News Release

NRCS Partners in Colorado Receives Nearly $100,000 in Conservation Innovative Grant Funding

CIG Picture

Contact: Petra Barnes Walker  
NRCS State Public Information Officer  
Office Number: 720-544-2808  
Fax Number: 720-544-2965  

DENVER – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the selection of two natural resource partners in Colorado, who will receive some $100,000 through the state level Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program.   The program is managed in two levels including a state and national component and is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  CIG grants aim to help improve technologies and approaches for natural resource conservation on private lands.

“CIG grants provide opportunities for the development of unique and innovative solutions that will make natural resources conservation more effective and efficient,”says Eugene Backhaus, Acting NRCS State Conservationist in Colorado.  “Several states received funding for 2013 CIG state level projects including the two in Colorado and all those projects have the opportunity to not only have statewide implications, but may also yield results that may be used nationally as well”.  Colorado’s award recipients include the Colorado Livestock Association as well as an alliance between Routt County Conservation District and the Frentress Ranch with support provided by Routt County Extension.

The Colorado Livestock Association project aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of a pilot-scale meteorological “warning system” to inform livestock producers of days when ammonia emissions are likely to be transported to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).  This allows producers to implement previously demonstrated conservation practices during critical days for ammonia volatilization and transport towards RMNP.

The alliance between three natural resource stakeholders, intends for their project to evaluate crop rotations that will work to contribute to soil health, provide additional farm income, and fit into a winter wheat high elevation cropping system. Secondary benefits include providing livestock feed by pasture cropping or using them as a tool to harvest cover crops.

NRCS manages and administers the CIG program through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit