North Central Washington stakeholders met recently in Chelan to consider natural resource conservation priorities for treatment via USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs.
NRCS is streamlining its cost-share and incentive programs at the direction of Congress and is intent on maintaining alignment of its objectives with local priorities. Four of NCW’s Local Working Group’s top five stated priorities directly match those of WA NRCS:
1) EXCESS/INSUFFICIENT WATER – Inefficient use of irrigation water;
2) AIR QUALITY IMPACTS – Emissions of Particulate Matter (PM) and PM Precursors;
3) DEGRADED PLANT CONDITION – undesirable plant productivity and health;
4) INADEQUATE HABITAT FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE – Habitat degradation.
Through local consensus, the fifth, SOIL QUALITY DEGRADATION – Organic matter depletion, was added to NRCS’ list of priority funding for NCW. Since the 2018 Farm Bill contains language proposing watershed or geographic areas for priority conservation, the group also considered watersheds within NCW that need such treatment. This discussion will continue at the spring meeting of the Local Working Group to be convened by the four NCW Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The Local Working Group meets annually around April or May and is open to the public. To learn more please contact Foster Creek Conservation District at 509-888-6372 or Sarah Troutman (USDA-NRCS) at 509-422-2750 ext. 3.
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