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Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Ponds

Overview

The conservation goals and funding priorities of the Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Pond ranking pool is to provide financial and technical assistance for the implementation of conservation practices on eligible agricultural operations to support aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats for California Red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense).

Eligible agricultural landuses for the fund pool are restricted to grazed rangeland because of the habitat needs of these two species. Natural areas such as associated agricultural lands not in agricultural production are also eligible.

Ponds may be restored to hold their original quantity of water and will therefore increase the potential to hold water in a field for livestock use. Improvements to livestock ponds may also improve inadequate stock water issues that compromise the ability of a land manager to properly utilize and manage forage.

Other possible treatments may reduce the amount of sediments coming into a pond, which in turn extend the number of years that pond will hold sufficient amounts of water.

Due to the high potential for listed species to be affected by the proposed projects, programmatic permits held by the NRCS, the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, and the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District may be utilized, when appropriate.

Complying with regulatory permits ensures that the goals of this initiative are met via habitat improvements for California Red-legged frog and California Tiger Salamander. All practices implemented with financial assistance from EQIP must follow Federal, State, and local regulations.

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.

  • Range: Land used primarily for the production of grazing animals. Includes native plant communities and those seeded to native or introduced species, or naturalized by introduced species that are ecologically managed using range management principles.
  • 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.
  • Grazed: Where grazing animals impact how land is managed.
  • Wildlife: Where the applicant is actively managing for wildlife.

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
Plants
Degraded Plant Condition
Plant productivity and health
Animals
Aquatic Habitat
Aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms
Livestock Production Limitation
Inadequate livestock water quantity, quality, and distribution
Terrestrial Habitat
Terrestrial habitat for wildlife and invertebrates

Conservation Practices

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through 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.

For certain conservations practices, a limit to the amount of financial assistance has been established in certain regions. Practice payment caps are established in consultation with local partners and to allow limited financial assistance support to reach more participants. Please contact your local field office if you have questions. A maximum payment amount per contract or practice is not allowable. Practice payment caps are applicable per agreement item.

Practice Code
Conservation Practice Name
Practice Units
Lifespan (Years)
110
Grazing Management Plan - Written
no
1
314
Brush Management
ac
10
315
Herbaceous Weed Treatment
ac
5
338
Prescribed Burning
ac
1
342
Critical Area Planting
ac
10
350
Sediment Basin
no
20
351
Water Well Decommissioning
no
20
355
Well Water Testing
no
1
356
Dike
ft
20
362
Diversion
ft
10
378
Pond
no
20
380
Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
ft
15
382
Fence
ft
20
384
Woody Residue Treatment
ac
10
390
Riparian Herbaceous Cover
ac
5
391
Riparian Forest Buffer
ac
15
395
Stream Habitat Improvement and Management
ac
5
396
Aquatic Organism Passage
mi
5
410
Grade Stabilization Structure
no
15
412
Grassed Waterway
ac
10
430
Irrigation Pipeline
ft
20
436
Irrigation Reservoir
ac-ft
15
441
Irrigation System, Microirrigation
ac
15
462
Precision Land Forming
ac
10
468
Lined Waterway or Outlet
ft
15
472
Access Control
ac
10
484
Mulching
ac
1
500
Obstruction Removal
ac
10
516
Livestock Pipeline
ft
20
520
Pond Sealing or Lining, Compacted Soil
no
15
521
Pond Sealing or Lining, Geomembrane or Geosynthetic Clay Liner
no
20
528
Prescribed Grazing
ac
1
533
Pumping Plant
no
15
548
Grazing Land Mechanical Treatment
ac
1
550
Range Planting
ac
5
558
Roof Runoff Structure
no
15
560
Access Road
ft
10
561
Heavy Use Area Protection
ac
10
570
Stormwater Runoff Control
no
1
572
Spoil Diposal
ac
1
574
Spring Development
no
20
578
Stream Crossing
no
10
580
Streambank and Shoreline Protection
ft
20
584
Channel Bed Stabilization
ft
10
587
Structure for Water Control
no
20
601
Vegetative Barrier
ft
5
606
Subsurface Drain
ft
20
612
Tree/Shrub Establishment
ac
15
614
Watering Facility
no
20
620
Underground Outlet
ft
20
630
Vertical Drain
no
10
636
Water Harvesting Catchment
no
20
638
Water and Sediment Control Basin
no
10
642
Water Well
no
20
645 Upland Wildlife Habitat Management no 1
649
Structures for Wildlife
no
5
650
Windbreak/Shelterbelt Renovation
ft
15
654
Road/Trail/Landing Closure and Treatment
ft
10
656
Constructed Wetland
ac
15
657
Wetland Restoration
ac
15
658
Wetland Creation
ac
15
659
Wetland Enhancement
ac
15
660
Tree/Shrub Pruning
ac
10
740
Pond Sealing and Lining, Soil Cement
no
20
910
TA Planning
no
1
911
TA Design
no
1
912
TA Application
no
1
913
TA Check-Out
no
1

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. 

USDA-NRCS, Alameda County
Livermore Local Partnership Office
(925) 371-0154
Alyson Aquino, District Conservationist
USDA-NRCS, Contra Costa County
Concord Service Center
(925) 672-4577
Clarimer Hernandez-Vargas, District Conservationist