By Alan Sorensen
The Sage Creek Watershed in Hill and Liberty counties was recently approved as a state "priority area" for EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) funds.
Lands located in the Upper and Little Sage Creek hydrologic unit areas (watershed) are eligible for the program.
"The area basically extends from the East Butte of the Sweetgrass Hills to where Little Sage Creek and Upper Sage Creek converge north of Hingham," said Jamie Selting, district conservationist at the Havre NRCS field office.
Selting said there are approximately 271,888 acres in the priority area.
"We have a map in the office if there is a question about your location," Selting said.
EQIP funds totaling $240,000 have been allocated to fund conservation practices in that Sage Creek Watershed area. Major resource concerns in the wateshed include water quality, saline seep, and soil quality.
Producers interested in receiving cost share assistance to implement conservation practices that address the above concerns are encouraged to apply. Funding will be allocated through 5- to 10-year contracts and will be awarded to those producers providing the greatest environmental benefit at the least cost.
Selting said there are several methods of removing water from the soil before it can percolate out of the root zone and add to the saline deposits.
The deadline to sign up for the EQIP program is March 17. Hill County producers are encouraged to stop in at the Hill County FSA office to submit an application.
Anyone with questions is asked to please call the NRCS or FSA offices at 265-6792 for further information.