Tag Archives | NRCS

District receives statewide honor from NRCS

Receiving the Partnership Award 2012

The Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District recently received a statewide honor from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS). The NRCS singled out Clackamas for the 2012 Soil and Water Conservation District Partnership award. This statewide honor recognizes a soil and water conservation district that has provided outstanding conservation assistance and service as a partner to NRCS.

Award text

The NRCS selection committee sought partners that provided exemplary assistance to and partnership with NRCS in carrying out its mission at a basin, multi-basin, or statewide level. The District supported the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) by implementing a district loan and cost sharing program, helping two landowners install and complete EQIP contract items. These include a dairy pond agitator and up-front dollars for a seasonal high tunnel.

District staff also worked with NRCS to write, design and implement at least eight Farm Bill Program conservation plans and collaborated with NRCS on two Conservation Innovation Grant proposals. In addition, the District’s conservation planners assisted landowners with other projects and practices that are not included in the NRCS target area.

Partnership Award – November 2012

The most significant achievement in the 2012 fiscal year was the partnership with NRCS and other agencies to implement more than 700 linear feet of stream bank, habitat restoration, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program improvements along Milk Creek. NRCS Engineer Meghan Walter worked with District Riparian Specialist Jenne Reische to design the project. This project included tree and root wad revetments, engineered logjams, and strategic large rock placement to stabilize the stream bank and improve fish habitat. The District matched funds provided by a number of agencies to install the main structure.

Ron Alvarado, NRCS State Conservationist for Oregon, presented the honor at the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts conference in Eugene, Oregon last week. It was with great pride that Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District accepted this award. The District values and appreciates the partnership with NRCS because it helps landowners conserve our precious natural resources.

Our Next Evolution? Owning Land!

Six years ago the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Directors established a Building Reserve Fund. Looking ahead, they envisioned a time when the District would be able to construct a facility that would better meet the needs of our customers and help us move our conservation programs forward. Setting aside some money each year, the Fund grew and District directors and staff kept watch for just the right opportunity.

We bought property

314 Pleasant Avenue

This year, we found a great opportunity. This week, we closed on the purchase of an acre of land in Oregon City. The property is zoned MUC (Multi-Use Corridor) so it is appropriate for an office facility. It is easily visible from Molalla Avenue, a heavily traveled main road.

And what a great deal it was! The property is valued at more than $200,000, but we purchased it for $101,500. The property was owned by the Bank of America, and we offered a very clean, easy purchase to the bank.

This parcel is also very close to our current office, so we’ll be able to easily manage upcoming actions on our new property.

What will happen next?

Mature oak tree

We have some immediate work to do. The old house is not usable so we’ll need to remove it, along with other structures. A hazard tree threatens underground services, ingress to the neighborhood, and power lines, so we’ll begin looking for a tree removal company to eliminate that risk. Invasive species have invaded a good portion of the property, so we’ll develop a control plan.

A mature oak tree graces the front of the property, and we hope to be able to retain and protect it. Sidewalk construction could begin next year, and we’ll begin planning a demonstration rain garden and demonstration pollinator patch.

What about a new District office building?

The District purchased the property with two investment pathways in mind. Because of the astounding deal we got on the property, one option is to simply clean it up and take care of it until the real estate market recovers, then sell it and put those funds back into the Building Reserve Fund.

The other potential use of the property would be to become the footprint of a new Conservation Center for the District. If this comes to pass, we will try to bring our United States Department of Agriculture partners with us to the new Conservation Center. (Clackamas County farms are greatly benefited by having USDA Farm Service Agency and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff available here.)

This winter, the Board of Directors will adopt a work plan for this parcel and revisit their long-term property acquisition goals.

What about the neighborhood?

We will be planning an open house in our current office so we can hear concerns and ideas from people from the neighborhood. We recognize that changing this parcel of land may impact others, and we’d like to be a positive member of our new neighborhood.


If you have more questions about this acquisition, please contact District Manager Tom Salzer.


Assistance Available for New, Beginning, or Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

If you fall into the category of a new, beginning, or socially disadvantaged farmer, mark August 4, 2012 on your calendar!

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association and Rural Coalition are hosting a workshop to share information regarding the USDA Farm Bill programs and services. In addition they will cover information on Conservation Easements and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Representatives from the hosting organizations will be at the Woodburn Public Library from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday August 4th to share information and assist you in taking advantage of the opportunities available. Come when you can, for any length of time!

Download the flyer:

Jory is Oregon’s State Soil

Jory: Oregon's State Soil

Did you know every state has a state soil? A state soil is a soil that has special significance to a particular state. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service maintains a list of these state soils.

In Oregon, our state soil is Jory. The Jory series consists of very deep, well-drained soils that formed in colluvium derived from basic igneous rock. These soils are in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley. They have been mapped on more than 300,000 acres in western Oregon. They are named after Jory Hill, Marion County, Oregon.

Jory soils generally support forest vegetation, dominantly Douglas fir and Oregon white oak. They are very productive forest soils. Many areas have been cleared and are used for agricultural crops.

The Jory soils and the climate of the Willamette Valley provide an ideal setting for the production of many crops, including Christmas trees, various berries, filberts (hazelnuts), sweet corn, wheat, and many varieties of grass seed. The soils are suitable for the grapes used in the expanding wine industry.

Growing urbanization of the Willamette Valley is resulting in a great deal of pressure for development in areas with Jory soils.

This information is from the Jory soil fact sheet produced by the USDA NRCS.

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant application period now open

PORTLAND, Ore., March 7, 2012 — The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced that up to $225,000 of funding is available in Oregon for eligible individuals, local and state governments, non-governmental organizations, and tribes through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The deadline to submit an application for CIG is May 4, 2012.

In conjunction with agricultural production, CIG is intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection. Projects must be within Oregon and may be area based or state wide in scope.

“The intent of the Oregon CIG program is to identify and utilize promising innovations or technologies that can help the agricultural community address natural resource issues,” said Ronald Alvarado, State Conservationist for NRCS Oregon. “CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.”

Applicants submitting proposals for the Oregon CIG may request up to, but not exceed $75,000 of matching federal funds. Applicants must provide a least 50 percent non-federal match with 25% of the total project being in-kind and the other 25 percent being cash contributions. The proposal must involve NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)-eligible producers and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern in one of the following sub-categories: energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, water quality or quantity, wildlife habitat, and plant health/vigor. CIG does not fund research. Instead, the program is designed to help in the adoption of measures that have been sufficiently studied to indicate a high likelihood of success.

Since 2009, the Oregon CIG program has awarded close to one million dollars in competitive grants. Projects include a rainwater harvest system, on-farm energy program and an eco-credit calculation tool. A full listing of recent Oregon CIG grants can be viewed online at: http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/index.html

Additional information about the 2012 CIG is provided in the Oregon CIG Announcement of Program Funding, available online at: http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/index.html.

Oregon CIG grant application materials are available on the Grants.Gov Web site. To submit your application electronically, visit www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.

Complete application packet must be received by 4:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST) on May 4, 2012, either through Grants.gov or by mail to:

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Conservation Innovation Grants Program, Programs Staff
1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 900
Portland, OR 97232

Applicants who have questions regarding the application process should contact the CIG program manager, Todd Peplin, at 541-923-4358 ext. 131, or by e-mail at todd.peplin@or.usda.gov

Source: http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/news/releases/2012/NR_2012-03-002.html

Download the Oregon CIG rules and application details.