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2018 EQIP National Water Quality Initiative in Montana - Camp and Godfrey Creeks

Through the National Water Quality Initiative, NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers in small watersheds to improve water quality where this is a critical concern. With the help of partners at the local, state and national level, NRCS identified priority watersheds in Montana where on-farm conservation investments will deliver the greatest water quality benefits.

Farmers and ranchers located in the Camp and Godfrey Creek Watersheds in Gallatin County are eligible to apply for assistance through the National Water Quality Initiative. FY 2018 is the second year of eligibility for this watershed.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Cutoff dates are established to allow for ranking, prioritization, and selection of applications for funding. December 15, 2017, is the application deadline for agricultural operators to be considered for FY 2018 funding through this initiative. To get started, make an appointment at your local USDA Service Center.

Applicants that operate as an entity are required to have a DUNs number and have that number registered with SAM.gov prior to submitting their application for consideration.

Project Summary

The goals of Camp and Godfrey Creeks NWQI:  Reduce sediment and agricultural related nutrient loads and E.coli and improve riparian function.

Camp Creek flows from the headwaters of the Madison Plateau (Camp Creek Hills), through Amsterdam, and outlets into the Gallatin River northeast of Manhattan in Gallatin County, Montana. Godfrey Creek also flows from the headwaters of the Madison Plateau, through Churchill, and outlets into Moreland Ditch. Godfrey Creek has been altered to no longer have a natural flow path beyond Moreland Ditch. The primary land use for both creeks is agriculture, comprised mainly of rangeland, pasture, and irrigated and dryland cropland. These two water bodies are also heavily impacted by livestock operations, irrigation withdrawals and returns, residential development, and channel modification/straightening. Thus, with livestock, cropping, and residential land use activities in close proximity to both water bodies, the potential for excess nutrients, fine sediment, flow alterations, and E. coli entering the stream is high.

Camp Creek was listed on the 2012 303(d) list as being impaired due to total nitrogen (TN) nutrient impairment, sediment, flow alterations, and E. coli, by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Water samples collected by Montana DEQ between 2001 and 2009 also showed elevated levels of total phosphorus (TP). Godfrey Creek was listed on the 2012 303(d) list as being impaired due to TN, TP, flow alterations, excess algal growth, sedimentation, and E. coli. A Lower Gallatin Planning Area Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan was developed in 2013 by Montana DEQ.  The document provided specific guidance on TMDL allocations and required load reductions for both Camp and Godfrey Creek. Consequently, the streams were removed from the 303(d) and moved to the “Impaired Waters” category within the MT DEQ 2014 Water Quality Integrated Report. The listed impairments for Camp Creek related to agriculture, livestock production, stream channelization, and development include:  alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers, E. coli, low flow alterations, TN, TP, and sedimentation/siltation. Godfrey Creek’s listed impairments include:  alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers, E. coli, TN, TP, and sedimentation/siltation.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible landowners receive assistance for installing conservation systems that meet the goals of the NWQI. Practices are not limited; all conservation practices on all land uses are available for consideration for technical and financial assistance.

Detailed information on conservation practice standards and specifications can be found in Section IV of the Field Office Technical Guide.

Payment Rates

Detailed information on Cost Data can be found in Section I of the Field Office Technical Guide.

Ranking Criteria

Additional Information

Map of Camp and Godfrey Watersheds

Camp and Godfrey Creek watersheds

Source: NRCS.


Contact

Justin Meissner, District Conservationist
Phone: 406-266-3146
Email: Justin.Meissner