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Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Provides Wildlife Habitat in Pataha Creek

Highlights in Conservation icon

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Provides Wildlife Habitat in Pataha Creek

Location icon
Garfield County, Pataha Creek

Riparian habitat in Pataha creek prior to plantings.

A hilltop View of newly installed Riparian Forest Buffer.

Conservation Partners icon
NRCS, FSA, Pomeroy SWCD and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Resource Challenges icon
The overall riparian habitat in Pataha creek including water temperature and sediment load. The upland areas had a lack of cover and food source for upland wildlife.

Conservation Program Used icon
The Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was used to secure a 180 foot buffer from either side of the stream. The program allowed for tree and shrub plantings of native species on tarps of 11,200 ft, 179,000 sq ft of mulch, 4,000 willow plantings on approximately one mile of stream bank, permanent grass seeding of four native species (Magnar Basin wild rye, Secar Snake River wheatgrass, Sherman big bluegrass, Sodar stream bank wheatgrass), and one introduced grass (Alkan tall wheatgrass) plus one year later alfalfa, sweet clover and small brunet. Pomeroy Soil and Water Conservation District provided cost funding on 37 acres of the seeding and tree planting as well as the rental payment on 37 acres. Washington Fish and Wildlife used a Pheasants Forever grant to pick up the permanent grass cover and rental payment for the remainder of the fields not covered by the 180 foot (CREP) buffer.

Riparian habitat in Pataha creek after plantings.

A view of the buffer's excellent grass stand.

Innovations and Highlights icon
 CREP has a 180foot from the stream limit, so to be able to partner with the conservation district and WSFW to extend the bounders of a project like this is rare.

Results and Accomplishments icon
The grass establishment has exceeded expectations in the first year thanks to remarkable weather in the area. Tree and shrub plantings have also done very will and are establishing nicely. The success of the legume's and forb's planted earlier this year remain to be seen but look to be on track at this time. With past efforts on projects of this type we have seen dramatic decreases in water temperature and sediment and expect this project will continue to show good results. 

 

Contact icon

Rick Stauty, Soil Conservationist, Pomeroy, WA, (509) 843-1998

NRCS, Summer 2012

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