Improving Farm Bill Programs Associated with Playa Wetland and Ogallala Aquifer Conservation

Project #: 1762  –   Updated: January 17, 2011

Project Summary

The Playa Lakes Joint Venture is undertaking policy work and engagement with national and state level personnel at the USDA Farm
Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service to increase Farm Bill program applicability for playa
and aquifer conservation in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Location (by county):
["", "Morrill County (NE), ", "Alfalfa County (OK), ", "Mitchell County (TX), ", "DeBaca County (NM), ", " (show more)", "Furnas County (NE), ", "Stonewall County (TX), ", "Scurry County (TX), ", "Kiowa County (OK), ", "Rooks County (KS), ", "Dawson County (TX), ", "Fisher County (TX), ", "Major County (OK), ", "Keith County (NE), ", "Adams County (CO), ", "Perkins County (NE), ", "Cheyenne County (NE), ", "Barton County (KS), ", "Hardeman County (TX), ", "Red Willow County (NE), ", "Russell County (KS), ", "Roosevelt County (NM), ", "Custer County (OK), ", "Barber County (KS), ", "San Miguel County (NM), ", "Hayes County (NE), ", "Logan County (CO), ", "Elbert County (CO), ", "Borden County (TX), ", "Phillips County (KS), ", "Pueblo County (CO), ", "Norton County (KS), ", "Huerfano County (CO), ", "Guadalupe County (NM), ", "Las Animas County (CO), ", "Jackson County (OK), ", "Stafford County (KS), ", "Garden County (NE), ", "Knox County (TX), ", "Osborne County (KS), ", "Colfax County (NM), ", "Caddo County (OK), ", "Terry County (TX), ", "Foard County (TX), ", "Arthur County (NE), ", "Kent County (TX), ", "Frontier County (NE), ", "Mora County (NM), ", "Harding County (NM), ", "Pratt County (KS), ", "Blaine County (OK), ", "Morgan County (CO), ", "Lincoln County (NE), ", "Washita County (OK), ", "Cochran County (TX), ", "El Paso County (CO), ", "Yoakum County (TX), ", "Howard County (TX), ", "King County (TX), ", "Arapahoe County (CO)", " (show less)"]

Watersheds:
Upper Cimarron-Liberal

Congressional Districts:
["", "KS District 01, ", "TX District 19, ", "NM District 03, ", "TX District 11, ", " (show more)", "OK District 03, ", "TX District 13, ", "CO District 05, ", "KS District 04, ", "NE District 03, ", "NM District 02, ", "CO District 04, ", "CO District 03", " (show less)"]

Bird Conservation Regions:
Shortgrass Prairie

USFWS Regions:
Mountain Prairie Region, Southwest Region

Project size:
1572.89 miles

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Southern High Plains Yes

Full Project Description

The Playa Lakes Joint Venture is undertaking policy work and engagement with national and state level personnel at the USDA Farm
Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service to increase Farm Bill program applicability for playa
and aquifer conservation in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Project Assistance & Partnership Opportunities

Funding

We can use help to fund the additional mailings to expiring CRP Contract Holders in 2010-2012. We could also use assistance to cover costs of taking stakeholders to Washington, DC to meet with USDA officials regarding USDA program implementation. We are also actively seeking financial assistance for our partners to hire on-the-ground personnel to meet with landowners and managers to promote and deliver USDA Conservation Programs, especially those that conserve playas and the Ogallala Aquifer in our region.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Public Benefit
Conservation Mission
Financial Incentive

Primary goals:

A National Level Memorandum of Agreement with the USDA Farm Service Agency-This goal was achieved
Progress:

A National Level Memorandum of Agreement with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-We are still working toward this goal.

Develop local tours in each of the six states in the PLJV geographic area for Congressmen and their staff
Progress:

Congressman Jerry Moran of the 1st District in KS had his tour on April 7-8, 2009-We are still working towards tours in the other five states' congressional districts.

Consistent with plans:

Other
Species Recovery Plan
Nature Conservancy Ecoregional Plan
State Wildlife Action Plan

Targeted habitats:

    • Shrublands and Grasslands
      • Grasslands
      • Shrublands and Steppe
    • Special Types
      • Deserts, Playas and Ash Beds

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Plant native trees and/or shrubs, herbs, forbs, grasses Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
Wildlife Conservation Society (Non-Governmental Organization) Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

What lessons have been learned and/or what suggestions do you have for similar activities?

The major lesson relearned is that policy changes come slowly, are driven by repeated information delivery and demonstration of outcomes, and are highly dependent upon establishing long-term networks and working relationships within government and with congressional offices at both the local, state, and Washington, DC levels.

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Organization

Playa Lakes Joint Venture
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Barth Crouch  (Conservation Policy Director)
Playa Lakes Joint Venture, Inc.
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Partners

  • Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation
  • KS Dept. of Wildlife and Parks
  • New Mexico Game and Fish Dept.
  • Colorado Division of Wildlife
  • NE Game and Parks Commission
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • USDA-Farm Service Agency
  • USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • US Forest Service
  • Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
  • Conoco-Phillips
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Pheasants Forever, INC.
  • Bureau of Land Management

Project Photos

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