LandSmart Grazing for Community Resilience

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LandSmart Grazing is a targeted grazing program designed to support interested neighbors or community groups to utilize grazing as a way of reducing fuel load and making their communities safer in the face of wildfires. This project also aims to serve previously burned properties in order to remove invasive weeds and reduce fuel load in preparation for future post-fire recovery activities. 

Gold Ridge and Sonoma RCDs plan to connect contract grazers to landowners with the help of the UC Cooperative Extension's program Match.Graze in the hopes of facilitating a smooth and effective reduction of fire-fuels.  The majority of our funds will be prioritized towards areas of high fire risk--especially if there is a close proximity to at-risk, densely populated, or  underserved communities. 


The first deadline to apply for LandSmart Grazing is September 1st. We are encouraging landowners and land managers with 4-100 acres of grasslands or woodlands to apply for this subsidized opportunity.  

Am I Eligible to Participate?

Eligible participants include, but are not limited to, managers of properties:

How Do I Apply?

1. Land Participants - Applications will be accepted August 8th - September 1st

2. Contract Grazers- Statement of Qualifications form will be accepted August 8th - September 1st

Program services include:

For Land Participants

- If approved, get matched with a professional contract grazer and RCD technical assistant

- Establish vegetation management goals

- Prepare and graze the site

- Financial assistance to use contract grazers such as sheep or goats on your property.

- Transportation of livestock to and from site 

For Contract Grazers

- Matching with appropriate land participant applicants

- Contract directly with RCD for ease of working with multiple groups and fast payment

- Small grants to acquire infrastructure needs to expand/improve services such as electric fencing, mobile corals, or portable livestock water trailers

Payment Rates

RCD pays 50-80% of the grazing costs to provide fuel reductions on selected properties directly to the contract grazer. If you need financial assistance to participate, you can request up to 100% of the grazing services to be paid. Requests for assistance can be made in application.

Is the LandSmart Grazing program the right tool for your property?  

Here are some considerations that will be evaluated to help determine each applicant:

Transportation, Access and Water

Size, slope and vegetation type

Other considerations:

- Predation, proximity to vulnerable or high risk areas (such as schools, homes without bordering fence lines, or busy roadways/highways), active work sites, and homeless encampments all need to be disclosed and discussed prior to grazing projects.


- This is a pilot project - your participation will help us learn and document lessons about how to make the program work.  We want to make connections with grazers so we are able to expand and continue the program into the future. 

Smaller residential properties are usually not cost-effective, due to the cost of transporting livestock by truck.  If you are a smaller property owner, we suggest that you talk to your neighbors and formulate a plan to manage everyone's fire fuel load through a cooperative model.


- Livestock are only a small part of an overall approach to reducing wildfire hazards. To protect your home, you MUST create your own defensible space and take steps to harden your home!


William Hart

Gold Ridge RCD

707-823-5244 x15

Kari Wester

Sonoma RCD 

707-569-1448 x101

 Check for program updates and call for applications.

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