File:Canty 2015 NEP riparian easement advisory.pdf

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Canty, D. 2015. Final report from the advisory group process for the NEP riparian conservation program. Prepared by Evergreen Funding Consultants, Seattle, WA for Washington State Department of Ecology, Bellevue, WA. 60 pp.

Notes

  • Author's Summary:
    1. The advisory group recognized and widely supported the need to improve riparian corridors in farm landscapes in the Puget Sound region, and the new grant program was broadly supported as an important and necessary element to achieve better riparian corridors in the region.
    2. There is strong confidence in the ability of watershed leaders to pick the right places to work based on prior salmon recovery and water quality planning. The members felt that watershed leaders should take the lead in selecting priority reaches, developing proposals, and forming teams to implement the proposed work.
    3. Presentations and discussions by watershed practitioners indicate that there are probably strong proposals that are ready for funding this fall.
    4. The initial emphasis on conservation easements was thought to be appropriate but too confining as the sole focus of the program. Strong cases were made for funding of a broader suite of actions, particularly to support buffer restoration and community outreach.
    5. There were substantial misgivings among those working in agricultural communities about the receptivity of farmers to requirements for wide permanent easements per the NOAA buffer table. These characteristics were thought to be of sufficient importance to the integrity of the program to remain as requirements, with the recognition that this may need to be reconsidered based on demand in the first grant round.
    6. There is interest in using the new program as a vehicle for coordinating public investments in salmon and water quality work and simplifying the experience of applicants but details will need further work.

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