Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribe, Inc. Signs Group EQIP Contract

Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribe, Inc. Signs Group EQIP Contract

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc., under the leadership of President Moses Osceola, has just signed a first-ever EQIP group contract under Tribe, Inc. that will encompass/assist 9 operators in the B-group of the Brighton Indian Reservation. The Tribe's EQIP contract will primarily address water quality/quantity issues at their reservation. While everyone around Lake Okeechobee is tackling the issue of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of phosphorous going into the lake, Seminole Tribe is cognizant of their own situation.

The Brighton reservation is separated into 5 groups of water districts (A-E, determined by their Cattle and Range committee). Within the B-group each operator is charged $5/head/month to operate and maintain (1) pump that distributes water to their pastures for irrigating. NRCS will assist in implementing best management practices to help lower the cost of pump operation while maximizing water efficiency.Seminole Tribe President signs contract

With EQIP funds the Tribe will be able to tackle issues of retaining irrigated waters in their pasture by re-designing their main ditches within their pasture and utilizing water control structures to prolong the process. Each pasture will carry their available water capacity to meet the crops need while permeability/percolation/seepage processes take place enhancing surrounding wetlands and replenishing aquifers. Wildlife will have the capability to browse not only in wetland areas but through out the pasture. By retaining these waters the Tribe will let the sediments subside before any excess or surface runoff waters are released at a designed elevation.

President Osceola is proud that he can help the Tribe's cow-calf operations at Brighton and anticipates continuing the effort with the rest of the operators at Brighton and at Big Cypress Reservation as well. President Osceola appreciates USDA NRCS' help on the surmounted effort over the water quality issue and looks forward to continuing the government-to-government relationship in this undertaking.

Photo:Tribe President Moses Osceola (right) signs EQIP contract
as Project Coordinator Allen Huff looks on.