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Crapo Actions Correct Salmon Funding

NRCS will now include Idaho in habitat program

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has been successful in adding Idaho to the list of states eligible for funding under a new program offered by the U.S. Department of Agricultureâ??s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The NRCS announced the program last week, but the agency initially left Idaho off the list of states where landowners could apply for the funding to improve habitat for salmon. The agency changed the eligibility announcement following calls and letters from Crapo to NRCS leaders in Washington, DC. Crapo, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation, and Rural Revitalization, asked NRCS Chief Bruce Knight to allow Idahoans to share in the $3.5 million being made available for those looking to improve salmon habitat by applying through the NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. â??NRCS did not realize Idahoâ??s important role in salmon recovery and my work to successfully include Idaho in the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund,â?? Crapo said. â??With nearly half the spawning habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Northwest, Idaho should be included in both programs. I am pleased by NRCSâ??s quick response to my concerns. Bruce Knight is to be commended for his actions.â??The change means Idaho residents can join their neighbors in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Maine to apply for federal funding in the NRCS program. Examples of projects that NRCS may consider for funding include restoration of gravel spawning beds in salmon streams, tree planting to shade habitat areas which will keep water temperatures lower, removal of barriers to habitat migration, and efforts to reduce farm runoff. The deadline for applying under the programâ??s guidelines is June 11, 2004.# # #