Conservation Helping Hand program offered to landowners

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By Cynthia Purcell | San Juan Conservation District

The San Juan Conservation District (SJCD) is proud to offer a program we started 16 years ago, Conservation Helping Hand, to assist landowners with property in Archuleta County and parts of Hinsdale and Mineral counties. 

Are you interested in implementing a conservation practice on your property, but need help with the cost? We will be awarding grants to pay for 50 percent of your project, up to $4,000.

Conservation practices to promote more efficient irrigation systems, the use of planned grazing systems and healthy forest restoration that will benefit both livestock and wildlife will be considered. 

The SJCD is collaborating with the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership, also known as the WEP, to inventory all agricultural water use within the Upper San Juan Watershed, Blanco and Navajo basins. This is a community-driven process to understand local water supply needs and information gaps. 

As a result of this inventory, landowners within the project areas will be given higher priority to receive funding to implement irrigation system improvements.

We will be accepting applications until May 2. Applications will be reviewed by the elected board members and prioritized based on the targeted resource concern, environmental benefits and cost of implementation. Funded project applicants will be notified by May 13. All projects must commence by July 1 and be complete by Sept. 30. 

Technical assistance will be provided by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and all approved projects must meet NRCS standards and specifications.

Applications are available at the San Juan Conservation District Office: 505A County Road 600, (970) 731-3615. Please stop by or call for more information.