Efforts to protect the Spokane River watershed will benefit from a $15 million infusion in conservation spending over the next five years.
The money will be used for projects to maintain wildlife habitat and improve water quality in the Spokane River and its tributaries by reducing erosion from farm fields and logging sites.
A coalition of 16 state, tribal and local partners in Washington and Idaho secured a $7.7 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for the restoration work. The federal funds will be paired with local matching dollars, said Walt Edlemen, the Spokane Conservation District’s water resources manager.
The work will be done on private lands, with the goal of involving 300 landowners for restoration projects across 150,000 acres. The program allows farmers to apply for grants to put buffers of native plants along streams, use direct seeding to reduce erosion or other conservation measures.
The partnership includes state agencies in Washington and Idaho, the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene tribes, local agencies and nonprofits.
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