Today Pepperwood hosted the kick-off meeting for Sonoma County’s new Venture Conservation partnership which was recently awarded $8 million in funding through the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The day included a field tour for the funders including the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller, visiting from Washington, DC, and our NRCS California State Conservationist, Carlos Suarez. Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore emceed the convening at Pepperwood’s Dwight Center for Conservation Science, which also featured comments by four steering committee members including Pepperwood’s Dr. Lisa Micheli.
The goal of the Sonoma County Venture Conservation partnership is to create a platform for large-scale, coordinated conservation action in our county including an ambitious series of conservation projects to improve water supply and enhance wildlife habitat on local agricultural lands. The funding provided by the RCPP will match nearly $16 million in local funding for the partnership, most provided by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Pepperwood will serve as the science adviser for Sonoma County Venture Conservation.