The Colorado River District has announced that it is making $1.8 million available to qualifying agricultural producers for planning and implementation of irrigation efficiency improvement projects that address identified resource concerns in the Lower Gunnison Basin. Landowners within the Bostwick Park, Paonia, Smith Fork and Uncompahgre project areas will be considered for grant funding.
Applications from eligible producers will be accepted, evaluated and ranked in two distinct batches according to the following closing dates or until all funding is expended: the deadline for the second batch is March 17.
"This is a unique funding opportunity that will enable our agricultural constituents to become more productive and competitive while furthering important water resource stewardship goals," explained Dave Kanzer, Deputy Chief Engineer of the River District.
Through this funding opportunity, producers will receive full or partial financial assistance to plan, design and install advanced irrigation systems that address natural resource concerns including improvements to: 1) water availability (i.e., water use efficiency), 2) water quality (e.g. salinity and selenium), 3) soil health, and 4) fish and wildlife habitat. This new funding opportunity uses a streamlined application, contract process and increased cost-share ratio.
Interested landowners can obtain an application or more information by visiting the Shavano Conservation District (102 Par Place, Suite #4, Montrose, CO 81401 / Phone (970) 249-8407 Ext. 115), Delta Conservation District (690 Industrial Blvd., Delta, CO 81416 / Phone (970)399-8194) or by going to the funding website at: http://gunnisonriverbasin.org/projects/lower-gunnison-project/ or by contacting the Colorado River District at (970) 945-8522.
This funding opportunity complies with the rules of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and is open to all eligible agricultural producers without discrimination or bias.
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.