Conservation Update
June 10 - July 1, 2015 
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Funding Opportunities

WREP Proposals Due July 31

NRCS is investing $15 million nationwide in the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to work through agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations, not for profit organizations, and tribes to help conserve wetlands and their related benefits. Through targeted WREP projects, dollars are made available for new enrollments into permanent or 30-year easements or restoration and management of existing WRP or ACEP-WRE enrollments.

Partners will be required to provide a combination of in-kind and cash contributions of at least 25 percent of the easement, restoration, or management costs. Proposals that go above and beyond required contributions will be given higher consideration. Eligible partners may submit proposals for individual projects, watershed-wide or larger geographical area projects to the Indiana NRCS office, 6013 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46278 by close of business on July 31, 2015. Proposals submitted by fax or through the website will not be accepted. Application guidance can be found on the Indiana ACEP website.

RCPP Funding Applications Due July 17

NRCS is investing dollars through the Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP) in the Western Lake Erie Basin and St. Joseph River watersheds that will help improve water quality and strengthen agricultural operations.  Funding for these RCPP watersheds comes from the Farm Bill's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Farmers in the following watersheds are eligible for funding:


Western Lake Erie Basin

Land in the entire Western Lake Erie Basin is eligible for EQIP RCPP funding, including land in Steuben, Noble, Dekalb, Allen, Wells and Adams counties. Five subwatersheds in the Western Lake Erie Basin watershed will be targeted as high priority: Trier Ditch, Black Creek, Marsh Ditch-Maumee River, Nickelsen Creek and Blue Creek.  The Trier Ditch, Black Creek and Marsh Ditch-Maumee River watersheds lie solely within Allen County.  The Nickelsen Creek watershed lies within portions of Adams, Wells and Allen County.  The Blue Creek Watershed resides totally within Adams County. 


St. Joseph River Watershed

Funding will be targeted in seven counties in northern Indiana including: St. Joseph, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben and DeKalb.  Priority areas within these counties will be determined by a priority ranking based on natural resource concerns. 


All applications for funding consideration must be received by July 17, 2015. Click to learn more about RCPP in Indiana.
National News

Waters of the U.S. 


On Monday, June 29, the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers posted the final Waters of the U.S. rule to the Federal RegisterThis is the same text that was released in May of this year. The rule will go into effect after 60 days in accordance with the Congressional Review Act. Because this is a final rule, here is no open comment period. 


National Working Report on Cover Crops and Soil Health


The National Working Group on Cover Crops and Soil Health-consisting of 19 leaders from various agriculture, conservation, and farm organizations-has released a set of recommendations pertaining to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and programs. The recommendations support the mutual goal of making American agriculture more sustainable through improved soil health. The report was released during the group's meeting with USDA leaders in Washington, D.C., June 16-17.


The report outlines in detail 10 recommendations, including:

  1. Creating a "Mini-CAP" grant program on cover crops and soil health;
  2. Developing a strong public-private partnership to provide improved cover crop cultivars;
  3. Integrating cover crops and soil health into targeted intramural research programs within ARS;
  4. Establishing a National Consortium on Cover Crops and Soil Health;
  5. Collecting and reporting on cover crop acreage annually through the Farm Service Agency as part of their annual crop data reporting effort;
  6. Decoupling crop insurance eligibility from cover crop management practices;
  7. Incentivizing the use of cover crops through federal crop program;
  8. Seeking strategic opportunities to further support cover crops within existing NRCS programs;
  9. Using a triple-strategy conservation approach for fields coming out of CRP; and
  10. Addressing the unique needs of moisture-limited famers and ranches in the West through research on practices that best contribute to soil health, crop insurance adjustments, and the adaptation of NRCS incentive programs to meet regionally-specific soil health needs.
You can view the full report here.
Statewide News

Bobby Hettmansperger Joins Lt. Governor's Trade Mission to China


ISDA Trade Mission participants with members of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture. Photo: ISDA

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann is leading an 18-member delegation of State and private sector agricultural leaders on a twelve-day visit to China. They departed on June 22 and will return on 

July 3.  The trip includes visits with national and provincial government and agriculture leaders to promote trade opportunities for Indiana agricultural products.  Special activities celebrated Indiana's sister-state relationship with Zhejiang Province and an Indiana booth showcasing Hoosier grown products was included at the Beijing Food Exhibition.


IASWCD board member and south-northeast region director Bobby Hettmansperger was selected by the Lt. Governor to participate in this trip. You can follow the group's journey on the ISDA Facebook and Twitter pages! Congratulations to Bobby on this honor!

Cover Crops and Prevented Planting

With heavy rains around the state, attention is turning to ways to deal with prevented planning situations. Cover crops can play an important role in prevented planting fields. Purdue University has an excellent resource on this topic, "Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres." Indiana's USDA-NRCS also released information on this topic, which can be found here. And as always, provides a multitude of resources on cover crops!

Partnership News

Reserve Your Spot to Volunteer at Pathway to Water Quality Today!


Don't miss out on your once a year chance to participate in one of the most popular exhibits at the Indiana State Fair and share your conservation work with a huge statewide audience - Pathway to Water Quality.


The 2015 Indiana State Fair is August 7 - 23 and there are daily opportunities to be involved at the exhibit. Pathway to Water Quality showcases conservation practices in each of our showcased areas: home, ag/forestry, soils, pasture / grazing, education and greeter areas.

If you are new to Pathway, there is a brochure map, and a  short video that will help acquaint you with the exhibit. Contact DeeDee Sigler, PWQ coordinator, with questions at [email protected]
Contact Us


Find your Region Director

Visit us on social media:

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter

These are just a few of the upcoming events around the state. You can find many more on the Conservation Calendar and the Soil Health Events Calendar.

July 7 - Pond Clinic

August 12 - Organic Matters!

August 15 - Forestry Field Day

Now Accepting Annual Awards Applications

The guidelines and applications for the Annual Awards are now available on the IASWCD website. These include:

  • District Showcase
  • Conservation Farmer of the Year
  • Supervisor of the Year
  • Friend of Conservation
District Showcase applications are due July 30 and the other three awards have a deadline of September 4. Please contact [email protected] with any questions about the application process.
NACD Marketplace Sale

The NACD Marketplace is having a summer clearance sale!  "DIG IT! Secrets of Soil, Conservation Habits, Healthy Habitats and Forest for People" materials are on sale at 60 to 75% off.  Also the community outreach materials are also on clearance. You only have until October 1 to stock your shelves with these materials!  After October 1, these materials will no longer be available to make way for new products coming in later in 2015. The new materials will be on the topic of Forestry with the theme "We all need trees!"  Collaborating on the project is USDA Forest Service, Project Learning Tree, and NACD's Forestry RPG.


Visit the NACD Marketplace to purchase.

Support IASWCD

Do you frequently make purchases on You can help support conservation in Indiana by selected IASWCD as a recipient of AmazonSmile contributions when you shop on Amazon will donate a portion of their profits to IASWCD at no additional cost to you. It's a simple way to support conservation in your day to day life!
Job Openings

Please email job descriptions, instructions for applying, and a deadline in a single PDF file to [email protected] to be included.

District Manager - Brown County SWCD 

District Treasurer/Coordinator - Wayne County SWCD

District Coordinator - Dearborn County SWCD