Yakima Integrated Plan Toppenish to Teanaway Project 2017-2021
The Kittitas County Conservation District's RCPP project implements conservation program contracts and easement agreements through four existing USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs authorities.
Local producers who are or have worked with the NRCS Field Office in Ellensburg will recognize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This the program that typically is utilized for sprinkler conversion projects and other on-farm efficiencies. Over the last several years, EQIP has funded 10% or less of the applications each year. The new funding through RCPP will approximately triple the amount of local EQIP funding available for the next four years.
The easement programs are not as widely known here. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) includes funding for farmland preservation as well as wetland reserve projects. The Healthy Forest Reserve Program is new to the state, although it has been implemented in Oregon. Together the easement programs have approximately $1.4 million in funding through this proposal.
Through RCPP, the KCCD also has technical assistance funding which allows KCCD staff to assist with sign-ups, ranking of applications, conservation plan activities and cultural resources surveys and reviews. This means that KCCD staff assist producers directly, an effort that will increase the efficiency of the application process through NRCS.
Who can apply for EQIP?
Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on that land may apply to participate in EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands. Eligible applicants must:
Be agricultural producer (person, legal entity, or joint operation who has an interest in the agricultural operation, or who is engaged in agricultural production or forestry management).
Control or own eligible land.
Comply with adjusted gross income (AGI) for less than $900,000. Note: Federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes or Alaska Native corporations are exempt from the AGI payment limitations.
Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements.
Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations that addresses at least one natural resource concern.
Additional program requirements may apply.
How do I sign up for these programs?
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
ELLENSBURG, Wash. (November 11, 2019) – The Kittitas County Conservation District announces that the application deadline is extended. Applications will be accepted continuously until further notice. Applicants are still encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.
ELLENSBURG, Wash. (October 14, 2019) – The Kittitas County Conservation District announces a November 22, 2019 application deadline for assistance with on-farm irrigation system improvements, livestock management practices (fences, watering facilities) and riparian and instream habitat. Read the full announcement here.
Producers should verify that their farm records are complete and up-to-date with the NRCS and FSA. You can do this by contacting FSA's Jennifer Deweese at (509) 925-8585 ext. 2 or NRCS's Holly Taylor at (509) 925-8585 ext. 3.
Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP)
ELLENSBURG, Wash. (August 19, 2019) – The Kittitas County Conservation District announces an October 31, 2019 application deadline to sign-up for the Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP).
Land enrolled in HFRP easements must be privately owned and restore, enhance or measurably increase the recovery of threatened or endangered species, improve biological diversity or increase carbon storage. Read the full announcement here
Interested landowners should contact the KCCD at 509-925-3352 or 2211 W Dolarway Road, Ellensburg, WA.
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