Idaho Soil Conservation Commission

The Idaho Soil Conservation Commission is mandated to provide for conservation improvements, projects, and programs that are locally planned, coordinated, and implemented through statutory provisions pertaining to soil conservation districts and other appropriate state and federal agencies. The Soil Conservation Commission leads non-regulatory efforts to conserve, sustain, improve, and enhance Idaho’s private and state lands, and to provide assistance to private landowners and land users to plan, develop, and implement conservation plans addressing soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources.

Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program

State: §22-2734

 

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500)

Provides cost-share opportunities to owners and operators of agricultural lands for the voluntary implementation of best management practices to improve and protect water quality. Priority areas include TMDL watersheds; watersheds containing habitat for aquatic species listed under the Endangered Species Act and ground water quality protection areas. The program leverages and matches federal, state and private funds in addressing water quality and habitat-related natural resource concerns.

 

Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee

The Soil Conservation Commission is leading a state-wide effort in describing the agricultural and private forest industry's potential in mitigating international greenhouse gas emissions through land-based practices. Methane reductions from waste management systems; carbon sequestration through agroforestry and geological processes; and nitrous oxide reductions through improved nutrient management are examples of these practices.

 

Clearwater Focus Program

State: Gubernatorial Directive

The Clearwater Focus Program (CFP) is a component of the Northwest Power Planning Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. Program goals are to coordinate state, federal, tribal, and private resources to identify critical fish and wildlife habitat, conduct enhancement and restorative work, and identify funding sources for implementation of on-the-ground habitat enhancement and restoration projects. The SCC and the Nez Perce Tribe coordinate efforts to achieve multi-jurisdictional stewardship goals and to maximize interagency cooperation and coordination.

 

Conservation Grant Program

State: §22-2733

The purpose of grants from the state Soil Conservation Commission general fund is to finance conservation improvements, projects, and implementation of the Water Quality Program for Agriculture. Grants provide up to 50% cost-sharing for installation of agricultural conservation practices to protect water quality, improve range/grazing lands, improve/enhance riparian areas, and enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat. Grant applications must be accompanied by conservation plans designed and approved by the appropriate technical agency and sponsoring conservation district.

 

Effluent Trading Programs

State: Rules Pending (DEQ)

Provide technical and program assistance to multiple interests (primarily agricultural) in the development of effluent trading projects between point and nonpoint source entities. The SCC is a principal participant in the Lower Boise effluent trading program via a signed MOA with multiple agencies and other stakeholders involved.

 

Grazing Land Conservation Initiative (GLCI)

State: §39-3602*

GLCI provides limited annual state funding annually for development of grazing related conservation plans within TMDL, ESA, and other high priority natural resource areas.   This program is currently not being implemented due to budget restrictions.

 

Idaho Agricultural Pollution Abatement Plan

State: §39-3601*

 

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500, §208)*

The Idaho Agricultural Pollution Abatement Plan is a guidance document that describes the state's process for the control and abatement of agricultural nonpoint source pollution as it relates to water quality. The goal of the Ag Plan is to contribute to the restoration and maintenance of the quality of surface and ground waters in Idaho as impacted by agricultural nonpoint source pollutants. The SCC leads a coordinated effort to gain input from major stakeholders.

 

Idaho OnePlan

State: §22-2718

OnePlan is a cooperative, multi-agency effort using computer technology and software development to combine a myriad of government regulations; and current best management practices; technical assistance; local, state and federal programs; and financial assistance possibilities into a holistic conservation plan. The program provides downloadable software and interactive web programs enabling landowners to develop conservation farm plans. The conservation planning umbrella is in place, as well as the nutrient management practices (NMP) component. Other components under development are integrated pest management (IPM) and range management.

 

Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Idaho Cadre

State: §39-3602*

Federal: MOA with BLM & Forest Service*

SCC is a cooperative member on the Cadre in the training and furthering of riparian assessments and improvement of riparian conditions via a signed MOU with land management agencies.


Resource Conservation & Rangeland Development Program

State: §22-2730, §22-2731 and §22-2732

Low-interest loans to ag operators to install practices for the enhancement of soil and water resources, improvement of riparian areas and fish and wildlife habitat, to increase agricultural productivity. Loan applications must be accompanied by conservation plans designed and approved by the appropriate technical agency and sponsoring conservation district.

 

Soil Conservation Districts (SCDs)

The Idaho Soil Conservation Commission provides administrative support and guidance to Idaho's 51 Soil Conservation Districts in the wise use and enhancement of natural resources. Districts, legal subdivisions of state government, provide a critical function as local liaisons to private landowners and users in addressing natural resource concerns. Working in cooperative partnership with federal, state and private agencies/groups, districts take available technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, and coordinate them so they meet the needs of the local land owners or users in a non-regulatory manner to address natural resource needs.

 

Soil Survey 

Federal: PL 74F-46, 49 Stat. 163 (16USC 590a-f) and PL 89 - 560, 80 Stat. 706
(42USC 3271-3274) *

Provide critical soil information for the State of Idaho by participating in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program administered by the USDA.

 

State Revolving Fund

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500)*

The Idaho Soil Conservation Commission has established a water quality financial assistance loan program in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Quality to assist sub-recipients in Idaho with implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), addressing non-point source (NPS) issues at the rural-urban interphase.

 

Technical Assistance

State: §39-3602*

Lead development of agricultural components of TMDL implementation plans and provision of on-the-ground implementation of agricultural best management practices to protect and improve water quality.

 

TMDL Watershed Planning and Implementation

State: §39-3601*

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500)*

As the designated agency for Agriculture and Grazing, the SCC assists DEQ with technical aspects of agricultural and grazing components of TMDL Development. Thereafter, the SCC is responsible for the planning and implementation of land treatment BMPs to protect and improve water quality in TMDL watersheds impacted by agricultural and grazing activities.

 

Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project

State: Gubernatorial Directive

The Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project (USBWP) is a component of the Northwest Power Planning Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. Program goals are to coordinate state, federal, tribal, and private resources to identify critical fish and wildlife habitat, conduct enhancement and restorative work, and identify funding sources for implementation of on-the-ground habitat enhancement and restoration projects. The SCC, Lemhi and Custer SWCDs coordinate efforts to achieve multi-jurisdictional stewardship goals and to maximize multi-agency cooperation and coordination.

 

Water Quality Program for Agriculture

State: §22-2734

 

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500)*

Provides cost-sharing to owners and operators of agricultural lands for ag and grazing improvement to protect water quality. Priority areas include TMDL watersheds; watersheds containing habitat for aquatic species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and ground water quality protection areas. The program is used to leverage and match federal, state and private funds in addressing water quality and habitat-related natural resource concerns.

 

Watershed Advisory Groups

State: §39-3611,*and §39-3616*

Federal: Clean Water Act (PL 92-500)*

The SCC provides technical, administrative and limited financial assistance to watershed advisory groups, recommending specific actions needed to control point and nonpoint sources of pollution within the watershed so that designated beneficial uses are fully supported and other state water quality plans are achieved.

* Law not administered by ISDA

Legal Disclaimer
The information contained in this document is for general information only and is provided with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. It is also provided with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and services.

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