Announcing a new $353,000 NRCS EQIP Program for Growers in San Joaquin and Southern Sacramento Counties
The Lodi Winegrape Commission, in a partnership with the San Joaquin County and Delta Water Quality Coalition, San Joaquin County Farm Bureau, Environmental Defense Fund, Lower Mokelumne River Watershed Stewardship Steering Committee, San Joaquin County Ag Commissioner’s Office, San Joaquin County Resources Conservation District, and East Bay Municipal Utility District, submitted a proposal to a new Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and it was approved. The program is called the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). The proposal was awarded $353,000 for projects submitted to NRCS for 2009. All the money goes directly to area growers and will cost share projects that focus on one or more of the following priorities:
- Water quality
- Fish and wildlife habitat: includes in-stream aquatic, riparian, and upland terrestrial habitat; birds, including Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), California Quail (Callipepla californica), and Neotropical migratory songbirds; Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus), water temperature regulation, soil erosion control, terrestrial vegetation management (controlling exotics and planting native vegetation)
- Invasive plant control
- Resources and habitat for native pollinators and pest natural enemies
- Air quality
- Soil conservation: chemistry and erosion management
Projects should include one or more of the following NRCS-approved practices that will help achieve the above priorities:
- Hedgerow planting
- Riparian forest buffer establishment
- Riparian herbaceous cover planting
- Native cover planting
- Invasive plant control
- Drip irrigation for habitat establishment
- Other best management practices such as nutrient management and using IPM to manage pests on your farm will also be considered.
The program is open to all growers in San Joaquin County as well as growers in southern Sacramento County within the boundaries of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. To apply for the program you need to complete the normal EQIP application, obtained at your local NRCS office either in Stockton or Elk Grove, and indicate that it is for the CCPI program. For the application it would be good to have a plan of what you would like to do and a cost estimate.
It is very important to note that although applications for EQIP projects can be submitted all year, to increase the likelihood of your CCPI application being funded it should be submitted by August 15.
If you have any questions please contact either Dave Simpson, NRCS, Stockton, at 209 472 7127 X3 and David.Simpson@ca.usda.gov; Dan Taverner, NRCS, Elk Grove, at 916 714 1104 X3; John Brodie, San Joaquin County RCD Project Manager, at 209 472 7127 X125 and firstname.lastname@example.org; or Cliff Ohmart, Lodi Winegrape Commission, at 209 367 4727 and email@example.com.