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Upper Columbia Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) growing in many directions

Highlights in Conservation icon

Upper Columbia Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) growing in many directions

A volunteer firefighter demonstrates the proper technique of spraying down a wildfire. The source of the water, a dry hydrant, is made possible thanks in large part to the Upper Columbia RC&D.

A volunteer firefighter demonstrates the proper technique of spraying down a wildfire. The source of the water, a dry hydrant, is made possible thanks in large part to the Upper Columbia RC&D.

Location icon
Ferry, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman Counties

Project Summary icon
Upper Columbia RC&D is stepping up efforts to be more visible and effective in the rural communities it serves.

Conservation Partners icon
Upper Columbia RC&D has many sponsors who are also their partners. They include Colville Confederated Tribes, Ferry County Commissioners, Ferry County Conservation District, Kalispel Tribe, Northwest Natural Resources Institute, City of Palouse, Palouse Conservation District, Palouse Rock Lake Conservation District, Pend Oreille County Commissioners, Pine Creek Conservation District, Spokane County Commissioners, Spokane County Conservation District, Spokane Tribe of Indians, Stevens County Commissioners, Whitman Conservation District, Whitman County Commissioners, and WSU Extension of Spokane County.

Resource Challenges icon
The Council has identified several areas of concern in the five county area. They include forest health, soil erosion and condition, air quality and the need to develop alternative fuels using renewable resources.

Conservation Program Used icon
Upper Columbia RC&D has received a grant from EPA for Diesel Fuel Emission Reduction. It is intended to promote the use of Direct Seed and No-Till technology. Farmers would be able to receive cost share to offset the cost of converting to this technology. The end product would be fewer diesel emissions by eliminating seedbed preparation and saving several tillages. In addition, erosion will be reduced tremendously and soil condition will see many improvements.

The Council is pursuing several avenues to help improve forest health. Forest fuels continue to build and are setting the stage for a greater chance of devastating wild fires. By pursuing projects such as dry hydrants to provide adequate water for fire fighting in rural areas and "Fuels for Schools" that help remove forest fuels and use the wood to heat schools - resulting in lower risk of wild fire and reduced costs for heating schools. The Council is helping rural communities be stronger and safer.

Innovations and Highlights icon
The Upper Columbia RC&D is working hard to strengthen its’ understanding of the issues in the five county area by meeting with constituents, partners and others to gather input on the needs of the RC&D Area. By gathering enough information about an issue the Council can assist a sponsor in developing a quality project application and assist in securing funding.

Results and Accomplishments icon
While all of the efforts to sustain natural resource and help rural communities become more viable is a big part of the Councils purpose, it is the result of a Council that is becoming more active, more involved with its constituents and partners and more dedicated to helping rural communities help themselves.

Contact icon
Gary Mitchell, Upper Columbia Resource Conservation & Development Office, (509) 924-7350 ext. 119

NRCS, Fall 2006