In 2016, MCRCD published the Watershed Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers and Other Rural Gardeners (BMP Guide), in English and Spanish, through a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. It was the first peer-reviewed watershed protection guide for cannabis growers produced by an agency in California, and possibly the United States! It has now been updated twice and in recent years, MCRCD has worked with the California Department of Water Resources, North Coast Resource Partnership and California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) to deliver outreach to the cannabis cultivation community, including:
- Community workshops and meetings in Laytonville, Redwood Valley, and Anderson Valley;
- Development of a DAC Water Security/Fire Preparedness/Cannabis “Tool-kit” including a rural reflective signage project, serving the communities of Anderson Valley, Comptche, Rancho Navarro, and the Hopland Tribe, in collaboration with the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council.
- Distributed copies of the BMP guide to Humboldt and Trinity Counties through project partners;
- With CARCD, Las Tablas-Salinas RCD, and Emerald Grown, supported development of GRASS-C (Growing Responsible Socially Sustainable Cannabis) as a stewardship-based, market-incentive certification program to exemplify cannabis producers with strong stewardship efforts;
- Developed and produced a companion 8-minute video for the BMP Guide.
Currently, MCRCD staff are assisting CARCD with the production of GRASS-C “Instagram videos”. Three videos, three-minutes each, will be developed to assist with GRASS-C marketing to cannabis growers, retailers, and regulatory/permitting agencies—including county governments. These videos will be rolled out in summer 2021. MCRCD is also working, through a small grant from CARCD, with the cannabis community to engage with a minimum of one outdoor cultivator to pilot the GRASS-C Self-Assessment and to review farming BMPs towards a goal of certification.
Cannabis Watershed BMP Guide
This guide is designed to help rural farmers take an active stewardship role in caring for their land and water resources, with an emphasis on cannabis cultivation.
Guía de Cuencas Hidrográficas de Cannabis
Esta guía está diseñada para ayudar a los agricultores rurales a asumir un papel de liderazgo activo en el cuidado de sus tierras y recursos hídricos, con énfasis en el cultivo de cannabis.