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bancroft ranchWhat do you do with piles of horse poop? What used to be a problem- accumulated manure from a horse boarding business in Carmel Valley in central California – has become a green side business. In 2008 the Bancroft Ranch, an equine boarding facility with 30 plus horses, installed a sophisticated manure composting system with grant funding through the Livestock and Land program The program is a collaboration of local Resource Conservation Districts (RCD’s) and Ecology Action, a non-profit based in Santa Cruz, CA. Additional assistance was provided through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Livestock and Land programs works with livestock owners and facility managers to solve soil and water quality concerns that can arise from livestock keeping. Bancroft Ranch is now a “Watershed Steward Demonstration Site” and share their success with other horse facility operators.

Horse manure is collected and composted in a state-of-the-art (yes, there is a state-of-the-art in composting) where the process is shortened using aerated bays, which not only eliminates the need for turning, but creates a more consistent end product than ordinary composting in a static pile. Owner/operator and chief pooper-scooper Susan Bancroft has been delighted in the results, both in the quality of the finished product, but also the very tangible side effects of a cleaner (less mud and muck), neater and nearly fly-free property.

The resultant high-quality compost is offered for sale either in recycled feed bags or in bulk and also supplies the local garden club. Susan is a periodic speaker at local garden club gatherings and has a devoted clientele that have bought out her supply the past 5 springs.

To learn more about how Livestock and Land can help your facility, visit

GrahamHill FuelLoadVegetation that was removed as part of a shaded fuel break project in 2017.The Resource Conservation District (RCD), working with Cal Fire and California State Parks, has scheduled Phase 3 of the Wildfire Fuel Load Reduction project along Graham Hill Road. On Monday, October 8, 2018, crews will begin the removal of invasive Acacia and French broom on approximately 1.4 acres of road front property between Rollingwoods Drive and Lockewood Lane. The work is part of a local ongoing effort to prevent wildfire and improve safety along the Graham Hill corridor. Designated as a high priority by Cal Fire, the project will help to ensure safe ingress and egress along this critical access route in the case of wildfire.

Phase 2 was completed last year when crews created a shaded fuel break involving the removal of low tree branches and dense vegetation. The selective clearing can also have a positive impact on sensitive species by improving critical habitat and reducing the risk of catastrophic fire.

The RCD and Cal Fire are working closely with the current contractor to ensure that best practices are employed to reduce the likelihood of Acacia regrowth. A plan is underway to address the resprouts that are appearing in some of the areas treated in 2016.

Funding for this project was awarded to the RCD through a grant from Cal Fire.

For more information contact Angie Gruys at the RCD at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR 831-464-2950 x22

The RCD works with local fire agencies, fire protection districts and fire safe councils to implement recommendations in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), print and provide a variety of brochures and resource materials and conduct a multitude of public outreach, workshops and educational efforts emphasizing fire safe awareness and prevention. For more information on how residents can prepare for wildfire visit:

Fire Safe Santa Cruz County

The RCD seeks a Program Specialist to join a dynamic team of conservation and agriculture professionals. The Program Specialist will work closely with partners to lead watershed coordination, development and implementation of stewardship in agriculture programs throughout Santa Cruz County and in the Pajaro Valley in particular. Example projects the Program Specialist will lead include coordination of the Community Water Dialogue (a landowner driven effort to reduce aquifer overdraft in the Pajaro Valley), projects to reduce sediment and pesticide loading from farms, and stormwater collection and infiltration projects. This work supports agriculture’s efforts to steward water supplies and protect water quality. The work environment is fast paced, collaborative, and creative.


Click here for a full job description.

Application deadline is April 27, 2018.

The Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (District) is a non-regulatory special district that helps people protect, conserve, and restore natural resources through technical assistance, information, and educational programs. The District works with a wide variety of partners, including farming and ranching operations, urban/rural landowners, local agencies and federal, state and local governments. District staff also works closely with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The Executive Director (ED) leads a hardworking, professional staff that works under conditions of considerable independence. The ED is involved in many aspects of program planning, management and implementation. As such, the position requires a broad-based knowledge of natural resources, strong fund development skills, self-direction, strategic thinking, collaborative leadership and problem-solving. The ED is expected to build effective relationships with a large and varied group of agricultural, regulatory, environmental, and research communities, as well as with the public at large.

The ED must possess a strong desire to work with a wide variety of partners and community stakeholders including environmental, agricultural, government, philanthropic individuals and groups.
The ED is an at-will employee who reports to a seven-member Board of Directors (Board) and is responsible for delivering services as outlined by the Board. The ED is the chief administrative officer of the District and is responsible for managing business operations and serves as the public face of the District.

The ED is expected to carry out their duties within a forty-hour week, but work hours are flexible. Attendance is required at occasional evening and weekend activities, and some activities may be out of the district. The ED is a three-quarters to full-time position based on a Monday through Friday daytime schedule. Some job related travel is required and will be billed on a cost reimbursable basis. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. 

pdfDowload the full postion description and requirements.

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