Desert Mountain RC&D Council
1259 E. Ridgecrest Blvd., Suite #7
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: 760-446-1974

Current Projects

We have high standards for our work. Comprehensive descriptions of our current projects are coming soon!

Past Projects

Mojave Tui Chub Management Program

The five year contract under a Cooperative Agreement between DMRC&D and  the Department of the Navy at China Lake to monitor endangered Mohave Tui Chub populations was completed in September 2013. Over the years crews worked with a contract biologist to remove cattails to enhance habitat, sampled and recorded water quality data and conducted annual population surveys.

Sand Canyon Environmental Education Program (SEEP)

We completed the Sierra Nevada Conservancy SEEP GRant March 1, 2013. We will continue to work with Peggy Jacobson, SEEP Coordinator, and other SEEP partners and volunteers such as the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern Kern County Resource Conservation District, Maturango Museum, and other local groups and organizations to expand and enhance the environmental education program for 4th and 5th grade students by purchasing equipment and developing outreach materials and a more expansive website.


Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium (ESCRB) is a subcommittee of Desert Mountain RC&D Council.  ESCRBC is funded by California Advanced Services Fund  (CASF), a division of the California Public Utilities Commission, granting a maximum of $150,000 each year for up to three years.  Operating within Mono, Inyo and Eastern Kern Counties, the ESCRB focus is on improving broadband availability and adoption through developing partnerships and offering assistance and education to individuals, public agencies, and applicants for CASF infrastructure.  ESCRB is headed by a Governing Board of representatives: Mono County –Nate Greenberg, and Martin Kleinfeld; Inyo County –John Rothgeb and Diane Hart; and Kern County – Deborah Hess, Lori Acton and Kelly Bearden.  Alice Lauritzen is Admin.  Julie Langou, of Eastern Sierra Consulting Inc,, has been contracted as the Project Manager, and in March of 2014, Justin O’Neill has taken the position of Outreach Coordinator for Kern County.  Please contact Desert Mountain RC&D to get in touch with the Consortium or write them at   Follow ESCRBC on their website at For more information about the CPUC grant and loan programs, please go to the California Public Utilities Comission Website

Native Plant Sales

DMRC&D Council conducted a joint native plant sale April 13, 2013 for residents in the Kern Valley, Tehachapi and Ridgecrest areas to promote the use of firewise, and waterwise native plants in residential landscaping. The sale educated the public as to the multiple benefits of native plants for landscape use. A second sale was held in the Kern Valley in the Fall. Information about the plants featuring color photos and order forms for the sales can be found on our website. Plans are currently underway to organize the 2014 Spring Sale.

Kern River Valley and Walker Basin Ag Lands Improvement

The grant agreement for this $274,420 project was signed in May, 2013. Work will be done over four years through March 2017 to prevent the naturalization of aggressive invasive species of weeds and trees that threaten agricultrual and riparian lands in the Kern River Valley and Walkers Basin area. Project partners include 11 ranchers and landowners, as well as CA Audubon Kern River Preserve, and CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife’s Canbrake Wildlife Preserve. BNob Robinson, Kern Vally Watershed Coordinator, is working with all partners and helping to provide training and oversight of three fierld crew memebers hired for the work. The first noxious weed treatments began in July and continued thorugh October, 2013. Five species of invasive weeds and trees were treated on 1947 acres including Perennial Pepperweed, Purple Loosestrife, Arundo Donax, Tree of Heaven, and Yellow Starthistle. 2000 acres were surveyed and two previously unknown infestations were located and mapped for treatment. The work will continue in the spring.

Lone Pine Wastewater Feasibility Study

This $121,440 Sierra Nevada Conservancy grant was awarded for three phases of study and implementation of wastewater reuse in irrigated pastureland for FFA student projects and other high school and community landscaping uses. Following the intitial feasibility study by contractor RO Anderson Engineering, Inc., the project is on hold pending final decisions to move forward.

WSS&CS Workshop with NARC&D Councils

Desert Mountain RC&D was approached by the National Associations of RC&D Councils to partner with them in presenting a two day workshop centered on Wildland Fires and Urban Interface. “Wildfir Safe, Sound and Code Smart” workshops have been presented around the country with funding through DHS/FEMA’s Grant Program Directorate for Assistance to Firefighers. A Certificate for Continuing Education Credit will be issued to those who complete the two day requirements.

The workshop will be held February 19th and 20th in Calabasas at the Hilton Garden Inn. Registration and Agenda details can be accessed through

Project:  Broadband Feasibility Study

Completed in 2011 through a grant from California Emerging Technologies Fund (CETF), the Eastern Sierra Connect project accomplished a Broadband Demand Aggregate Study for the Eastern Sierra.  The project collected community feedback and identified existing broadband infrastructure to develop possible alternatives for expansion within the Mono, Inyo and Eastern Kern Counties.  The Draft Final Report (still under CETF review) is now available.

