CCPI uses the funds, policies, and processes of NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) cost-share agreements.
Idaho currently has eleven CCPI funded projects. Nine of these projects are funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and two using Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) funding. They are as follows:
CCPI Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (WHIP)
This project focuses on conservation on private lands which complement conservation objectives found within the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Comprehensive Wildlife Managements Strategy, Elk Management Plan, Mule Deer Initiative. The basis for these plans is a landscape approach to conserving Idaho's wildlife heritage. This CCPI seeks to leverage wildlife habitat conservation on private lands in conjunction with other efforts underway on state and federal lands. There are three focus areas for this project. They are: The Owyhee Uplands; The West Central Area and The Boise/Fairfield Area.
CCPI Kootenai River Valley Cooperative Habitat Restoration (WHIP)
This initiative is aimed at the large scale ecosystem habitat restoration in a 55-mile reach of the Kootenai River. The project proposes to improve both riparian and wetland habitat that has been altered through agricultural practices. The project is designed to compliment another effort, the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration project, which is focused on restoring stream habitat, addressing bank erosion, reconnecting channels, and creating and enhancing floodplains, in the same 55-mile river reach. The Kootenai River Valley Cooperative Habitat Restoration project actions will include bank restoration, riparian planting, grazing management practices and upland wildlife habitat enhancements that will significantly contribute to the overall success of ecosystem-based restoration in the Kootenai River sub basin.
This initiative encourages producers within the Ashton-Drummond Nitrate Priority Area to apply nutrients in a manner and amount that meets the NRCS Standard 590 - Nutrient Management standard on their croplands by providing financial incentives to do so. The goal of the project is to reduce groundwater nitrate levels in the area. The project proposes to show the benefits of applying lime in order to adjust soil pH levels which in turn show increased plant benefits at lower nitrogen levels thereby reducing overall input of nitrogen.
CCPI Egin Bench Cover Crop (EQIP)
This project located on the Egin bench area of Madison County seeks to demonstrate through on the ground contracts with local farmers the benefit of planting bio-fumigate cover crops such as winter mustard. The advantages are the reduction of nematodes, and significant benefits in reducing wind erosion damages to spring fields and crops.
CCPI Jump Creek/Succor Creek (EQIP)
Owyhee County will supplement actions initiated by the Owyhee Soil and Water Conservation District through the Jump Creek and Succor Creek Water Quality Program for Agriculture, phase I. The project will provide financial assistance through EQIP contracts for the implementation of Best Management Practices. Those practices will include conversion of surface irrigation systems to sprinklers, increased irrigation water management, filter strips, sediment basins, fencing, pastures establishment and use exclusion in critical areas. The project area includes the Jump and Succor Creek watersheds.
CCPI Lower Payette River/Squaw Creek (EQIP)
This project will supplement current water quality projects on the Lower Payette River and Squaw Creek in Gem County, Idaho. The goal in the lower Payette River area is to reduce loading of bacteria, nutrients and sediment into the waterbody through the installation of BMP's identified in the TMDL implementation plan. The Squaw Creek project area will address TMDL concerns of sediment, temperature, nutrients, habitat, and flow alteration through implementation of several selected BMPs. These will include an increase in irrigation water management and the improvement of irrigation systems, installation of fencing, prescribed grazing and use exclusion to improve riparian habitat, and the reduction of soil erosion and contaminated water runoff from animal feeding operations which may reach Squaw Creek.
CCPI Pilger/Thorn Creek (EQIP)
This project encompasses the Thorn Creek and Preach Creek drainages of the Big Wood River in Gooding County, Idaho the Little Wood River between the towns of Richfield and Shoshone in Lincoln County, Idaho. The goal of the project is to reduce the negative impacts of irrigation induced erosion is having on these water bodies by increasing irrigation application efficiencies through conversion from surface to sprinkler irrigation systems. Increased application efficiency from 35% to 85% efficiency is the goal. Financial assistance through participation in EQIP contracts will provide the incentive for change.
CCPI Twin Falls Nitrate Priority Area (EQIP)
The Twin Falls Nitrate Priority Area was recently designated as the #1 nitrate priority area in the state. The project goal is to enroll agricultural producers in High Intensity Nutrient Management (590) and High Intensity Irrigation Water Management (449). Since these management practices are not widely used in the area, the project will serve as a demonstration to show agricultural producers the benefits of nutrient management and irrigation water management. These benefits include, but are not limited to: decreased field runoff, decreased nitrate leaching into the groundwater, greater efficiency in water usage, more efficient application of nutrients, and higher crop yields.
CCPI Cassian/Minidoka Nutrient and Irrigation Water Management Project (EQIP)
This project will assist the agricultural community in addressing the problem of elevated nitrates in the ground water within the Cassia and Minidoka Nitrate Priority Areas. The project will assist this group in meeting the targets of the Lake Walcott TMDL by reducing phosphorous discharge into ditches, canals, and ultimately the Milner Pool of the Snake River. Farmers will be offered financial assistance to implement High Intensity Nutrient Management (590) and High Intensity Irrigation Water Management (449). In addition they will be encouraged to use variable rate application of fertilizers.
CCPI Jefferson Co. Irrigation Efficiency Project (EQIP)
Approximately 4300 acres of the project area has never been treated using modern laser land leveling technology. This project will offer financial assistance to apply laser leveling to these fields as well as fields which have not been laser leveled for over 20 years. Irrigation efficiencies on the average, prior to laser land leveling are between 10% - 30% after laser land leveling irrigation efficiency increases to 40% - 60% resulting in a net increase of 30% average. NRCS Practices 590 Nutrient Management and 449 Irrigation Water Management will be required as a suite of practices with all contracts including Irrigation Land Leveling.
CCPI Rexburg Bench Energy Conservation Project (EQIP)
The Rexburg Bench is a unique irrigated agricultural area. On average this area uses 40,400 K W/year, which equates to 58,288,000 Kwh/year. This translates to an average power cost for the area of $2,331,520.00. The typical irrigation system includes three or four 130 acre center pivots along with hand lines on the corners. The wells range from 300 ft. up to 2,300 ft. deep and the pumps range from 300 to 1000 horsepower. These systems limit the producer in crop rotation and irrigation scheduling as well as incurring high energy costs. The end result is limited irrigation water management. A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) attached to their pumps will enable producers to slow the pump's revolutions and match the system's water output to the crop needs. The expected benefits include an average energy reduction of 8% (47,935 KWH) per system for a savings of $3,253.75 and a 10% reduction of ground water withdrawals.