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Douglas County Programs

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages


Throughout the West, population dynamics are changing. As communities grow, the land at urban fringes is being rezoned from large agricultural enterprises to smaller, one to 40+ acre parcels that maintain some agricultural uses while attracting a more diverse ownership. More than half of Nevada’s farms comprise less than 10 acres. Local and regional impacts on soil and water resources often increase as larger parcels are rezoned into small acreage parcels. This is due to increased densities of wells and septic systems, a rise in amounts of impervious surface, and the owners’ lack of knowledge and experience with integrated pest management and forage and grazing management techniques. Changes in land management may also result in accelerated rates of soil erosion and increases in nutrient loads, pesticides and total dissolved solids in surface and groundwater supplies. The challenge is how to reach this audience and teach them the importance of land stewardship.

What Has Been Done:

Under the leadership of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), a team from eight western states spent 18 months developing a curriculum-Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages-designed to teach small acreage owners how to attain their property goals while protecting soil, water, plant, animal and other natural resources. The manual contains lesson plans, hands-on activities and 15 visual presentations. The team trained nearly 80 Cooperative Extension and natural resource agency professionals from western states, who in turn implemented the program in their respective states.

In Nevada, the curriculum was used to educate landowners in the Carson Valley to help improve water quality in the Carson River, which is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List because of its turbidity, temperature and phosphorus levels.

Since the successful training of western participants, more than 1,200 copies of the Living on the Land curriculum have been distributed to 42 states and four foreign countries. The curriculum has been used for three years in the Boise, Idaho area; two years in Clark County, Washington; as well as by the Carson Valley Living on the Land (CVLOL) program in Nevada. Local partners are the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, Carson Valley Conservation District and Western Nevada Resource Conservation and Development.


A CVLOL program evaluation showed participants improved their water quality knowledge based on pre- and post-test results. Of those who attended three or more workshops, 100 percent installed best management practices (BMPs) on their properties. The Washington program evaluation found that 113 BMPs were installed by class participants. More than 90 percent of respondents agreed the Living on the Land course provided the level of information desired. Close to 50 percent tested their well water and had their septic systems inspected, nearly two-thirds tested their soils and 84 percent of respondents shared part of what they learned with others.


Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

Programs Program Information

Eagles & Agriculture

Green Industry Training Programs of Northern Nevada

Green Industry Training (GIT) and Green Industry Continuing Education Series (GICES) are cost- and time-efficient approaches to serving the Green Industries of northern Nevada, including nursery workers, landscapers, arborists, irrigation and lawn care professionals. The Green Industry Training program begins in late winter with eight three-hour sessions of entry-level training for new industry workers, for those desiring to work in the industry and for existing industry professionals desiring a skills "tune-up." After "basic training," industry members are invited to monthly continuing education opportunities — one hour per month over the noon hour — to hone and improve their skills.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding to Child Maltreatment

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in Elko County. Child caregivers, youth workers, volunteers and anyone interested in learning what they can do to prevent child abuse and neglect can attend this workshop. Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, understand their reporting requirements and their role in preventing child maltreatment.

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages


Living With Fire

Living with Fire is a comprehensive, multi-agency program aimed at teaching homeowners how to live more safely in high wildfire-hazard environments. The program, encompassing research and education, was developed in 1997 as a result of a collaboration between University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), Nevada’s Agricultural Experiment Station and the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, a group of 12 Nevada and California firefighting agencies.

Master Gardeners in Nevada

Master Gardeners provide free, research-based horticulture information to Nevadans. They are volunteers who learn advanced plant science skills from at least 50 hours of classroom instruction by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) professionals. After training, Master Gardeners volunteer a minimum of at least 50 hours a year to pass along their newly acquired knowledge through the media, talks and workshops. They answer phone calls, send out informational materials and develop community gardens.

Processing and Marketing of Local Meat Products: A Feasibility Analysis

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed a feasibility study to find ways to improve financial stability for Nevada livestock producers through processing and niche marketing.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Beef Quality Assurance
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Stronger Economies Together
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Weed Prevention and Management