Supporting Ranchers
In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency, and in the spirit of doing our part to limit community spread of COVID-19, the RCD of Santa Cruz County is temporarily closing our physical office. This office closure will be in place until May 3rd, or until the County lifts the Shelter In Place Order. Staff remain committed to serving our community and will continue working remotely to the greatest extent possible. Please contact staff via email. For general inquiries, contact

Supporting Ranchers and Horse Owners

Horse and livestock properties range from large acreages with vast pasture land to small backyard operations. Whether you’re a first time horse owner, house chickens for egg production, or are seasoned cattle rancher, you probably face some challenges with managing manure, erosion, mud, and even flies. Properly managing livestock and horses is an important part of keeping our local waterways safe and clean or both wildlife and people. We often use the mantra “learning to keep clean water clean” when working livestock owners in improvements to their management systems. The following categories cover the most common assistance requests.

Grazing and Range Management: Proper management of grazing animals can have benefits to the community and the economy, and can even result in fire protection and weed management. However, poorly managed grazing can result in erosion, degradation, and defoliation of grazed lands, and can result in sediment and pollution to nearby creeks and waterways. The RCD has programs and services for financial or technical assistance with grazing and range management.

Mud and Manure Management: Muddy pastures and poorly managed manure can harm the heath of horses and livestock, create pasture erosion, and contribute to runoff of sediment and pollution to nearby creeks and waterways. The RCD has programs and services for horse and livestock owners needing financial or technical assistance with mud and manure management on their properties.

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Livestock and Land