AV Conservation District Nursery Assessment

Grant Provided to the Antelope Valley RCD to conduct an evaluation on their conservation nursery operations and management. The goal is to assess ways to improve the nursery. Their goals are expansion, replacing outdated water system, and increasing the number of native water wise plants currently offered. The nursery has traditionally sold plants for windbreaks/erosion concerns.

South Fork Kern River Purple Loosestrife Control

Grant from CDFA to East Kern County RCD to control the spread of purple loosestrife in the South Fork Kern Wildlife Area. MDM-RC&D Watershed Coordinator is assisting in the implementation efforts to carry out this grant.

Kern River Valley Project Coordinator Program

MD-M RC&D obtained a grant from the Department of Conservation to establish a watershed coordinator position in the Kern River Valley to address water quality, quantity, erosion, and wildlife habitat issues in the Upper Kern and South Fork Kern River Watersheds.

South Fork Kern River Watershed Protection Project

MD-M RC&D was selected as a grant recipient for a Sierra Nevada Cascade Grant though the State Resources Agency to implement a conservation easement on 711 acres along the South Fork Kern River in an effort to protect the ranching heritage, agricultural productivity, wildlife values and to protect water quality in the Kern Valley. Partners include private landowner, Audubon, CA Wildlife Conservation Board, and the CA Dept. of Fish and Game.

Owens Valley Natural Livestock Feasibility Study

Project plan written and funded to conduct a Feasibility Study in the Owens Valley (Inyo and Mono County), which will result in a comprehensive analysis of the viability of developing a natural meat industry in the Owens Valley in order to preserve the agricultural heritage and provide an opportunity for economic development.

Regional Tourism Project - Hwy 178 Corridor

MDM-RC&D obtained a grant for a Regional Tourism Grant Program & Hwy 178 Corridor Celebration & Tourism Expo from Kern County BOT. Project is intended to promote economic development in Kern County by promoting and educating locals and out of towners on the annual activities , points of interest, and natural resources along the Highway 178 Corridor. MD-M RC&D is partnering with the City of Ridgecrest, the IWV 2000 Corporation, and the Hwy 178 Corridor Initiative Committee in implementation of this project.

Rademacker Interpretive Trail

Partnership between BLM, MD-M RC&D and NRCS in developing an interpretive tail in the Rademacker Hills. A Kiosk will be designed and signage will be placed along various points of the trail, which will identify the native desert plants.

Smith Ranch-LRManagement Plan 1

Long Range Grazing Management Plan developed for a 711 acre ranch along the South Fork Kern River to complement South Fork Kern Watershed Protection Conservation Easement Project. Plan addresses grazing management, invasive weeds, wildlife habitat protection, water quality, riparian protection, and fencing improvements.

Small Bisiness Development WS - Lake Isabella

MD-M RC&D conducted a one day workshop for small business owners and those wishing to start a new business, on the how to create, develop, and revise a business plan in order to create growth, expansion and financial sustainability. The workshop were SCE, AltaOne Federal Credit Union and the local Chamber of Commerce.

Small Business Development WS - Ridgecrest

MD-M RC&D conducted a one day workshop for small business owners and those wishing to start a new business, on the how to create, develop and revise a business plan in order to create growth, expansion and financial sustainability. The workshop was taught by representatives from the Small Business Administration, Kern Economic Development Center, Small Business Development Corporation, and AltOne Federal Credit Union. Sponsors for the workshop were SCE, AltaOne Federal Credit Union and the local Chambers of Commerce.

Jawbone Wash Dust Mitigation Plan-LWS Phase 1

This mitigation plan consists of a multi-agency approach and outlines practices/implementation measures that aid in the containment and stabilization of blowsand accumulation areas that drive wind erosion in the Jawbone Wash area, which includes the community of Rancho Seco and the Honda Proving Center. A series of wood chip berms, mulch, and sand catchers will be installed to reduce erosion and monitor its effectiveness.

Tribes and the Farm Bill Phase 2

As a supplement to the grant received from NRCS, the MD-M RC&D Council applied to the CARC&DC’s 2005 RFP. The money was used to assist with design and duplication of 1000 Tribes and the Farm Bill DVD’s which highlighted FARM Bill Programs offered, procedures on applying and contractual requirements. DVD’s were distributed to all RC&D Councils, NRCS Field Offices and Tribal Liaisons.

Small Business Financial Expo

MD-M RC&D conducted 2 Small Business Financial Expos’s; 1 was held in Lake Isabella (Kern County) and another was held in Bishop (Inyo County). We had a series of speakers present information on financial resources/programs for those wanting to start new business and existing micro-businesses.

Pinyon Seed Gathering Project

Collaborative project between the MD-M RC&D, Tribal TANF Prevention Program, BLM, USFS, and the Monache Intertribal Association to re-introduce the traditions, songs, and ceremony of the pinyon harvest. Project consisted of a two day field event in Kennedy Meadows. The Pinyon seeds were gathered and planted in burn areas affected by the 2002 Manter Fire.

AV Resource Conservation District Outreach Grant

CAR&DC grant funding received to assist the AV RCD to develop and distribute conservation outreach materials to a target audience of local populations unaware of the Distrct’s Conservation Nursery and the service they provide.