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.
Take a journey through the unusual world that exists beneath a streambed, called the hyporheic zone. This beautiful and unseen world of microscopic flora and fauna is vital to the health of rivers around the world. Find out why in this production from Leaping Frog Films. By planting a riparian buffer on your stream property, you help protect this vital part of the river ecosystem.