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The Resource Conservation District (RCD) is now accepting applications from residents in the Santa Cruz Mountains in need of technical and/or financial assistance to address erosion and drainage issues on private properties and roads. With a focus on reducing sediment runoff to local waterways the RCD is providing one-on-one support to road associations, County Service Areas (CSA), and individual homeowners to identify erosion and drainage problems, recommend solutions, develop plans, secure permits if needed, and provide cost-share for the construction of improvements.

chipping FAll 2021The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County is offering neighborhoods, with eight or more participating households, a reimbursements of chipping costs related to the creation of defensible space for wildfire preparedness. The program is available to Santa Cruz County residents who live in areas, defined as the Wildland Urban Interface, that have the potential for wildfire to impact their properties. All chipping must be completed by October 31, 2021 and a neighborhood representative should sign up to reserve funds at chipping.rcdsantacruz.org. The program is first-come-first-served.

Background: The Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County is an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2016. Our mission is to educate and mobilize the people of Santa Cruz County to protect their homes, community, and the environment at risk from catastrophic fire. Two-thirds of Santa Cruz County is considered Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), putting a large percentage of our population, housing, economy, wildlife, and environment at risk.

The FSCSCC seeks an Administrative Coordinator to support and enhance the efforts of our volunteer board of directors to help the public learn to live with fire in Santa Cruz County. This is a limited term contract initiated and funded by the County Board of Supervisors through June 30, 2022, with the possibility of renewal in future years.

By: National Association of Conservation Districts

The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County got a jump start on a key piece of its forest health programs just a year after the worst fire on record in the county.

Read original article here...

By: Hannah Hagemann | Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County residents looking to get their home ready for peak wildfire season can apply for the Resource Conservation District’s no-cost chipping program on Wednesday.

Read original article here...

Cuesta After 2The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County is thrilled to announce our Summer 2021 No-Cost Community Chipping Program. The program is available to Santa Cruz County residents who live in areas, defined as the Wildland Urban Interface, that have the potential for wildfire to impact their properties. Early bird registration started May 7th for residents in Santa Cruz County neighborhoods that have achieved, or are in the process of, FireWise USA recognition. Registration begins for ALL other eligible Santa Cruz County residents on May 12, 2021 at 6:00 AM.

With the limited rains we had this past winter, Santa Cruz County is likely to experience greater than normal wildfire risk due to extra dry conditions. This program incentivizes the creation of defensible space around homes in high wildfire risk areas by offering no-cost chipping for residents who clear vegetation within 100 feet of occupied structures or 10 feet on either side of a private road. “Now more than ever we need to be diligent about the landscape immediately next to our homes,” explained Angie Gruys, who manages the chipping program for the RCD. “It’s been a difficult year for so many and we hope that by offsetting some of the cost more folks will be able to reduce wildfire hazards around their properties and neighborhoods.”

Establishing and maintaining defensible space around your home and outbuildings, before fire-prone summer months, is imperative in avoiding major damages to your property when wildfire strikes. Defensible space is the buffer you create between buildings and the vegetation that surrounds them to prevent structures from catching fire, either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Creating ample buffer zones not only increases the chances of your home surviving a fire on its own, but it also gives firefighters a safer location from which to defend your home. In fact, fire crews are more likely to spend time and prioritize defending your property if you have taken steps to limit fuel loads around your buildings.

Having defensible space does not mean you need a ring of bare dirt surrounding your property; with proper planning, you can have a fire safe home and a beautiful landscape. The general concept is that trees should be kept farthest from the house, shrubs can be closer, and lawns and bedding plants can be the closest. If your landscaping has a different configuration than this, you can improve defensibility by keeping larger trees limbed up and shrubs free of dead, dry material.

How does the program work?

Signups are first-come-first served by region and each household must complete a two-part registration process to be enrolled and confirmed into the program. Part one is an online pre-registration applicationto verify space is available, and part two is achipping scheduling formthat is completed once your materials are stacked and ready for chipping. A detailed schedule of areas served, deadlines for program applications, chipping dates and guidelines for preparing materials for chipping are posted on the RCD No-Cost Chipping Program web page.

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