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FAQ's

What is the geographic scope of the FFF Program?

Are all the grapegrowers in the region eligible?

Is there an assessment component of the Program, or is it covered under the development of the Farm Conservation Plan?

Is the Farm Conservation Plan completed entirely by the farmer, or is there technical assistance?   What kind of technical support is available and from whom -- either for completing the farm conservation plan or for implementation?

Are there any procedures for monitoring compliance, other than re-certification?   How does re-certification work?

Are there any financial incentives for participation?

How many farms have been certified?

How many projects have been implemented?

How do landowners and managers enroll in the Fish Friendly Farming program?


 

What is the geographic scope of the FFF Program?

The FFF Program presently operates in Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties.

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Are all the grapegrowers in the region eligible?

Yes, enrollment to the workshops is open to everyone, but there is no guarantee of certification.

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Is there an assessment component of the Program, or is it covered under the development of the Farm Conservation Plan?

There are a number of elements in the Farm Conservation Plan addressing different aspects of the property, from roads to creeks to vineyard/orchard management. Not every element applies to every site.  Each element has an assessment/inventory that addresses the resource and is very comprehensive. There is an extensive and detailed assessment and inventory of the natural features of the site and the management practices used.   All creeks, including ephemeral and seasonal creeks, are assessed. Every road and every road culvert is inventoried. Although vineyards are included, the focus is on the entire property and conditions on the entire property are assessed.  

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Is the Farm Conservation Plan completed entirely by the farmer, or is there technical assistance?   What kind of technical support is available and from whom -- either for completing the farm conservation plan or for implementation?

The program is not intended as a self-assessment by the farmer. Each owner/manager enrolls their property in the Program and attends a series of workshops that review the Program assessment and BMPs (Beneficial Management Practices). The workshop instructor and technical staff then complete a site visit. The farmer completes the assessment and documentation of vineyard management practices and works with the instructor to assess conditions and management practices. The FFF program scientists provide all the technical sections of the Farm Conservation Plan: road assessment and repair, riparian corridor evaluations and restoration/revegetation, ephemeral creek erosion control and revegetation, erosion site evaluation and repair, retrofit of reservoirs and many other items.
Once the Farm Conservation Plan is completed, it is reviewed prior to the certification. For those plans with large projects, design, permitting and implementation cost-share is available. Each Farm Conservation Plan element includes an implementation timeline that lists the management practices and projects and how and when they will get implemented. Major projects have up to 10 years to be implemented; changes in management practices must be implemented the next season. In our experience, the farmer implements the majority of the needed changes and fewer than 25% of Farm Conservation Plans generate major cost-share projects funded by the FFF program.

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Are there any procedures for monitoring compliance, other than re-certification?   How does re-certification work?

Each Farm Conservation Plan contains a photo-monitoring element with established monitoring points.   There is a list of the features that must be photographed, labeled and included in the Farm Conservation Plan each year. Implementation of all BMPs and projects are photographed.

Re-certification involves checking that substantial progress has been made in implementing the Farm Plan and that management practices continue to follow the FFF program requirements.

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Are there any financial incentives for participation?

The farmer receives substantial technical assistance. The owner may also receive funding for projects. The certification from three regulatory agencies provides certainty and assurance that the actions called for in the Farm Conservation Plan provide for compliance with state and federal water quality and endangered species laws. There is a great deal of interest by landowners in gaining this assurance. There is also an advantage in those watersheds with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulatory programs, including the Napa, Russian, Gualala and Navarro River and Sonoma Creek watersheds. The Farm Conservation Plan and photo-monitoring allows the owner to demonstrate compliance with the TMDL for the watershed and a reduction in contaminant loading from the property. The entire FFF Program is designed to direct voluntary, self-directed compliance with state and federal environmental laws and create a record of this through the Farm Conservation Plan and photo-monitoring of the property.

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How many farms have been certified?

As of January 2012, over 300 properties totaling more than 55,000 acres have been certified in the 5 counties.  Total enrollment has reached over 100,000 acres.

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How many projects have been implemented?

Only about 25% of the Farm Conservation Plans generate a project that the program assists in implementing.   On the majority of sites, the farmer implements the needed improvements or changes in management practices with no public funding. All the certified sites have either completed their projects and improvements, or are in the process. Projects vary greatly from road repair and re-building to major revegetation and restoration of riparian and stream habitats to small changes in culverts, ditches, sediment basins, erosion control, revegetation, water releases and other items.

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How do landowners and managers enroll in the Fish Friendly Farming program?

Contact the California Land Stewardship Institute at 707-253-1226 or send an e-mail through our Contact Page.

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