Napa Valley Register, 1/8/14
Napa Sanitation District has become the first sanitation district in the North Bay to receive Fish Friendly Farming certification for 750 acres that it manages.
This certification, bestowed by the California Land Stewardship Institute, recognizes the district’s land management practices to protect water quality and fish habitat on 750 acres near the Napa County Airport.
The FFF program covers Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Mendocino counties. Originally developed for the Russian River watershed, it was brought to Napa County in 2002 by the local wine industry.
Napa Sanitation District owns two farm properties, Jameson Ranch and Somky Ranch, which are used for the reuse of recycled water and biosolids. Under contract with the district, local farmers utilize land at both these ranches to grow livestock feed, which thrives from the application of these nutrient rich by-products of wastewater treatment.
“Many of the district’s land management practices on the ranches already aligned with the FFF program,” said Dave Martin, the district’s recycled water manager. “The conservation plan we developed during the FFF certification process helped fine-tune the district’s management practices for elements such as roads, irrigation, drainage and creeks.”
Soscol Creek, which runs through Somky Ranch, has been identified as an important habitat for steelhead trout. During 2011 and 2012, the district implemented a restoration project along the creek that improves habitat for fish and other wildlife. The project included removal of invasive plant species and planting of native species along the riparian corridor, improving the forage and shelter values of the creek for migrating fish, birds and mammals.
“Good stewardship of the land we manage complements our mission of protecting public health and the Napa River,” said Tim Healy, the district’s general manager.
The district owns one additional property, the Fagundes Ranch near the airport. Staff are currently working on FFF certification for this property as well.
For more information, visit fishfriendlyfarming.org.