The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has extended to June 22 the deadline for landowners to apply for design and financial assistance in connection with a special project targeting water quality on sediment-heavy Lower Marsh Creek.
NRCS Idaho’s field office in Pocatello is leading the project, which will use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to target water quality concerns along the southeastern Idaho creek. Agricultural producers can get help from NRCS personnel in designing and carrying out conservation projects through EQIP, which is voluntary and offers financial assistance through an application process.
Marsh Creek is a 56-mile-long tributary of the Portneuf River. It has one of the highest sediment loads of any Idaho streams, said Nate Matlack, NRCS district conservationist based in Pocatello.
Historically, adjacent wetland marshes deposited sediment seasonally onto the flood plain, an effect that decreased as the area population increased and some stream meanders were straightened.
An Idaho State University study found much of the sediment comes from Marsh Creek’s lower reach, generally from Arimo to the Portneuf River confluence, and that bank erosion is a major cause, Matlack said. Land along the lower reach of Marsh Creek includes a mix of residential acreages with some livestock and small hobby farms.
Matlack said $250,000 is available over the next two years for water-quality improvements along Lower Marsh Creek through NRCS Idaho and partners including Portneuf Soil and Water Conservation District, the City of Pocatello and ISU.
Information: (208) 244-5024 or http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/