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Under Our Feet: The Fabric of Healthy Partnerships

Partners across California are collaborating to celebrate Healthy Soils Week 2019.

Healthy Soils Week-#1

NRCS is happy to partner with groups across California to recognize Healthy Soils Week 2019 to sustain this vital resource.




Under Our Feet: The Fabric of Healthy Partnerships

To Hannah Tangeman, it’s the beauty of her Lassen County sheep ranch that inspires and guides her as she continues to look for ways to tend to its ecological health. The ranch has been in her family since 1862 and has been managed and run by women of the family since 1914. She is one in a long line of Hannahs.

Pt. Blue Video-1The soil, she says, is the fabric of agriculture and it has to be vibrant and functioning or it becomes the weak link in your operation. With help from the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District Tangeman applied for and received a California Healthy Soils grant.

The Carbon Cycle Institute and Fibershed helped Tangeman understand and quantify the value of different conservation management practices so that the wool from her ranch can be certified as climate beneficial. 

In addition to compost application, Point Blue biologists are helping Tangeman establish a riparian buffer, and Point Blue and NRCS are collaborating on a conservation plan for meadow restoration on the ranch.  The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is one source Tangeman could tap into to fund the restoration, but these funds are limited.  “California’s Healthy Soil Program provides an alternate funding source for clients interested in conservation and helps our Farm Bill funds go further,” says Anne Stephens, District Conservationist with NRCS. 

Pt. Blue Video-2As Point Blue biologist Tiffany Russell points out, most of us focus on the things ABOVE the ground that we love—the birds, animals, and plants.  However, the well being of all Earth’s plants and creatures—including humans—rely upon all of us caring for the health of the soil.

NRCS conservation practices are the basis of most of the management practices used in California’s Healthy Soils projects. NRCS has been partnering with RCDs for over 70 years and has enjoyed a close relationship with Point Blue biologists for more than a decade. Groups like Carbon Cycle Institute  and Fibershed are welcome additions to the pool of conservationists sharing their knowledge and resources with landowners like Tangeman.

 Hopefully, working together, California conservationists will be able to work with many future Hannahs for generations to come.