Applictions are open for a program sponsored by the Kittitas County Conservation District for assistance with on-farm irrigation system improvements, livestock management practices (fences, watering facilities) and riparian and instream habitat, according to a news release from the district.

Funding is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications are being taken continuously until further notice.

EQIP is a voluntary, technical and financial assistance program through NRCS designed to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners/managers improve irrigation efficiency, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and improve fish habitat in priority streams. The program pays for a portion of the cost of conservation practices implemented by the farmer or rancher.

Interested farmers, ranchers or landowners should contact the District at 925-3352 or 2211 W Dolarway Road, Ellensburg. Although this sign-up is being conducted by the District, all requirements of the EQIP program must still be met. Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and complete all Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements. For more information about those requirements, contact the local NRCS field office at 2211 W Dolarway Road, Suite 6, Ellensburg or 509-925-8585 ext. 115.

This is the third sign-up for this program. The first two (2017 and 2018) have produced 15 contracts with landowners providing $1.7 million to improve irrigation water use efficiency on more than 850 acres of cropland in Kittitas County.

This funding is available as part of the “Yakima Integrated Plan — Toppenish To Teanaway” project. The project was one of 88 high impact projects across the country that was approved for funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program in December 2016. For more information, visit the project webpage at


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