Conditional Waiver Program for Grazing Operations in the Tomales Bay Watershed

STATUS UPDATE (12/23/13)
On December 11, 2013 the San Francisco Bay Water Board renewed the Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Grazing Lands in the Tomales Bay Watershed (2013 Grazing Waiver) for a second, five-year term. The 2013 Waiver implements the Tomales Bay Pathogens TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load), the Walker Creek Mercury TMDL, and the Tomales Bay Mercury TMDL.

The following are the essential changes to the 2013 Grazing Waiver:

  1. New requirements for assessment and annual reporting of residual dry matter as discussed in the University of California’s California Guidelines for Residual Dry Matter Management on Coastal and Foothill Annual Rangelands, Rangeland Monitoring (2002) (Series Publication 8092);
  2. Inclusion of the Notice of Non-Applicability (Attachment B);
  3. Inclusion of the Annual Certification Template (Attachment C); and
  4. To facilitate communication with the ranching community, the Notice of Intent (Attachment D) includes an email address field for the landowner and the operator.

Provided that there have been no changes (such as property ownership, number of parcels grazed, exempt status) to grazing operations, landowners in the Tomales Bay watershed who submitted a Notice of Intent to enroll under the 2008 Waiver do not need to resubmit this form.

Landowners in the Tomales Bay watershed who have not previously enrolled under the 2008 Waiver and who operate eligible grazing operations as defined in the 2013 Grazing Waiver must meet the following standards (a and b or solely c):
  1. Submit to the Regional Water Board a Notice of Intent to comply with the requirements of the 2013 Waiver, and
  2. Complete a Ranch Water Quality Plan (to be kept onsite); or
  3. Submit to the Regional Water Board a Notice of Non-Applicability.

STATUS UPDATE (05/31/2011)
This is a status report on the Tomales Bay Grazing Waiver Program. The report discusses the Grazing Waiver’s background and requirements, outreach efforts and funding, enrollee compliance, ongoing watershed efforts, and lessons learned.

Furthermore, the report describes the efforts of the Tomales Bay Watershed Grazing Land Partnership (Partnership) in assisting the agricultural community in complying with the requirements of the Grazing Wavier.

Staff believes that the success of the Grazing Waiver Program is rooted in the local relationships established with the Partnership, the substantial amount of technical assistance provided to ranchers by Water Board staff and the Partnership, and the success of partners in obtaining grant funding.

The following two publications provide independent evaluations of the Tomales Bay Grazing Waiver Program:

Ranch Planning Tools

The following publications provide templates to comply with the Tomales Bay Grazing Waiver:

For more information contact:

René Leclerc, P.E.
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-622-2410