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Pat Molnar, Molnar Construction, demonstrates keyline plowing.

Two Workshops Focus on Water and Soil Improvement

With funding from the Resources Legacy Fund, this spring Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) staff hosted a workshop demonstration highlighting Best Management Practices that focused on improving on-farm water quality and soil health. The April 30 workshop, hosted at the Cal Poly Beef Center, provided landowners with practical and relevant information and examples of practices, including soil health enhancements from cropland, rangeland management, roads and fencing mainenance, and riparian zone improvements. Local representatives from the NRCS and USFWS also participated, sharing funding programs and opportunities.

This project is a collaborative effort between the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (Estuary Program) and the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) and is funded by Resource Legacy Fund Grant. The grant is made through the Land-Sea Connection program of Resource Legacy Fund, made possible by the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment.

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A rangeland rangeland demonstration, held June 14 at Cerro Alto Ranch, exhibited the benefits of using a keyline plow, or Yeomans Plow. CSLRCD staff, joined by Cal Poly BRAE Professor GW Bates, Noah Small of Pacific Organics, Jeff and Joan Buckingham, and local ranchers and land managers discussed the soil health benefits, impacts and implications of keyline plowing. Pat Molnar of Molnar Construction demonstrated how the plow works on local serpentine soils.


What is Keyline Plowing?
Keyline Plowing increases soil water-holding capacity while minimizing disturbance to forage and root structure. The plow is fitted with specialized shanks that lift and loosen soil, rather than ripping,
leaving soil structure intact. The lifted soils can hold moisture longer, and the aeration increases forage productions and root development, resulting in increased soil health.

 

Dunes Protected Areas (DPA) Habitat Restoration Underway

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The Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) was awarded funding from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Resoration Funds to perform habitat restoration in two Dunes Protected Areas (DPAs), the Big Coreopsis Hill DPA and the Nipomo Lupine DPA.

At the Coreopsis Hill DPA, the CSLRCD will control the perennial veldtgrass and ice plant (both invasive species) as well as address data gaps within the DPA.

At the Nipomo Lupine DPA, the CSLRCD will control perennial veldtgrass (an invasive species) as well as protect and enhance the naturally occurring populations of the federally endangered Nipomo Lupine.

To control the veldtgrass and ice plant invasive species, the CSLRCD hired English Air to apply an herbicide over the DPAs by helicopter, given that in certain areas the invasive species are very dense. A month after the last aerial application, a ground crew came in with hand-held sprayers to do follow-up control.

This project is scheduled to take three years to complete, with State Parks providing support and post-treatment up to five years. 

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English Air helicopter sprays invasive veldtgrass (top) and refuels (above).

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Projects Manager Lindsay Ringer and Restoration Specialist Mark Skinner view the Nipomo Lupine Dune Protected Area after a veldtgrass eradication application.  

 

 Windset Project

Photo at left: Restoration Specialist Seamus Land surveys the Oso Flaco Creek channel cross section for the RCD stream gauging project. Photo at right: Restoration Specialist Grant Johnson (left) and District Engineer Joe Murphy survey the Oso Flaco Creek monitoring site to update the channel cross section for the same project.

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Board of Directors Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting
Noon, August 23, at UCCE Auditorium, San Luis Obispo