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Another Gov grant question for Grant Schultz  RSS feed

 
J Argyle
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Hey Grant,

Thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions!

Have you ever received any grants for water? (conservation, management, etc.) Is so, have you run into issues with state government not working with the federal government?

I am looking to address riparian issues within a possible design for some land I am looking at. The State Land Commission is requiring me to pay them for an environmental study before I even begin. Even if the state green lights my project the federal government can say no to my project. In your experience would it be better to not apply for any grants that might involve the federal government, and keep it at a state level?

Thanks for your time.
 
Grant Schultz
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Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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J Argyle wrote:
Have you ever received any grants for water? (conservation, management, etc.) Is so, have you run into issues with state government not working with the federal government?

I am looking to address riparian issues within a possible design for some land I am looking at. The State Land Commission is requiring me to pay them for an environmental study before I even begin. Even if the state green lights my project the federal government can say no to my project. In your experience would it be better to not apply for any grants that might involve the federal government, and keep it at a state level?


This is an interesting, but rare conundrum. I looked into doing a riparian "re-wilding" for the creek that runs through my farm. It was once a winding, slow, tapered-bank trout stream. Then some idiot in the early 70s decided he'd bulldoze the entire thing and "straighten it out" so it could be row-cropped right up to the bank. The banks are now heavily incised, and the root balls of trees are eroded as fast as they can establish themselves. Something must be done, and I'm working to improve all the factors I can influence on my own farm.

Here's a GIF of Versaland through the years. Look at the changing shape of the creek in the right of the aerial image.



I did some homework and learned I'm in a similar situation. The Feds and State all have a convoluted handshaking dance that must be done before a farmer can move soil on their own farm.

In short, the Army Corps of Engineers (Federal) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (State DNR) would both have to approve of stabilizing and reshaping the streambank - to put it back where it was just 30 years ago.

Is it worth navigating a bit of bureaucracy to save a resource? YES!
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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So timely that folks are directly talking about multi-juridictional oversight when it comes to riparian restoration projects. A friend just sent me this today, Iowa DNR is actually beginning a pilot program to bypass this issue. They're hiring a full-time person to work out the protocol.

Full posting here: Stream Mitigation Program Planner

Position Summary

Opening Date: September 2, 2015 Closing Date: September 30, 2015

Salary: $23.21 - $28 hourly, minimum: $48,276.80 annually

Job Type: 18-month contract, Full Time, 40 hrs/week

Benefits: Portico Staffing offers basic healthcare coverage, a 401K, and holiday pay after 1200 hours

Location: Wallace Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319

Division: Environmental Services Division – Water Quality Bureau – Watershed Improvement Section

Job Description: The person hired to fill this 18-month contract position will work with our interdepartmental planning team to develop a stream mitigation program that may include establishment of a memorandum of understanding with the Iowa Department of Transportation and/or an in-lieu fee program in accordance with the joint US Army Corps of Engineers and US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 Compensatory Mitigation Rule. This effort required researching similar programs in other states, assessing the resources needed to successfully conduct such a program, evaluating market potential for the program, project capital and cash flow needs to ensure program sustainability, and assist with drafting of legal documents and financial instruments. Candidates should have a passion for rivers, knowledge of river restoration, and leadership experience.
 
J Argyle
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Hi Grant,

Sorry for my very delayed response. It has been one of those weeks. Thanks for both your posts, and to responding to my questions.

The restoration you have done on the creek shows great improvement. Thanks for sharing.

The riparian restoration changes in your area is a great news. I hope other state start to do it. I am going to try and work with a local watershed conservancy to hopefully fast track what I am hoping to do. They could help me with testing water, restoring, managing the area, and hopefully being able to remove it from the EPA 303d listing.

You are doing amazing things. I have listen to a few podcasts with you, and I try to follow you a bit. I am hoping to make it out to one of your workshops in the near future. I hope your upcoming workshop goes well.
 
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