Updated: Dec 29, 2021
On October 27th, the GCCD hosted an OGWRP Producers Meeting to provide information about the status and timelines of OGWRP and the federal funding programs being pursued to help assist with implementation of the next phases of OGWRP. There was great turnout with over 75 participants between the in-person location at the Grant County Fairgrounds and over Zoom.
It was honor to be joined by our state legislators, including Senator Judy Warnick, Representative Tom Dent, Senator Mark Schoesler, and Representative Mary Dye who provided opening remarks, including their commitment to the OGWRP and the work they have been doing to secure funding for it.
Representatives from the OGWRP's three lead entities, including Jennifer Hickenbottom from the US Bureau of Reclamation, Melissa Downes with Department of Ecology's Office of Columbia River, and Jed Crowther with East Columbia Basin Irrigation District presented important background and updates on the OGWRP.
Staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) presented on the different processes and programs that will be essential to bringing USDA Farm Bill conservation programs to help fund the remaining components of the OGWRP, primarily the pump stations, laterals, and on-farm build outs.
Perhaps most affirming was to hear from Roylene Comes At Night, NRCS’ WA State Conservationist who expressed her support and enthusiasm for pursuing NRCS programs for the OGWRP, notably the PL-566 Small Watershed Program.
It was also great to hear from Larry Johnson, NRCS’ WA State Conservation Engineer who shared an informative overview of PL-566, including an important estimated timeline showing the various steps that need to be taken prior to implementing projects through PL-566. Finally, Keith Griswold, NRCS' Assistant State Conservationist for Programs provided a detailed look at how the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) could provide financial assistance to producers to help with costs of on-farm projects.
Given our full agenda, Travis Martin, Farm Service Agency (FSA) graciously agreed to hold off on providing his presentation regarding producer eligibility and documentation for FSA and NRCS programs. We are pleased to share, Travis has agreed to provide his presentation during a webinar, hosted by GCCD, scheduled for Wed., December 15th at 7:30 am.
If you have any questions, please contact the Grant County Conservation District at (509) 765-9618.