NRCS Riparian Buffer Program Now Available to Producers
Elevated water temperatures and sedimentation of waterways has negatively impacted salmon habitat across Washington. As a non-regulatory federal agency, with the mission of helping people help the land, we hope to leverage our voluntary programs to help improve salmon habitat while compensating producers who want to help us achieve this appropriately.
NRCS-Washington built a new Riparian Buffer Program for Fiscal Year 2023. The program incentivizes producers who voluntarily install riparian buffers. Producers will be compensated for their time, the materials required to install the buffers, and for foregone income for the land taken out of production.
The program was announced on Dec. 5, 2022 and the sign up period is or was open through Jan. 13, 2023. The signup is or was open for more than a month to allow producers time to consider the positive benefits of enrolling their lands. However, producers can engage NRCS conservation planners at any time, not just within this program sign-up period.
The objective of the program is to help reduce sediment and lower water temperatures across Washington to help salmon habitat. The program will help financially compensate producers who voluntarily help achieve this objective by enrolling their lands.
The program will be available to producers across the state of Washington.
There are dozens of conservation practices producers can adopt to improve their riparian areas with NRCS. Each practice has a payment rate associated with it, which can be combined with other practices within their conservation plan. Producers can choose between herbaceous or woody buffers, as well as native or non-native plantings that could potentially increase habitat for terrestrial animals, pollinators, and other wildlife. Producers are encouraged to talk with their local NRCS field office staff, who can help them tailor a conservation plan specific to their wants and needs. Ultimately, enrollment is completely voluntary, and producers have the final say in whether they adopt the plans developed with NRCS planners. For more information, please contact your local NRCS field office.
Download the NRCS flyer on this program: FY23 NRCS-WA Riparian Buffer Program