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The Yuma County Conservation District was recently awarded a $25,000 grant to fund rangeland improvement projects in partnership with funds from the Colorado Department of Agriculture through the Colorado State Conservation Board. According to Tanya Fell, YCCD District Manager, “these projects are designed to assist producers with funding to drill additional wells, if water is not available then piping water to those areas, adding stock tanks or refurbishing tanks that include bird ladders, and installing solar powered well pumps with storage tanks to replace traditional pumps.”

Applicants must be in good standing with both the FSA and NRCS. This project is specifically for agricultural uses and not to be used for a domestic well project. Well tests will need to be provided for pipeline projects prior to the project beginning to verify that the well is good and that it will support the proposed project. Once the test confirms that the well is in good standing the size of the pipeline will need to be determined based on the production needs and the possibility of future expansion.

For the solar projects a well test will also need to be provided to determine the amount of water available. This will in turn determine the size of the pump and storage tanks needed and the number of cattle that can be used for rangeland grazing. In the same category, the size and number of tanks needed must be assessed based on the number of head grazing and available water. If tanks do exist, are they in good shape or do they need to be refurbished or replaced.

All projects will be supervised by and completed to NRCS standards and specifications. Projects cannot begin before January 1, 2023 and must be completed by December 30, 2023 to allow adequate time for compliance inspections and final photo documentation.

The maximum amount for each grant is dependent upon the number of participants meeting the criteria to participate. Grants require matching funds amounting to 50% of the grant total. The rangeland improvement project matching grant is non-competitive in nature.

For additional information please contact Tanya Fell at the Yuma County Conservation District at 970-332-3107 ext. 9002. An application and information are also available at

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The YCCD was awarded a demonstration project grant by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD) in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This grant is for $10,000 with 75 percent being the grant and 25% funded by the YCCD.

Due to the Republican River Compact between Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, took precedence over water storage at Bonny and was consequently drained to meet water demands of the compact. Since December 2011 waterflow through the Bonny site has been impaired by a significant amount of phreatophytes, invasive and noxious trees, plants and weeds that multiply annually. The goal of this project is to clear out the phreatophytes, trees and weeds by utilizing intensive grazing to harvest and breakdown the nonbeneficial biomass in the reservoir area.

YCCD will work with specialists from the Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and NRCS field staff to develop an intensive grazing program that will improve the following:

· Increased Water Quantity, Quality and Distribution

· Plant Structure and Composition

· Livestock, Wildlife Feed and Forage Balances.

An informational meeting for potential grazing cooperators will be held December 6th at 1:00pm in Idalia at the Homestead, 9550 County Road DD, Idalia, CO. A tour of the grazing area will be held for the producers to see the project area. After the tour the group will travel back to the Homestead for a presentation and Q&A regarding the demonstration grazing project.

The key milestone for this project is to return the Bonny reservoir area back to a natural and usable habitat for wildlife while eliminating phreatophytes and prohibited and noxious weeds. Through the elimination of the phreatophytes and the breakdown of the nonbeneficial biomass it is the anticipation that we may ultimately see water flow again in that area.

If you have additional questions regarding this project, please contact Tanya Fell at the YCCD at 970-332-3107 ext. 9002

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Ashlyn Carpenter and Lydia Mekelburg both from Wray attended the 2022 Camp Rocky. This week-long educational camp for 14 through 19-year-olds was developed for youth who enjoy the outdoors and are interested in natural resources!

Ashlyn and Lydia had the opportunity to learn about the environment through hands-on experiences by working in teams focusing on specific resource areas: Rangeland Management, Forestry Management, Soil and Water Management and Fish and Wildlife Management. At the end of the week, they developed and used their group learning plan to complete a natural resource management project to better the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. The camp is located outside Divide, Colorado.

Carpenter and Mekelburg are both planning to attend the camp again next year. The Yuma County Conservation District awards a full camp scholarship to Cam

p Rocky annually to the winner of the 4-H Natural Resources division at the Yuma County Fair (Lydia Mekelburg was the 2021 winner). In addition, partial Camp Rocky Scholarships in the amount of $250 are available to all District Camp Rocky applicants.

Camp Rocky is Sponsored by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and strongly sponsored by the Colorado Conservation Districts; along with additional financial and volunteer help from Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS), Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) and staff and many other natural resource conservation partners from Colorado.


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