What We Do

About half of the land area in Santa Cruz County is privately owned. The rest of the county’s lands are owned by the public, but are managed by agencies or organizations such as Counties and Cities, California’s State Parks or the Land Trust. The RCD offer natural resource conservation assistance to all property owners and land managers within its district.

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.

Farms produce not only foods, fiber, and fuels, but also can create widespread benefits to our environment and our economy. The Pajaro Valley supports a $500 million agricultural industry, making the per acre value of production in the Pajaro Valley one of the highest in California. The Pajaro Valley’s cool coastal climate and long growing season allows for multiple crop cycles and a highly productive industry. However, the Pajaro Valley suffers from persistent groundwater overdraft conditions and nutrient contamination of surface and groundwater supplies.

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