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Federal Funding Available for Landowners

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By The Staff

The Kentucky Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has received federal grant funding that is available to landowners to address water quality and improve farm operations within the South Fork Licking River watershed of Nicholas, Bourbon, and Harrison counties.  The funds were awarded by the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.  These grant funds focus upon using a “watershed approach,” meaning that watersheds of high importance are selected with a goal of improving the water quality in these areas. 

Any landowner within Nicholas, Bourbon, and Harrison counties that has agricultural production may be eligible for grant funding.  Some of the best management practices that are eligible for funding include:  pipeline and tanks for livestock, fencing for prescribed grazing/livestock exclusion, heavy-use (feeding) areas, spring development, animal waste-storage facility, filter strips/grassed waterways, riparian buffer plantings, stream crossings, and sinkhole protection. These grant dollars will supply participating landowners with benefits such as, having a more efficient farming operation, healthier livestock, an increase in wildlife habitat, and cleaner water, which in return benefits everyone.

Currently there are several Section 319(h) projects scattered throughout Kentucky with numerous landowners within Bourbon and Harrison counties taking advantage of this funding opportunity. Up to 75 percent cost share rates can be applied to approved projects, which is similar to that of the present State Cost Share program and USDA Farm Bill programs. Some examples of these Farm Bill programs are: CRP (Conservation Reserve Program), EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), and WHIP programs (Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program).  These programs also supply landowners with assistance in alternative water sources, fencing, and riparian buffer plantings and many other best management practices.  By using federal and state funding in a cooperative effort, many resourceful options are available for landowners.

For more information on available funding and/or to set up a site visit, contact Jestin     Clark with The Nature Conservancy at (859) 576-0755 or email at jestin_clark@tnc.org.  To learn more about the Kentucky Chapter of The Nature Conservancy visit our website at www.nature.org/kentucky.