Harvesting the rain: California farmers weather drought by collecting water

Capital Press

March 23, 2023

The marine fog that rolls across Marin County, Calif., north of San Francisco, relieves drought, even on days when no rain falls. Moisture collects on the roofs of the barns at Jessica and Neil McIsaac’s dairy and trickles into gutters and two 5,000-gallon tanks. Pumps then push the water through pipes from the tanks to…

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The Straus family legacy

Petaluma Argus-Courier

March 22, 2023

Few families have had as great an impact on our modern coastal lands as the Straus family. Ellen and Bill Straus fled Nazi Europe during WWII and settled in Marshall, on the Tomales Bay, to begin a life of ranching. Along the way, Ellen and Bill were at the heart of the effort to save West…

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In California, a Race to Capture the Water Before It Escapes

Wall Street Journal

March 9, 2023

PETALUMA, Calif.—Neil McIsaac has something many other dairy farmers here don’t: a storm-runoff capture system that can provide backup water for his herd when local reservoirs go dry, as they did last year. Already, he and others involved in the project say it has proven its worth. It has captured 670,000 gallons so far this winter,…

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Remembering Phyllis Faber: 1928-2023

Bay Nature

January 19, 2023

The Marin County conservationist passed away on January 15, at her home. This article was first published on Nov. 23, 2015. Veteran environmental activist, writer, editor, publisher, educator, and coastal wetlands scientist Phyllis Faber has made countless contributions to the Bay Area environmental movement. With the late Ellen Straus, she cofounded the nation’s first agricultural…

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Center for nonprofits honors civic service

Marin Independent Journal

January 18, 2023

The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership has announced the recipients of its annual Heart of Marin Award. The award program, which is in its 30th year, honors nonprofit volunteers, leaders and organizations. The awards ceremony was held Jan. 12 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael. The honorees and their award categories included: The…

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Chileno ranches get help with invasive weeds

Point Reyes Light

January 18, 2023

With their bright array of yellows, pinks and purples, the thistles rapidly propagating in Marin County are lovely to look at. But to ranchers in need of healthy grasslands for their cattle, they are a menace. The county is teaming up with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to help Chileno Valley ranchers get rid 

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Latest Straus family organic product: a solo show about its matriarch

San Francisco Chronicle

October 21, 2022

When Vivien Straus was growing up in West Marin, the newspaper would come a day or two late. The family mail wasn’t addressed with a street, just the town of Marshall and the state. With limited water on the property, which overlooks Tomales Bay and Highway 1, each of the family’s four children had to…

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MALT strikes second easement deal this year

Point Reyes Light

October 5, 2022

The Marin Agricultural Land Trust is preparing to purchase its second agricultural easement of the year. Last week, MALT secured nearly $1.4 million in public funds for development rights to the 540-acre Duncan Ranch as the trust renews its push to preserve farms and ranches after…

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