PNW Watersheds Chosen
by Mitch Lies
Watersheds in Oregon, Washington state and Idaho are among the priority watersheds for this year’s Conservation Security Program, according to an announcement May 19 by Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.
In Oregon, the Umatilla watershed was selected. In Washington, the Moses Coulee watershed was chosen. And in Idaho, the Lemhi watershed was selected.
Nationwide, 18 watersheds were selected.
Producers in the priority watersheds are eligible for Conservation Security Program funds. The funds are designed to reward producers for existing stewardship practices and motivate producers to implement additional stewardship practices.
In all, $41.4 million is available under the program.
Meta Boyer, information officer for the Oregon Natural Resource Conservation Service, said an average contract is expected to be around $17,000.
“Agricultural producers in the Umatilla watershed have been protecting our soil and water resources for years,” said NRCS State Conservationist Bob Graham in a press release. “Now they will be rewarded for that stewardship.”
Boyer said Oregon NRCS is holding a series of informational meetings in the Umatilla watershed to help producers determine whether to apply for the funds.
Meetings are scheduled June 16 in Pendleton and Mission; June 17 in Pilot Rock and Hermiston; June 22 in Athena and Helix; and June 23 in Heppner.
No information is yet available on the specific time and locations of the meetings.
For more information on the program, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.
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