319 Watershed Projects and the
North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund
A Little Background information on 319 from the
North Dakota Department of Health
In North Dakota there is a Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program through the North Dakota Department of Health whose mission is "to protect or restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the state by promoting locally sponsored, incentive based, voluntary programs where those waters are threatened or impaired due to nonpoint sources of pollution".
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act defines the scope of the NPS Pollution Management Program. In North Dakota, the Department of Health administers the program with input from the North Dakota NPS Pollution Task Force. The task force is comprised of representatives from state and federal natural resource agencies, commodity/producer groups, tribal councils, and private wildlife/natural resource organizations.
Annually, federal funds are appropriated by the United States Congress to the US Environmental Protection Agency for NPS pollution management. These "Section 319 Funds" are available to individual states based on an allocation formula. Section 319 funds in North Dakota are awarded to local projects through a competitive grant application process. Approved local projects receive 60% federal funds with a 40% local funding match requirement.
The funds awarded through the grant application process are aimed at addressing waterbodies impaired by NPS pollution or projects addressing a major NPS issue in the state. Given the size of the agricultural industry in North Dakota, a majority of the states' Section 319 funds have been directed toward locally sponsored projects promoting voluntary NPS pollution control on agricultural lands. These funds have generally been used to implement various information/education activities and/or provide the necessary financial and technical assistance to landowners implementing best management practices (BMPs) on their land.
The North Dakota NPS Pollution Management Program is a voluntary program directed toward local project sopnsors which may include soil conservation districts, water resource boards, city councils, resource conservation and development councils, nonprofit organizations, and other natural resource-focused groups.
Background Information on the
319 in Stutsman County
Lower Pipestem Creek
In 2002 the Soil Conservation District received funding for, and began the Lower Pipestem Creek Watershed Project in portions of Stutsman, Foster and Wells Counties. This project ran through 2008 and assisted approximately 75 producers with funding for crop and livestock projects.
Beaver Creek/Seven-Mile Coulee
Beginning in 2005 the watershed project began an assessment of the Beaver Creek and Seven-Mile Coulee watershed areas and in June of 2008 the SCD received funding for projects in this area in southern and eastern Stutsman. This project is currently in its second phase of funding and to date has provided assistance to approximately 40 producers in those areas.
In December 2013 the SCD received additional funding for a second phase of the Beaver Creek - Seven Mile Coulee project which extends it into 2017. Cost-share on these practices may also be coordinated with other programs such as EQIP through NRCS.
Stutsman County Livestock Manure Management Program
This program began in Stutsman County in 2013 and is intended to improve livestock waste management in the entirety of Stutsman County by providing assistance to livestock producers for installation of livestock waste management systems and installation of partial livestock waste management systems. This includes assistance with conservation plans and monitoring the operation and maintenance of cost-shared practices.
Many producers, particularly cow-calf operations, have utilized funding from this program to install portable windbreak panels to 1) spread out the winter feeding of their livestock, keeping the cows mobile leading to improved animal health, 2) spreading out the livestock waste during the winter leaving little or no expense involved in manure spreading during spring and summer, and 3) when crop ground is used for this purpose it is ideal for growing high nutrient use crops such as corn.
Producers in Stutsman County can apply for cost-share and planning assistance for installation of these systems which can include fencing, watering facilities, pipelines, wells, portable windbreaks and many other practices. Cost-share on these systems may be coordinated with other programs such as EQIP through NRCS.
In April 2014 the Stutsman County Soil Conservation District applied for funding for the Livestock Manure Management Program through the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund. The grant funding received will be used to help fund Livestock Manure Management Program projects in Stutsman County.
The Watershed project also has several pieces of equipment available to producers including an Aerator, a no-till 8 row Interseeding Planter, a Manure Composter and a John Deere 1590 15' no-till Drill.
(See Equipment page or click on link in this paragraph.)
US Bureau of Reclamation Report: "Nutrients, Suspended Solids, and Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Seven Mile Coulee and the Beaver Creek Basin, Stutsman County, ND."
On the afternoon of February 12th
(13 degrees with snow and a brisk wind) approximately 30 local producers plus SCD & NRCS staff toured three operations in western Stutsman County.
Attendees talked to Woodworth area rancher Jake Ryun about his winter grazing system and then traveled to check out Michael Heinrich's portable windbreak setup and lastly took a chilly tour of Brandon Schlecht's new feedlot setup near Medina.
Winter Grazing and Feeding Tour
Jacob & Kristine Ryun's