Record Amount of State Conservation Funding Currently Available

Friday, January 22, 2010 – Tulsa County Conservation District has funds available for cost-share assistance on certain practices benefiting soil and water conservation. The State of Oklahoma has provided limited funds to our conservation districts to help landowners implement measures that protect soil and water resources.

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission at its Dec. 7 meeting approved guidelines for the state-funded Locally-Led Conservation Cost-Share Program for year 12. The amount allocated in the last session of the state Legislature, $948,391, is being
combined with $443,809 of unobligated funds from previous years. The result is a
total of $1,392,200 of program funds to be used to install natural resource conservation practices on farms and ranches.

This will be added to the $2.6 million made available by the “Conservation Bond,” passed by the Legislature for a variety of conservation projects in the state. Cost-share practices funded with bond dollars must repair or restore flood-damaged conservation systems.

The Conservation Cost-Share Program year 12 approved Dec. 7 will extend through June 30, 2011. The board of directors at each of Oklahoma’s 87 local conservation districts selects from a state-approved list the conservation practices t priority problems affecting renewable natural resources in their area. All conservation practices were approved for cost-share assistance in Tulsa County and include:

• Brush Management: Removal, reduction, or manipulation of non-herbaceous plants.
• Pond: A water impoundment made by constructing a dam, an embankment, or by excavating a pit.
• Critical Area Planting: Planting vegetation on highly erodible or critically eroding areas.
• Nutrient Management: Managing the amount, form, placement, and timing of application of nutrients
• Pasture & Hay land Planting: Establishing native or introduced forage plants to reduce soil erosion by wind and/or water
• Grassed Waterway: A natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in suitable vegetation for the stable conveyance of runoff.
• Diversion: A channel constructed across the slope with a supporting ridge on the lower side.
• Terrace: An earth embankment, channel, or a combination ridge and channel constructed across slope.
• Grade Stabilization Structure: A structure used to control the grade and head cutting in natural or artificial channels.
• Range Planting: Establishing adapted plants by seeding on native grazing land to prevent excessive soil and water loss and improve water quality.
• Fencing: Enclosing or dividing an area of land with a suitable permanent structure that acts as a barrier to livestock, big game or people (Does not include temporary fencing).
• Watering Facility: A trough or tank, with needed devices for water control and waste water disposal installed to provide drinking water for livestock.
• Water Well: A well constructed or improved to provide water for irrigation, livestock, wildlife, or recreation.
• Pipeline: Pipeline installed to convey water from a source of supply to points of use for livestock or for recreation.

“In a time when the economic climate of Oklahoma is starting to be compared to the time of the Great Depression, it is vital that we not let our guard down in protecting our natural resource environment,” said Mike Thralls, executive director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. “These conservation practices are indispensable in protecting our great state from a recurrence of the Dust Bowl, especially in years like 2006 that was drier than any during the Dust Bowl.

We are especially pleased to have leveraged our resources to be able to increase our assistance to landowners in that defense during this difficult
time,” Thralls said. “The Conservation Cost-Share Program also helps stimulate local economies,” Thralls said. “Each dollar spent on conservation
in local areas can multiply as much as two-and-a-half times as it is spent and rolls over in the local economy.”

Conservation practices must be carried out according to specifications provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This ensures practices such as ponds, diversions, terraces and other structural practices are constructed properly and function as designed.

To date the Locally-Led Conservation Cost-Share Program has assisted 7,885 landowners since it began in 1998.To be eligible participants must have or establish a conservation plan with the district, must need one of the above conservation practices, and must own or operate 20 acres of land in Tulsa County from which more than $1000.00 of soil dependent products (i.e. hay, livestock, etc.) are sold annually.

Cost share percentage could be up to 75% of the cost of the practice installed,
but will not exceed $5000.00. Due to limited funds, recipients will be chosen using water quality improvement and erosion control criteria to rank the applicants proposed practices.

Applications for these funds will be accepted beginning Jan. 22, 2010 and may be obtained from the Tulsa County Conservation District office located at 5401 S. Sheridan Rd., Suite 201, Tulsa, OK.

Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you have any questions, contact, Tulsa County Conservation District at 918-280-1595 or

Updated 01-25-2010

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