Eligible land: Land along water that are tributaries of or potential spawning areas for salmon and steelhead stocks plus one of the following:
- Cropland that is planted to annual crops.
- Pasture land.
- Marginal pasture.
Contract length: Land can be enrolled for 10-15 years.
Riparian buffer width:
- Hedgerow Buffers 15′, Forest Riparian Buffers 35′ minimum to maximum of 180′ for streams => 15′ Bank full width.
- Local Conservation Districts and Farm Service Agency will work with you to determine buffer width.
- Riparian buffer width is flexible and may move toward or away from the stream at different locations to meet a landowner’s needs – as long as the average meets the minimum requirements for your stream.
Cost-sharing for developing riparian buffer: Cost for developing riparian buffer (installing fences and animal watering stations, planting trees, etc.) will be paid by:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture – 90%
- Washington State Conservation Commission- 10%
Annual Payments (rent):
- Annual payments amount to 150% of the Farm Service Agency soil rental rates per acre. (Roughly $300/ acre of buffer area enrolled)
- Lands protected under the State’s Growth Management Act will receive an extra 10% per acre.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) connection:
- Riparian buffers are designed to meet the technical requirements of ESA.
- Landowners will begin to address the ESA listing of salmon by further protecting and enhancing stream banks.
- This program is another step in the right direction for good land stewards.