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Joint Chiefs’ Initiative for Smith River Watersheds

Overview

The United States Forest Service (USFS) and the NRCS have entered into a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and USFS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds. Reducing forest fuels will provide additional protection for community safety, wildlife habitat, watershed health, recreation opportunities and cultural resources.

The conservation goals and funding priorities for the Joint Chiefs’ Initiative for Smith River Watersheds is to promote community wildfire protection and assist in the restoration of ecological process on non-industrial private forestland.

Funding has been made available for a 3-year period, 2019, 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, to complete a network of strategically placed fuelbreaks to help protect the wildland-urban interface in and near the Washington Flat community.

Technical and financial assistance is available for non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) managers and landowners located in the Little Jones Creek and Siskiyou Fork watersheds within the Smith River watershed and Del Norte County.

The California NRCS State Conservationist has determined that the geographic scope of a Forest Management Plan and nonindustrial private forest land does not include areas within 100 feet from a permitted structure or a greater distance if required by state law, or local ordinance, rule or regulation.

The following sections include the applicable land uses, resource concerns, and conservation practices for the ranking pool.

Land Uses

The descriptions below are the general NRCS land use definitions - applications should fit within, but do not need to exactly match, these descriptions. Below are the applicable land uses for the ranking pool.

  • Forest: Land on which the primary vegetation is tree cover (climax, natural or introduced plant community) and use is primarily for production of wood products or non-timber forest products.
  • Associated Agricultural Lands: Land associated with farms and ranches that are not purposefully managed for food, forage, or fiber and are typically associated with nearby production or conservation lands. This could include incidental areas, such as odd areas, ditches and watercourses, riparian areas, field edges, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and other similar areas.

Resource Concerns

The goal of conservation planning is to help each client attain sustainable use and sound management of soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources, based on related human considerations (SWAPAE+H).  Below is a list of priority resource concerns for the ranking pool.

SWAPAE+H
Resource Concern Category
Resource Concern
Soil
Concentrated Erosion
Classic gully erosion
Ephemeral gully erosion
Wind and Water Erosion
Sheet and rill erosion
Water
Field, Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen Loss
Sediment transported to surface water
Air
Air Quality Emissions
Emissions of greenhouse gases - GHGs
Plants
Degraded Plant Condition
Plant productivity and health
Plant structure and composition
Pest Pressure
Plant pest pressure
Fire Management
Wildfire hazard from biomass accumulation
Animals
Aquatic Habitat
Aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms
Elevated water temperature
Terrestrial Habitat
Terrestrial habitat for wildlife and invertebrates

Conservation Practices

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through this ranking pool are listed in the below table. For more information about NRCS conservation practices visit the following website link: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/?cid=NRCSDEV11_001020.

Practice Code
Conservation Practice Name
Practice Units
Lifespan (Years)
106
Forest Management Plan – Written
no
1
314
Brush Management
ac
10
315
Herbaceous Weed Control
ac
5
338
Prescribed Burning
ac
1
342
Critical Area Planting
ac
10
350
Sediment Basin
no
20
383
Fuel Break
ac
10
384
Woody Residue Treatment
ac
10
390
Riparian Herbaceous Cover
ac
5
391
Riparian Forest Buffer
ac
15
393
Filter Strip
ac
10
394
Firebreak
ft
5
410
Grade Stabilization Structure
no
15
412
Grassed Waterway
ac
10
420
Wildlife Habitat Planting
ac
5
468
Lined Waterway or Outlet
ft
15
472
Access Control
ac
10
484
Mulching
ac
1
490
Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
ac
1
500
Obstruction Removal
ac
10
512
Forage and Biomass Planting
ac
5
570
Stormwater Runoff Control
no
1
578
Stream Crossing
no
10
580
Streambank and Shoreline Protection
ft
20
584
Channel Bed Stabilization
ft
10
601
Vegetative Barrier
ft
5
612
Tree/Shrub Establishment
ac
15
638
Water and Sediment Control Basin
no
10
643
Restoration and Management of Rare or Declining Habitats
ac
1
645
Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
ac
1
647
Early Successional Habitat Development/Management
ac
1
654
Road/Trail/Landing Closure and Treatment
ft
10
655
Forest Trails and Landings
ft
5
660
Tree/Shrub Pruning
ac
10
666
Forest Stand Improvement
ac
10

Interested Applicants

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation.

Visit https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/ to find the NRCS representative for your county.