 3) Responding to wildfires.
We seek a GrizzlyCorps Member to become part of the SOFAR team to improve our ability to work strategically among our organizations, to increase our capacity to engage community members through outreach and communication actions, and to increase our capacity to implement projects. Tasks the Member would undertake include: 1) tracking project accomplishments of the various organizations and assisting in a gap analysis to identify future locations for high priority action and investment; 2) making presentations and developing communication materials that tell the SOFAR story and motivate various groups and individuals to both support and implement the defensible actions needed to increase community resilience; 3) monitoring the implementation of projects in the field to ensure that project design criteria are met; and 4) organizing volunteers to complete restoration treatments.
The El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts’ (RCD’s) office is located in Placerville, California. RCD is a grassroots, non-regulatory government organization that works to meet individual and community goals for the natural resources in their community through voluntary approaches. The mission statement of the RCD is "To promote the responsible stewardship of our natural resources within our boundaries." The RCDs objectives are in four areas of strategic focus: 1) Organization – Develop the capacity to plan and deliver conservation programs; 2) Fire – Significantly reduce the risk to life, property and watershed health; 3) Watershed – Coordinate and facilitate the development of a watershed scale resource management program; 4) Education – Help to fill the training and resource management information needs of homeowners, landowners, and resource users.The RCD office supports a diverse team of resource professionals serving the communities of El Dorado County.
Placerville is an hour by car travel east of Sacramento, and situated among pine and oak woodlands at about 1,800 feet elevation. About 11,000 people live in this city and the historic main street is a focal point for community events throughout the year. The Coloma area, about 7 miles north, is well known for whitewater boating, and the Eldorado National Forest about 15 miles to the east offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities, including hiking, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, mountain biking, and boating. The Placerville area has a rich history. Nearly at the site of the discovery of gold in 1849 (the actual site is in Coloma), the area has shifted overtime from a principally natural resource and agricultural economy to one that includes a strong recreation-based service industry.
Project Title: GrizzlyCorps Improvement and Expansion
This is the first year of GrizzlyCorps, so we have a lot to learn and, likely, some improvements to make. We want to know what projects are working well, how farm and forest landowners are responding to GrizzlyCorps, which projects and actions are particularly effective and which are not. We want to track whether and how GrizzlyCorps is making a difference in communities and get a better sense of what the communities think is valuable. We also want to determine how we might expand the program, add additional partners, improve recruiting, and have greater impact. While the project is based in Berkeley, it will likely include site visits to different parts of the state, interviews, and research, particularly focused on regenerative agriculture activities and forest resilience.
GrizzlyCorps is housed at UC Berkeley’s Law School, as part of the Center for Law, Energy, & Environment’s Project Climate. The Center works with government, business, and the nonprofit sector to help solve urgent problems that require innovative and often interdisciplinary approaches. Project Climate is focused on moving promising climate solutions more quickly to policy and scale. GrizzlyCorps focuses on natural lands, regenerative agriculture, and forest resilience as solutions that can be rapidly scaled. UC Berkeley is one of the country’s premier universities, located in the San Francisco Bay Area.