Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures Says “Aloha” to Tony Linegar

Written By: Brytann Busick
Published: March 5, 2020

Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures Says “Aloha” to Tony Linegar

Tony Linegar retired from his position as the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures for the County of Sonoma on February 13, 2020.  Tony has held this position since January 3, 2012.  He graduated from Chico State University in 1993 with a B.S. degree in Biological Science and began his career in 1995 in Shasta County as an Agricultural Inspector I. He worked his way up to an Agricultural Inspector III before moving to Mendocino County in 2001.  Soon after, Tony promoted to Assistant Agricultural Commissioner in Mendocino County and in 2009 became their Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer, a job he held until coming to Sonoma County.

Tony has had many accomplishments during his tenure as Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures for Sonoma County.  Some of the major ones that he holds the most pride in have to do with the development of some local ordinances such as developing standards for tree removal in the Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance, helping to write the Riparian Corridor Protection Ordinance in a way that recognized the interest of agriculture and the people who have been farming in the County, having a major hand in drafting of the County’s Cannabis Ordinance, and most recently, writing the Industrial Hemp Ordinance from scratch in a way that recognizes it as agriculture.  Other major accomplishments include activities that led to the eradication of European Grapevine Moth, working with the District Attorney on major environmental cases, and assistance to the agricultural community during the fires in the last few years.

Once retired, Tony, his wife Krista, and two children will be moving to Hawaii to enjoy the island lifestyle.  All of us at the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures wish Tony and his family many happy island sunsets in his retirement!

New GIS Mapping Tool Now Available

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures has been hard at work to develop a tool to help the public assess properties for potential vineyard and orchard (VESCO) development projects, cannabis development projects, and hemp registration.  The tool is a free, online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool consisting of multiple layers of important data necessary to analyze a property.  By entering an address or 9-digit Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), users can focus on a specific property.  Alternatively, users can simply pan and zoom into a location using the computer’s mouse.  A list of data layers is listed on the right-hand side and can be turned off and on depending on what the user would like to see displayed over the map.  There are data layers for parcels, zoning designation, existing crop types, streams, riparian corridor setbacks, soil types, Williamson Act holdings, Ag + Open Space District holdings, school and daycare locations, and much more.  Users can overlay this information over a base layer of a satellite image of the property, a topographic map base layer, a simple grayscale map, or a historical landslide map.

A notable addition to the GIS tool is the availability of a LIDAR bare-earth base layer, a very useful tool allowing users to see what the landscape looks like through existing vegetation.  The light wavelength used to create the layer was able to pass through existing trees, brush, and grass to be able to show features on the ground.  This is a great way to see stream channels, stream banks, and forest road locations, gully and landslide development, and many other features.  This same data set also allowed County staff to create a very accurate slope layer.  The GIS tool also includes a layer that has colored layers broken down by 5% increments up to 50% and over slopes (0-5%, 6-10%, 11-15%, etc.). Different programs have special requirements or limitations based on soil types and slope, such as the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 VESCO projects.  These data layers will allow anyone to make analyses using the same information used by the County to review projects.

In addition to the base maps and data layers available with the GIS tool, there are also measurement and cartographic tools.  Users can activate the measure tool and trace a line on the map to calculate distance or draw a polygon on the map to calculate the area of an existing or proposed feature.  Users can choose to have the measurements displayed as standard or metric measurements.  There are also drawing tools that can be used to outline a vineyard block or draw solid shapes or arrows on the maps.  The text tool can be used to label features on the map and create text boxes with different color, size, and font options.  In the end, users can create a personalized map with a title, legend, and marked and labeled project information that can be submitted with their VESCO, cannabis or hemp registration applications.

The GIS tool can be found at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/AWM-map.

Spring Agricultural Plastic Recycling Event

PLEASE NOTE NEW DROP OFF LOCATION FOR SPRING 2020 EVENT

The Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures will hold a plastic pesticide container recycling event again this spring.  The event will be held Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW LOCATION FOR THIS EVENT: we are excited to partner with Grow West this spring for our recycling event.  Plastic containers can be dropped off at 20780 Geyserville Avenue in Geyserville.

This event is open to growers, nurseries, pest control businesses, golf courses, parks, and government agencies.  Plastic containers ranging in size from 1 pint to 55 gallons will be accepted.

Containers must:

  • be triple rinsed, punctured, and dry
  • have plastic lids and caps removed
  • have label booklets and plastic sleeves removed (glued labels okay)
  • have metal handles removed from 5-gallon buckets

Containers in size from 15 gallons to 55 gallons must be cut into quarters before bringing to the recycling event.

PVC pipe, plastic tubing, metal containers, or containers that have held motor oil are not allowed.

Thank you to Grow West for their help with this event!

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