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The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington (NRCS-WA) released more information on the completely voluntary FY23 Riparian Buffer Program. The new fact sheet includes information on four “tiers” of riparian buffers, with examples of associated practices and estimated payment scenarios – to include many with foregone income to help compensate landowners for income lost if they install a riparian buffer. The “tiers” listed in the fact sheet are examples, the specifics of each conservation plan will determine which activity and scenario will best serve each landowner.  

For example, the third “tier” of the program supports landowners’ install native woody vegetation for wildlife and pollinators. The “tier” includes two rows of 35-foot-wide riparian buffers. Depending on the specifics of the conservation plan developed between NRCS and the landowner, NRCS-WA could support them with tree and shrub site preparation, planting hedgerows, and managing the wildlife over a five-year contract. The five-year contract total per acre could be up to $9,579.16.  

NRCS will be hosting a one-hour meeting to provide guidance on the riparian buffer opportunity provided under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  This call will begin at 1pm on February 24th.  During this call Keith Griswold, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs and Bobby Evans, State Resource Conservationists will provide a briefing on an update and overview on riparian program guidance and answer any questions.  This meeting will be held remotely. 

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Friday, 10 February 2023