Streambank Stabilization Grant – Collaborating with the Steuben, Chemung & Schuyler County SWCD’s, the Finger Lakes RC&D Council has prepared and submitted a $435,000.00 grant preproposal to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. The purpose of this preproposal is to demonstrate natural stream design effectiveness in controlling streambank erosion and consequently protecting public infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
NYSEPF Grazing Grant – Working in conjunction with the Steuben Co S&WCD (project sponsor) and grazing advocates, John Wildeman, John Wickham & Jonathan Barter. The Council has prepared a grazing grant application valued at more than $388,000.00 which has been submitted to Round 15 of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The proposal is requesting funds for 22 livestock producers located in the Chemung river Basin (Chemung, Schuyler & Steuben Counties). State funds requested range from $24,000.00 to $6,000.00 for individual landowners who in turn must provide a match of at least 30%. Best Management Practices include fending, wells, spring developments, ponds, stream crossings as well as prescribed grazing.
The following NYS Environmental Protection Fund grants have been concluded. The closeout reports are presently being prepared for submission to the NYS Soil & Water Conservation Committee.
Chemung River Basin Prescribed Grazing #4 – 18 of the 21 participating farms earned the maximum reimbursement of $8,800.00 or the equivalent of 70% of their respective total project costs. The 3 remaining participants earned at least $6,290.00 of their allocated reimbursement. Total value of this grant including landowner contributions = $368,133.60. The landowners are located in Steuben, Chemung & Schuyler Counties.
Chemung River Basin Prescribed Grazing #5 – 17 of the 19 farms participating in this $194,625.00 have completed their respective projects and earned their maximum $8,800.00 reimbursement. One of the two remaining participants didn’t complete any of his project while the other participant earned $5,500.00 of his total reimbursement. Unfortunately, the project sponsor and partners only earned $180,834.00 or 93% of the total eligible reimbursement. Total value of this grant including landowner contributions = $337,174.00. The participants were located in Steuben & Chemung Counties.
Finger Lakes Grazing Grant – 16 of the 20 participating livestock farms in the $192,300.00 completed their respective projects and earned at least $6,346.00 in reimbursements of the $8,800.00 they were eligible to earn. The remaining four participants didn’t complete any of their projects. Total value of this grant including landowner contributions = $229,957.00. The participants were from Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca & Cayuga Counties.
Additional Grant Progress
Nutrient & Sediment Reduction in the Upper Susquehanna Basin – March 31, 2010 marks the completion deadline for this National Fish & Wildlife Funded Grant (valued @ $500,000.00). As of December 1, 2009, 30 of the 33 grazing participants have completed their respective grazing projects resulting in 1,722 acres of prescribed grazing installed as well as 157,490’ of fencing; 40 acres of wetlands restored; 17 acres of riparian buffers; 7 stream crossing & 430 acres of improved grassland nesting bird habitat.
Cayuga-Seneca Pesticide Management Grant – One participant out of 12 has successfully completed their Agricultural Mixing facility under this NYSEPF Round 14 grant. Total project cost $24,795.39; Grant earned $19,500.00. Anticipated completion date of this grant is 12/31/11.
Contribution Agreement w/NRCS – The Finger Lakes RC&D Council is approximately halfway through this contract since September 16, 2009. The Finger Lakes RC&D Program Assistant has been providing technical support to the NRCS office in Bath. This assistance has included preparing EQIP participants’ files; preparing HEL determination maps; preparing maps in toolkit; mailing & filing EQIP applications; scanning documents for processing payments and other duties as requested.
Reducing Financial Management Barriers faced by Organic Dairies – This $20,090.00 grant made available through the NY Farm Viability Institute has been suspended due to the state budget problems. The project is being managed by John Hanchar, Farm Management Agent with Cornell’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team. The purpose of the grant is to help organic dairy producers get a better snap shot of their financial performance through a new initiative that promotes improved record keeping and the use of benchmarking to compare income and expenses on farms. Bench marking may help farmers identify places to cut costs or areas to improve the farm business. It is anticipated ten organic dairies will participate in this project.