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News Release

Special USDA Initiative to Fund Water Quality Work in Three Boise River Watersheds

Contact:
James Eller, District Conservationist
(208) 454-8684 ext.130



May 8, 2012, Boise, ID – Farmers in specific lower Boise River watersheds may be eligible for funding for projects to improve water quality. Photo of Dixie Sough, Lower Sand Hollow Creek and Outlet Boise River watersheds.The Natural Resources Conservation Service is currently accepting applications for a Water Quality Improvement Initiative; applications received by May 18, 2012 will be considered for the first funding round.

NRCS will work with private landowners in the targeted area that runs along the Boise River from Lake Lowell to the Idaho-Oregon border. The specific watersheds are named Dixie Slough, Lower Sand Hollow Creek and Outlet Boise River (map attached).

“For this initiative we targeted three watersheds that drain into the Boise River which the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed “impaired,” said Jeff Burwell, Idaho NRCS State Conservationist. “That means these waters do not meet the water quality standards set by the state because they are too polluted. The initiative provides funds to farmers who want to help clean up the waterways by incorporating certain practices to manage agricultural field runoff.”

Examples of those practices include installing drip or sprinkler irrigation systems, planting cover crops, installing streambank protection, modifying crop rotation, and managing and monitoring nutrient applications. 

The nationwide initiative was designed to help states address two water quality issues: excessive sediments and excessive nutrients and organic matter in surface water. NRCS works with private landowners to carry out conservation work to resolve environmental problems affecting water, people, and communities.

“An important part of the USDA mission is helping farmers and ranchers develop plans to protect human health and the environment,” said Burwell. “This initiative will help agricultural producers be a part of providing cleaner water for their neighbors downstream.”

For more information on the Water Quality Initiative, contact the NRCS office in Caldwell at 2208 East Chicago Blvd or at (208) 454-8684.

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