FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Ranch and Conservation Agencies Receive California Healthy Soils Award
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Contact Allegra Roth
Community Environmental Council
(805) 963-0583 x.104

Local Ranch and Conservation Agencies Receive California Healthy Soils Award 

Local efforts to combat climate change bolstered

March 13, 2018 SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Community Environmental Council (CEC), Cachuma Resource Conservation District (CRCD), and Ted Chamberlin Ranch have been awarded a major statewide grant to scale-up and expand a regenerative agriculture research pilot underway on the Chamberlin Ranch in Los Olivos.

The award comes from the California Department of Food and Agriculture 2017 Healthy Soils Program, which aims to build soil carbon. This practice effectively pulls excess carbon from the air and stores it instead in the soil – reducing agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Sigrid Wright, CEO/Executive Director of CEC, commented, “This is a huge win for our community as we seek ways to rapidly drawdown excess carbon and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, which recent disastrous events in our County have made even more relevant.”

The collaborative project between CEC, CRCD and Chamberlin Ranch is officially titled "Scaling Up Carbon Farming on Central Coast Rangelands," and assesses the feasibility of compost application on grazed rangeland to increase soil health and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. 

Together with a large, diverse set of local and international partners, CEC, CRCD and the Chamberlin Ranch will use the grant over the next three years to 1) integrate compost application into a working ranch, 2) garner support for wide-scale adoption of carbon farming practices on agricultural land, and 3) show the potential for the agricultural sector to become both more resilient in the face of climate change and a leader in climate change mitigation. 

“One thing we are looking to test in this pilot are the best methods for helping soil capture the maximum amount of carbon and organic matter,” stated Anna Olsen, who directs CRCD. “Soil that is richer in carbon creates more resilient vegetation and healthier produce, so it’s truly a win for people, the land, and the environment.”

This month CEC, CRCD, Ted Chamberlin Ranch and its partners are holding a kick-off event. Dignitaries – including Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblymember Monique Limón, and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann – ranchers and other stakeholders will gather at the Ted Chamberlin Ranch to learn about the grant program and other opportunities to scale up carbon farming practices. Over the next three years, multiple field days will be held at the Ranch to bring diverse awareness to these opportunities, setting the groundwork for large-scale adoption of carbon farming practices in Santa Barbara County and beyond. The initial phase of work on Ted Chamberlin Ranch was sparked in part by work with the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. The initial research phase was funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Santa Barbara Foundation’s LEAF Initiative.

About Community Environmental Council

Since 1970, CEC has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. CEC pioneers real life solutions in areas with the most impact on climate change. Our programs – including the annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival – provide pathways to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems, and reduction of single-use plastic. Our commitment to excellence has made CEC one of only three nonprofits in Santa Barbara County to earn the highest possible ratings from both Guidestar and Charity Navigator. Find CEC at and on, and

About Cachuma Resource Conservation District

The Cachuma Resource Conservation District was founded in 1944 – one of the first Resource Conservation Districts in California. Their mission is to promote land stewardship ethics that result in long-term, sustainable use of natural resources while protecting and enhancing the environment. The CRCD provides education, technical assistance and large-scale planning, working with many local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, private landowners and public land managers on an array of programs that promote on the ground voluntary conservation efforts. Learn more at
Our mailing address is:
Community Environmental Council
26 W Anapamu
Second Floor
Santa Barbara, California 93101

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