Greetings Council Members and Partners:

 

We thought we would take the time to update you all on what has been happening since our last meeting.  We have had a busy summer, and wanted to get you up to date before our annual Christmas lunch meeting at the Gordon County Agricultural Center on Thursday December 3rd, at 11 am…

 

319 Grants Update

 

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters (Catoosa Co.) Project: 

  • Financial assistance has so far been provided for a total of 49 repairs with the current grant, and at this point the funds are limited. We’ll try to assist with approximately 20 more repairs.
  • Site visits have recently been conducted with NRCS on 12 farms to discuss BMP projects to improve water quality and on-farm operations. Planning efforts continue.
  • Another successful H20 Camp was completed in early summer with Catoosa County 4H Club. The two day camp included both a canoe cleanup float trip down South Chick Creek and an Adopt-A-Stream macroinvertebrate monitoring workshop.
  • Targeted water quality monitoring efforts were completed in June.
  • Potential sites along creeks to plant bare root seedlings this winter are currently being investigated in the watershed.
  • A proposal will be submitted in October 2015 seeking to again fund this project.

 

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed (Whitfield Co.) Project:

  • The 319 grant to implement the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan began in May.
  • This grant will fund septic system repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, streambank stabilization efforts, and fish and water quality monitoring.
  • Fish were sampled in late July in Haig Mill Creek and Mill Creek to determine whether biotic assemblages and habitats have improved since the creeks were listed as impaired in 2001.
  • Financial assistance is already planned to assist six local families with repairs on their failing septic systems. More repairs will follow.
  • Potential sites for streambank stabilization are being investigated.

 

For the Lookout Creek Watershed (Dade Co.) and Upper Oostanaula Watershed (Gordon Co.) Projects:

  • These grants will likely begin in late 2015 or early 2016 and fund septic repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and practices including streambank stabilization, stormwater practices, and nutrient management.

 

For the Holly Creek Watershed (Murray Co.) Project:

  • A proposal will be submitted in October 2015 seeking to fund the first on-the-ground 319 implementation grant for this project.

 

Other Projects

 

Proposed NRCS Conservation Innovation Project (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to provide cost-share assistance for rainwater collection and conventional water storage to supplement cool cell systems in poultry houses.
  • News about whether this project will be funded this year is due at the beginning of September.

 

Proposed NRCS Outreach Grant (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to increase awareness of NRCS’s conservation programs and enhance program delivery by highlighting successful conservation projects and developing new outreach tools.
  • This process appears to be in the process of being funded as proposed. The project will likely begin in October.

 

Proposed RCCP Initiative (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to increase funding for energy efficiency audits and energy efficiency improvements on poultry farms.
  • News about whether the pre-proposal ranks high enough to merit a full proposal will be available soon.

 

No-Till Update for Catoosa County

 

Fiscal Year 2015 is near the end for the No-Till Rental Program and marks the best year overall to date.  Coming after a year with over 3,500 acres planted in our operating area, this marks the 2nd great year in a row for the program.  As always, thanks is in order to David Matteson for his help with repairing and servicing the drills.  Below you will find a summary of the acres planted so far.

 

Catoosa County Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary Acres
Catoosa County Benton Coal and Supply 252
Coosa River Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Chattooga County D&E Hardware 854.4
Gordon County Mike Rice 970.4
Walker County Young Farmers 930
Subtotal 2,754.8
Limestone Valley Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Whitfield County Dycus 1709.6
Murray County Brad Ridley 255
Subtotal 1,334.6
Total Acres FY 2015 4,341.4