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EQIP conservation funding available to Siskiyou farmers and ranchers

October 17, 2006, Siskiyou Daily News

YREKA – The Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that applications are now being accepted from Siskiyou county farmers and ranchers wishing to participate in the 2007 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Applications received prior to the December 1, 2007 cutoff will be considered for the upcoming funding cycle.

According to a recently issued press release the EQIP program offers funds on a cost-share basis to producers for conservation practices ranging from water use efficiency and water quality, fuel load and habitat management to improved grazing systems.

Applications are ranked based on a locally modified scoring system striving to achieve the best environmental benefits.

The press release states that this gives each county an opportunity to focus EQIP dollars and prioritize conservation work to address its most pressing resource needs.

In 2006, western Siskiyou county farmers and ranchers were awarded 36 contracts totaling $1,079,085 to enroll 2,365 acres into the EQIP program.

EQIP funds are one way for landowners to solve a resource problem such as an eroding irrigation ditch, the press release states.

It can also be used to help address regulatory concerns such as water quality or to receive incentives for using conservation tillage and new management strategies.

The primary resource concerns being addressed in Siskiyou County include water quality and quantity for anadromous fish on the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta Rivers and tributaries in the watersheds.

Other local priories include: water conservation, plant health and noxious weed control with the use of grazing systems and the local protection and promotion of forest health.

The EQIP program’s objective is to promote agricultural production and environmental quality with compatible national goals.

It offers financial and technical assistance to implement measures that will address water quality and erosion concerns as well as restoration of wildlife habitat.

The list of potential practices is lengthy and should meet the needs of a number of producers in the county.

Landowners wanting more information about EQIP and how it can be used to install conservation measures on their property should contact the Yreka (530-842-6123) or Tulelake (530-667-4247) NRCS office.

Specific information about EQIP in Siskiyou County can also be found on the internet at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.

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