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Naneum Creek operator takes proactive approach to up and coming regulatory requirements

Highlights in Conservation icon

Naneum Creek operator takes proactive approach to up and coming regulatory requirements

A fish screen built and installed by Doss Roberts using Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife technical standards will prevent steelhead, salmon, and bull trout from entering this irrigation diversion off of Naneum Creek.

A fish screen built and installed by Doss Roberts using Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife technical standards will prevent steelhead, salmon, and bull trout from entering this irrigation diversion off of Naneum Creek.

Location icon
Kittitas County, near Ellensburg

Project Summary icon
Installation of center pivot, fish screen, nutrient & pest management, Irrigated Water Management (IWM) standard, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP), off site corral and watering facility, tree/shrub establishment, use exclusion

Conservation Partners icon
Kittitas County Conservation District (KCCD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Resource Challenges icon
Lack of water quantity due to using creek water, fish & wildlife habitat (unscreened diversion in creek), water quality due to corrals being located adjacent to creek, plant productivity due to poor irrigation system.

Conservation Program Used icon
NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and KCCD’s Livestock Grant monies

Innovations and Highlights icon
The producer Doss Roberts has nearly quadrupled his pasture production by installing the new irrigation system and is one of the only (if not the only) landowners with a legal diversion above the Highline canal. He was also very proactive in installing the fish screen, building it himself to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) specifications rather than buying an extremely costly one to install. He is the first person in county to come in voluntarily to request technical and financial assistance in moving his corral system off of the creek, at much time and expense to him. New site is already being praised by neighbors who got to work cattle in it this spring and has eliminated any potential pollution to Naneum Creek. Multiple staff time involved including: Ken Drecksel, Resource Soil Scientist; Paul Majer, Engineer; Sarah Troutman, Rangeland Management Specialist; Chris Bove, Resource Conservationist; Allen Aronica, Soil Conservation Technician; Mark Crowley KCCD Resource Technician.

Results and Accomplishments icon
Doss said that by being able to install a pivot irrigation system he has seen the amount of animal units nearly quadruple on his land. He began with 30 pair of beef cattle and had to rent additional pasture to feed them throughout the year. He is currently running 50 pair on his own private property and is able to get an additional cutting for hay. More efficient use and application of water also means he can more confidently invest money back into the farm and has started an extensive re-seeding program which has been extremely successful. Weeds and parasitic flies have also been reduced dramatically improving the health of his grazing animals. He no longer has to worry about the use or contamination of creek water for his animals. He also has eliminated the concern of current and pending environmental regulations that could have possibly been posed upon him and his farm. As Doss stated, "if the little guy is going to survive, he’s got to get some help." The help in this case was the excellent technical and financial assistance Doss received through KCCD and NRCS.

Contact icon
Sarah Troutman, Ellensburg Field Office, (509) 925-8585 ext. 3

NRCS, Spring 2007