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News Release

National Water Quality Initiative Watersheds Selected for Wisconsin

Renae Anderson

May 8, 2013

Map of watersheds
More info on National Water Quality Initiative

Wisconsin Watersheds in NWQI:

Pigeon Lake-Pigeon River in Waupaca County - map
Horse Lake-Horse Creek in Polk County map
Big Green Lake in Green Lake County map

Agricultural Producers in priority watersheds may apply

NRCS Announces National Water Quality Initiative in Wisconsin

Madison, Wis…… May 13, 2013 — State Conservationist Jimmy Bramblett announced the launch of a National Water Quality Initiative in Wisconsin committed to improving impaired waters. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will manage the initiative by making funds available to farmers and forest landowners in the selected watersheds.

“We believe we can make a significant and noticeable improvement in the quality of these troubled waters by focusing efforts on the core clean water practices,” said Bramblett. “By reducing soil erosion and nutrient loss from cropland, and repairing and stabilizing streambanks, the water and the fishery will recover in due time.”

Three watersheds have been selected in Wisconsin. They are:

Pigeon Lake-Pigeon River in Waupaca County - map
Horse Lake-Horse Creek in Polk County map
Big Green Lake in Green Lake County map

Eligible producers in these watersheds will begin voluntary conservation actions to work toward cleaner water for their families, neighbors and communities. The selected watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the NRCS State Technical Committee. They have strong county and DNR involvement, ongoing water quality monitoring, and a history of farmer participation in conservation programs.

Using nearly $1.4 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide funding and advice to producers to install conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in watersheds where the federal investment can make a difference to improve water quality.

“Farmers try to be good stewards of the land, and they can succeed when they have the tools they need to protect water quality,” said Bramblett. “We look forward to working with producers in these watersheds to help them improve the impaired streams.”

Upland conservation practices will reduce the sediment loading from cropland. These practices include contour buffers, critical area planting, grade stabilization, grazing and conservation planning to reduce soil loss. To restore the stream corridor itself, streambank fencing, riprap, critical area planting, in-stream habitat features, and buffers may be needed.

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. This year, there are two ranking deadlines for NWQI. All applications must be received by June 21 or July 12, 2013, to be considered for funding this year. NRCS will notify all applicants of the results and begin developing contracts with selected applicants.

Since 1935, NRCS’s nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests. For more information about NRCS programs, initiatives and services in Wisconsin, visit us online at .
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