Abstract: Session A  10:50 am (BACK)

WNC Stream Initiative – A Partnership Opportunity: Developing Working Relationships with Federal, State and Local Interests

Alan Walker
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Waynesville, NC

NRCS personnel in western NC have a working relationship with a partner organization; Resource Institute (RI).  RI has a history and reputation as premier organization in the stream restoration and stabilization arena.  NRCS in North Carolina receives federal funds through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to assist eligible participants address resource concerns on their land.  NC-NRCS does not have the human resources available to design, layout, and provide construction oversight for an accelerated initiative aimed at stream stabilization/restoration.  NRCS personnel in western NC and RI saw an opportunity to leverage state funding with federal funds to utilize qualified Technical Service Providers (TSP’s) in an effort to accelerate stabilizing and/or restoring unstable stream reaches.  The WNC Stream Initiative was established in 2013 to provide an opportunity for EQIP eligible participants with unstable stream reaches to partner with the Resource Institute to provide design, regulatory permitting assistance, construction oversight and practice certification through a Technical Service Provider (TSP).  Resource Institute works cooperatively through the local Soil and Water Conservation District and the Division of Water Quality to manage the TSP’s and Contractors involved in the design, permitting, layout, construction oversight and certification of the practices; while the federal EQIP funds are utilized in practice installation.