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Kansas Technical Committee Minutes | September 27, 2012

Kansas Technical Committee Minutes - September 2012

Kansas Technical Committee (KTC) Minutes
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
NRCS Conference Center
747 Duvall
Salina, Kansas

Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist (STC), Natural Resources Conservationist (NRCS), Salina, Kansas, called the Kansas Technical Committee (KTC) meeting to order. Eric welcomed members, made introductions, and discussed the purpose of the meeting.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)

Corey L. Nelson, Resource Conservationist, NRCS, Salina, Kansas, presented the following EQIP recommendations.

KTC Recommendation: KTC recommended that the following new Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Implementation Areas be considered for priority in specific ranking categories.

WRAPS Implementation Area Maps Ranking Categories
Poultry Water Quality, Soil Health, and Livestock Waste
Cropland Water Quality and Soil Health
Livestock Water Quality, Soil Health, and Livestock Waste
Gully Water Quality
Streambank Stream System Restoration

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation.

KTC Recommendation: The NRCS discussed with KTC a concern that the water quality/cropland health ranking category may be too broad, and the NRCS would like to focus more on soil health issues. It was discussed that it may be better to split these back into separate ranking categories. KTC recommended we try this approach for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation.

KTC Recommendation: The NRCS discussed with KTC a concern with having multiple ranking categories for quick response areas (QRAs) with the number of applications in the last two years. It was discussed that combining the QRAs into one ranking category would reduce some administrative burden. KTC recommended that we try this approach for FY 2013.

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation.

KTC Recommendation: It was recommended by Jared McJunkin, National Wild Turkey Federation, to add Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 142, Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Plan, to the eligible practices list where applicable.

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation.

KTC Recommendation: Tim Christian, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition (KGLC), presented recommendations to add ranking questions to the grazing lands health ranking category (see attachment 1). Of the three recommended ranking questions, it was discussed that the NRCS could only use the question related to the participant enrolling in a Kansas Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), as the other questions were already included as requirements for the grazing lands health ranking category.

STC Decision: Concurred with adding a question to the grazing lands health ranking category dealing with the use of CoCoRaHS.

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Attachment 1 - Proposed additional ranking criteria (PDF; 119 KB)

KTC Recommendation: With the decrease in general Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) funding, the NRCS’s wildlife partners recommended changes to the wildlife habitat ranking category including wildlife priorities, resource concerns, eligible land uses, eligible practices, and ranking questions (see attachment 2).

STC Decision: Concurred with resource concern and eligible land uses. Concurred with eligible practices; however, it should be noted that regional scenarios and payment rates will be used. Concurred with recommended ranking criteria; however, the question on required prescribed grazing was reworded to follow program policy.

Attachment 2 - WHIP/EQIP meeting minutes (PDF; 150 KB)

KTC Recommendation: Greg Foley, Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), Division of Conservation (DOC), asked the KTC to consider including priority for treatment of water quality concerns from poultry litter in the livestock waste ranking category. A poultry litter target area of the following counties was recommended: Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation. Coffey County was added to the target area after the KTC meeting following further discussion with DOC.

KTC Recommendation: The NRCS discussed with KTC the concerns with Soil Erosion–Streambank resource concern and Conservation Practice 580–Streambank and Shoreline Protection. A presentation was given by Dean Krehbiel, Resource Conservationist, NRCS, on the guidance Kansas NRCS is putting together for providing technical assistance on stream system restoration. The NRCS discussed concerns with having this resource concern and practice in the water quality, sedimentation above federal reservoirs, and Tribal ranking categories. KTC recommended making the changes discussed by the NRCS. The NRCS also discussed adding Stream System Restoration as a new ranking category targeting specific watersheds with a priority based on the location and the treatment. CP 580 and associated practices will be included. KTC recommended adding the new ranking category.

STC Decision: Concurred with this recommendation.

Corey reviewed the new EQIP Screening Tool for Water Quality and Soil Health.

KTC Recommendation: There was concern noted with the EQIP Screening Tool question, “The application has had a previously terminated contract,” which would place the application in low priority. Some members voiced concerns that there could be extenuating circumstances for a participant having a contract cancelled or terminated.

STC Decision: The NRCS will ensure that guidance to field offices is clear that an applicant may request the STC to reconsider placing their application in low priority due to a previously terminated or cancelled contract. The request for reconsideration would give the applicant the opportunity to provide any extenuating circumstances to the STC.

Attendees:

  • Cal Adams, Smoky Hills Graziers
  • Larry Biles, Kansas Forest Service
  • Scott Carlson, Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA)-Division of Conservation (DOC)
  • Andrew Lyon, KDA-Division of Water Resources (DWR)
  • Dara Paull, KDA-DWR
  • Tim Christian, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition
  • Barth Crouch, Playa Lakes Joint Venture
  • Jamie Gaggero, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
  • Harold Klaege, Kansas Alliance of Wetlands and Streams
  • Jim Hays, The Nature Conservancy
  • Jan King, Western Kansas Groundwater Management District
  • Ron Klataske, Audubon of Kansas
  • Joe Kramer, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT)
  • Matt Smith, KDWPT
  • Greg Kramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Rich McKee, Kansas Livestock Association
  • Susan Metzger, Kansas Water Office (KWO)
  • Susan Stover, KWO
  • Howard Miller, Cheney Lake Watershed
  • Maurice Miller, Sharp Brothers Seed Company
  • Barb Oltjen, State Association of Kansas Watersheds
  • Steve Schaff, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Steve Sorensen, Kansas Wildlife Federation
  • Tim Stroda, Kansas Pork Association
  • Steve Swaffar, Kansas Farm Bureau
  • Patti Winters, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts Employees’ Organization
  • Eric Banks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Gaye Benfer, NRCS
  • Corey Nelson, NRCS
  • Chad Volkman, NRCS
  • Joni Franklin, NRCS
  • Monty Breneman, NRCS
  • Jeff Gross, NRCS
  • Andy Burr, NRCS
  • Clifford Thornton, NRCS
  • David Kraft, NRCS
  • Arvil Bass, NRCS
  • R. Dean Krehbiel, NRCS