Tag Archives: soil and water

JFAC Increases 2-To-1 Match By $50,000; Approves Additional $20,000 For Technical Assistance

This morning, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee set the Fiscal Year 2014 budget for the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation CommissionRepresentative Steve Miller (R-Fairfield) made the main motion to support a $50,000 increase to the two-to-one state match, and for an additional $20,000 to allow the SWC to recover indirect costs for professional services related to cooperative conservation projects.

“This is great news for our state, our natural resources, and for the fifty soil and water conservation districts in Idaho,” IASCD President Kit Tillotson said.  “These increases are a result of our member districts sharing their conservation projects with their legislators, and the outreach by the IASCD Board of Directors.”

The motion to support the increases in the budget passed by a vote of 19-0, and now moves to the floor of the House/Senate chambers with a “do pass” recommendation.

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January/February 2013 eNewsletter

We just put the finishing touches on our latest eNewsletter, and have posted it here for you to read.

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Little Salmon River Watershed Tour- August 30, 2012

On August 30th, the Adams Soil and Water Conservation District co-hosted a tour with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to see riparian habitat improvement projects in the Little Salmon River watershed.

Our first stop was at Four Mile Creek.  This was a project that added more vegetation as a riparian buffer and a fence around the stream bank.  A vegetation strip provides a buffer to flood waters and filters runoff into streams.  The vegetation adds additional shade to the creek, keeping the water temperatures cool.  Also, the growth provides shade for the cattle in the field.    The photo shows a water gap with a hardened crossing for livestock, and the top of the photo shows a livestock exclusion area.  The crossing area is appropriately wide, sloped and hardened with rock so that livestock do not tramp the banks into mud.


Our next stop was further down Four Mile Creek, as another land owner was rebuilding part of the riparian habitat.  We saw a number of willow plantings, using a technique called “willow weaving”.  This is used to stabilize eroding stream banks without the use of heavy equipment.  A water pump connected by a garden hose to a “stinger” is used to bore holes with pressurized water at an angle from the top of the stream bank down to just above the water line.  A long, straight willow stem is then inserted into the hole extending down through the bank and into the stream.  This leaves a gap from where the willow stem comes out of the bank, and down into the stream bottom.  Cut willow stems are then woven between the stems to form a very tight protective mat along this gap.  Once these cuttings begin to root and grow, they provide an excellent protection for the stream bank.

Our last stop was the Little Salmon River near Four Mile Creek.  Riparian buffers, livestock fencing, and other techniques have been used to slow the erosion of the stream bank.  The photo shows an area where planting had occurred on the banks, but due to the dry hot summer, the plantings were struggling despite their attempts to water them weekly.  The point bar on stream left is doing well with many willows, but is pushing the river into the higher, opposite bank which is eroding because it does not have much woody vegetation yet.  This is the way streams attempt to get their meanders back.  Encouraging natural meanders will help slow the flows in high water, allow sediment deposition, eventually raising stream beds and narrowing the channel.  Over time, this will allow water to remain on the fields longer and release water more slowly back to the stream.  More planting on the right bank will help stabilize these banks.  If the plantings are protected from livestock for a period of time and livestock are properly managed afterward, the banks should recover quickly.

Thank you for such a great tour!

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IASCD’s Radio Interview Is Online!

Elemental Idaho has posted IASCD’s radio interview on their website, in case you were unable to listen to Kit and Bret earlier in the week.

If you click here, you’ll be taken to the summary of the interview. To listen to the interview, click the Play button just below the text, and above the YouTube advertisement.

The YouTube advertisement is NOT how you listen to the show!

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April/May eNewsletter Has Been Posted

It’s a little late, but you can now read our April/May eNewsletter. We posted it this morning. Please click here to take a look!

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Gooding High School Envirothon Team Wins State Competition

BOISE, IDAHO – On Tuesday, May 8 2012, the Gooding High School Envirothon team won the 2012 Idaho Enviorthon.  In July, the team will travel to Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania to compete in the Canon Envirothon Competition July 22 to 27, 2012.   The team is made up of team captain Emma Fredericksen, Zackery Kast, Francisco Garcia, Oran Agee, Amanda Richards and their advisers Becky and David Freiberg.  They were sponsored by the Wood River Soil and Water Conservation District.

“Envirothon is a hands-on, natural resource competition for high school students,” Kit Tillotson, President of the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts said.  “IASCD leverages our partnership to bring in environmental scientists and natural resource experts to teach young men and women the vital balance of conservation and land usage.  I want to thank all of our sponsors, and the soil and water conservation districts throughout Idaho for their continued support and donations.”

“These kids represent the new generation of environmental problem solvers, and competitions like this help sharpen their skills and steer them toward the career areas they are most interested in,” Becky Freiberg, advisor to the Gooding team said.  “The opportunity for these kids to compete and provide solutions to natural resource problems in Idaho helps them shape their own futures as well as contribute to a better future for all of us.  Thanks to Gooding High School, IASCD, the local soil conservation districts, and the Bureau of Land Management’s ‘Take it Outside Program’ for their support”

“This contest is all about learning how to provide for the needs of the people, while maintaining the integrity of the resources.  Contests such as Envirothon teach students how to implement environmental practices as a lifestyle instead of a trend,” Emma Fredricksen, team captain, said.

115 students participated in this year’s Envirothon, with each team being made up of five to six students, plus one advisor.  Also, nearly 30 volunteers and instructors donated their time to teach lessons, correct exams, and assist teams.  The top five finishers were: Gooding High School Team B, Gooding High School Team A, Mackay High School, Dennis Technical Education center Team A, and Kimberly High School.

Canon Envirothon is a not-for-profit organization established to coordinate the delivery of an environmental education program for high school students throughout North America.  The program consists of the annual Canon Envirothon Competition in which winning teams from participating states and Canadian provinces compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management.  The competition is centered on four universal testing categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife) and a current environmental issue.  This year’s issue is Nonpoint Source Pollution/Low Impact Development.

“The conservation districts in our state have a long history of working with their local schools to encourage participation in the state Envirothon program.  Without them, we would not have a successful Envirothon year after year,” Tillotson said.

IASCD wants to thank the following businesses for their financial contribution to this year’s state competition: the Bureau of Land Management, CHS Foundation, IASCD Auxiliary, Idaho Barley Commission, Idaho District Employees Association, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, Idaho Grain Producers, Idaho Mining Association, Idaho Pea and Lentil Commission, Idaho Power Company, Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association, Lactalis American Group, National Wild Turkey Federation (Idaho Chapter), Natural Resources Conservation Service, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Thompson Creek Mining Company and the United Dairymen of Idaho.

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Our March/April 2012 eNewsletter Has Been Posted!

We’re getting better and better at getting our new eNewsletter published at the beginning of each month.  Please click here to read this edition, and have a great holiday weekend!

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