Soil Health Practices Implementation at Farm Fatales on Irish Ridge Ranch


SCH Number
Public Agency
San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (SMCRCD)
Document Title
Soil Health Practices Implementation at Farm Fatales on Irish Ridge Ranch
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
This project will help a rancher to implement common agricultural practices to improve ecosystem function for their agricultural operation. The project involves pasture compost application, and hedgerow and windbreak establishments. Compost use is a common agricultural practice primarily because it is an effective way to increase soil organic matter (SOM). Soil organic matter is an important component of soil health as it provides and retains nutrients, improves soil aggregation, reduces soil erosion, and increases water holding capacity (Tisdall and Oades, 1982; Brady and Weil, 2002). Many recent studies and initiatives (like the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soil Initiative) have focused on the connection between increasing soil organic matter and carbon sequestration, particularly in grassland ecosystems. The research resulting from a study done in Marin County (Marin Carbon Project) documented an increase in soil carbon from a single application of compost to rangelands (Ryals, et al., 2014). In addition to the carbon sequestration potential, these studies showed an increase in plant productivity and forage production (Ryals, et al., 2016), which is of interest to ranchers. Plantings like hedgerows and windbreaks are also common agricultural practices. Woody plantings provide a variety of benefits: they “serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; serve as windbreaks; stabilize waterways; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer pesticide drift, noise, odors and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; sequester carbon; and provide an aesthetic resource,” (Earnshaw, 2018). The San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD), with funding from Zero Food Print and PG&E Foundation, will be assisting Farm Fatales, a grazing and orchard agricultural operation in coastal San Mateo County, with implementation of three agricultural practices: a ¼" compost application to 2.2 acres of grazed pasture, a 390-foot native hedgerow, and a 315-foot coniferous windbreak. This project consists of implementation of three common agricultural practices with minimal land disturbance, and as such, there is no significant impact.

Contact Information

Adria Arko
Agency Name
San Mateo Resource Conservation District
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Half Moon Bay
San Mateo
Cross Streets
Lobitos Creek Road and Tunitas Creek Road
Total Acres
Parcel #

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Categorical Exemption, Class 4 (15304)
Reasons for Exemption
The project meets CEQA criteria for exemption from environmental review under Class 4 (15304). This project consists of minor alterations to land for agricultural practices.
County Clerk
San Mateo


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