The Palouse River Watershed Implementation Partnership has been awarded a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The grant award matches the amount of contributions pooled together by the group’s 16 different partners, said Palouse Conservation District Director Jennifer Boie.
The partnership was formally established last January and involves partners from Washington and Idaho, including eight conservation districts, the University of Idaho, Washington State University and a few state agencies. The group is led by the Palouse Conservation District, which essentially re-established a conservation-planning group developed in the early 2000s.
The five-year grant is part of the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program that was created in the 2014 farm bill and will go toward improving water quality, soil health and fish and wildlife habitat. Boie said a portion of the grant will be distributed to the partnership each year based on an estimated budget of what the group expects to use.