Locally Led Conservation in the Ichawaynochaway Watershed
Smith, Kristin Ling
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Local work groups in the nine counties comprising the Ichawaynochaway watershed in southwestern Georgia have identified natural resource concerns and implemented projects to address these concerns. Resource concerns are primarily related to water quality, water quantity and soil erosion. The groups prepared and submitted a proposal to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for designation as an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Priority Area. 366 applications for EQIP assistance have been received from landowners, and contracts for over $900,000 in financial assistance for BMP implementation have been developed. Annual attendance at conservation field days exceeds 100 agricultural producers and other interested landowners. The Local Work Group has also identified obstacles to BMP implementation that may limit the success of a locally led conservation program.