The Livestock and Land program, managed locally by the Loma Prieta and San Benito, and Santa Cruz Resource Conservation Districts (RCD’s), is offering $175,000 in grants to local livestock owners in southern Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties and most of San Benito County in for properties located in the Pajaro River watershed. The monies will help pay for improvements to livestock and horse properties that need assistance with managing drainage, erosion, stormwater runoff and manure. Applications accepted through June 1, 2019.
The Livestock and Land program was started in Santa Cruz County by local conservation districts and NGO’s as a way to work affect positive changes to water quality concerns from livestock facilities. The program works with residents on a voluntary basis to reduce stormwater runoff by implementing good drainage practices. Past projects have included everything from gutter and downspouts to French drains to manure composting facilities to fencing and more. “The great thing about this program,” explains Dina Iden, Executive Director of the Loma Prieta RCD, “is that the benefits go far beyond water quality improvements to our local creeks and streams. Depending on what upgrades you make, cleaning stalls can get easier, animal health issues can be reduced; maintenance cost can be lowered, your property can be safer, and it may even increase in value. It’s basically a win-win.” According to Iden, property owners can get up to 50% of the cost of improvements covered by the program. And there may be other federal grants programs that can be combined with this program to cover even more of the cost. The program also offers no-cost technical assistance and project designs. Funding for the program is made possible through an EPA Clean Water Grant and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
If you are interested in seeing examples of past projects, visit the program web site at www.livestockandland.org. To get an application or find out more about the program call 831-464-2950 x22. The program also offers educational workshops and hands-on trainings. You can ask to be added to our mailing list if you would to get updates on these opportunities.
Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) are independent, non-regulatory, special districts of California. Serving local communities through conservation projects funded mainly through grants and private contributions, RCDs are partners in local conservation and agriculture. RCDs help people to protect, conserve, and restore natural resources through education, technical assistance and collaboration with other organizations to achieve results within their districts on public and private land.