/C O R R E C T I O N -- USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service/


DAVIS, Calif., Aug. 25, 2011 /PR Newswire/ -- Seven private companies and conservation and agricultural organizations have been awarded Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in California totaling $497,625. These are in addition to NRCS national awards for organizations in the state for over $1.5 million. The ultimate goal of the grants is to help the Agency and California farmers and ranchers with technical tools to protect natural resources.

State Conservationist Lincoln E. Burton of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the awarding of the grants that range from $47,625 up to $75,000 ($75,000 is the maximum allowed for state awards). All contain at least a 50 percent match from non-federal sources, as required by the program.

'The conservation landscape constantly changes and challenges us to be nimble in our ability to address these issues. Some of our best ideas for developing and adapting our technical tools to address modern challenges come from private groups and individuals,' said Burton. 'The current set of awardees will bring us new insights into conservation technical solutions for water resources, grazing lands, energy, air quality and more.'

2011 selected projects include:

Project Applicant

Project Summary

Project Award

Audubon California

Project will field test pulse-flooding of post-harvest ag fields to provide critical resting and foraging places for early migrant shorebirds


Van Ommering Dairy,

Robert Van Ommering,

Natalie A. Cookson

To develop an efficient and renewable agricultural waste treatment and bio energy production system


Placer Land Trust

To make the process easier for land trusts and working ranches to participate in the compliance carbon offset market


San Mateo County

Resource Conservation District

Project is a demonstration of biochar use in ag applications in the specific local climatic and soil conditions of coastal San Mateo Co. and its economic feasibility in the region




To adapt a water availability and water quality calculation tool to quantify ecosystem service improvements from implementing NRCS conservation practices in the lower Mokelumne River watershed


Nationwide through CIG, the USDA-NRCS is investing nearly $22.5 million in innovative conservation technologies and approaches that address a broad array of existing and emerging natural resource issues.

Earlier this week national CIG grants were awarded to the following California applicants ($1 million is the maximum allowed for national awards). All contain at least a 50 percent match from non-federal sources, as required by the program:

Project Applicant

Project Summary

Project Award

Western United


To install a groundwater monitoring network on dairies to utilizing fewer

monitoring wells




Mokelumne Watershed Environmental Benefit Program focuses on

supporting ecosystem investments in conservation specifically for water

quality objectives


Fiscalini Farms

To develop,demonstrate and evaluate an enclosed aerobic manure drying

system (EAMD) for dairy manure that will significantly decrease emissions

of ammonia, methane, particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and volatile

organic compounds


Total:   $1,522,478

The CIG grants were established in the 2008 Farm Bill as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Additional information is available online at http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/.

SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

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