Case Study: Fibershed

Case Study: Fibershed

About the project

practice
Rotational Grazing and Prescribed Grazing
biome
Transition Zone - Temperate / Mediterranean / Subtropical Climate, Predominantly Oak Woodland
geographic region
Northern California

About the project

Fibershed is a nonprofit organization that develops fiber and textile systems through a focus on carbon farming, regional production and fiber processing, and public education. Their producer membership includes over 100 agricultural fiber producers in 51 counties in Northern and Central California.

Fibershed cultivates textile cultures designed to build soil carbon stocks on the working landscapes on which they depend, while directly enhancing the strength of regional economies. Through strategic grazing, conservation tillage, and a host of scientifically vetted soil carbon enhancing practices, their supply chains create ‘climate beneficial’ textiles and clothing that will become the new standard in a world looking to rapidly mitigate the effects of climate change.

Ecological context

Integrated sheep and vineyard systems, with perennial cropping system.

Challenges

    Regenerative grazing and monitoring is expensive to implement.
    Farmers need external funding to launch regenerative land management.

Regen Network approach

With amplified data collection and storage through Regen Network’s tools, Fibershed can obtain funding that furthers and compensates their regenerative practices.
Figure 1: Ground data collected using Esri’s Collector app during the 2019-2020 winter grazing season by Kaos Sheep Outfit Shepherds.

Remote sensing verification

details

Using remote sensing tools and direct measurement algorithms provided by Regen Network, Fibershed can verify the positive ecological impact of prescribed grazing practices at the farm level.

results

Qualitative: Detection of grazing in vineyards using NDVI Quantitative: 87% accuracy

what's next

Improving verification methodology using machine learning and more field data. To that end, we recently applied for NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) in the hope of scaling this throughout California.

Figure 2 and 3: The mapped areas show a set of 21 distinct polygons that were evaluated for changes in NDVI in the 2019 pilot. NDVI changes were then utilized to map grazing operations with 87% accuracy.
Figure 2 and 3: The mapped areas show a set of 21 distinct polygons that were evaluated for changes in NDVI in the 2019 pilot. NDVI changes were then utilized to map grazing operations with 87% accuracy.

Project-based funding via Regen Registry + Regen Ledger

details

Creating a project on Regen Registry and storing monitoring data as immutable records on Regen Ledger which provides an important layer of transparency and accountability to funders.

results

Project page on Regen Registry targeted to go live in Q4; Regen Ledger integration to be added in subsequent phase.

what's next

To that end, we recently applied and awarded the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) in the hope of scaling this throughout California.

Robert and Jaime of Kaos Sheep Outfit, Mendocino, California

Conclusion

Remote sensing is a cost-effective way to verify grazing on a large scale, and using project-based funding with bespoke verification can provide an alternative route to funding.

This work supports the financial well-being of farmers and grazers and the viability of modern rural communities in California where many farmers are struggling with low margins, pressure from development, and increasing climate-related risks and costs; explores the financial viability of implementing grazing in vineyards systems; and incentivizes a shift towards ecologically sound practices, resulting in cleaner water, cleaner air, and the mitigation of climate change.

Robert and Jaime of Kaos Sheep Outfit, Mendocino, California

Conclusion

Remote sensing is a cost-effective way to verify grazing on a large scale, and using project-based funding with bespoke verification can provide an alternative route to funding.

This work supports the financial well-being of farmers and grazers and the viability of modern rural communities in California where many farmers are struggling with low margins, pressure from development, and increasing climate-related risks and costs; explores the financial viability of implementing grazing in vineyards systems; and incentivizes a shift towards ecologically sound practices, resulting in cleaner water, cleaner air, and the mitigation of climate change.

We experience our collaboration with Regen Network as a critical joint venture to explore how to properly value the work of those who commit their lives to regenerating landscapes at the watershed scale.

Rebecca Burgess
Executive Director of Fibershed

We experience our collaboration with Regen Network as a critical joint venture to explore how to properly value the work of those who commit their lives to regenerating landscapes at the watershed scale.

Rebecca Burgess
Executive Director of Fibershed