Free Bird-Friendly Farming Workshops

Taylor Hillman General

Two workshops to support the Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Join U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership at one of two free workshops in support of on-farm habitat creation through the Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP). WHEP is for farmers interested in adding bird-friendly farming practices on eligible farms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. This conservation program is focused on, but is not limited to, several practices beneficial to birds and farmers:

Short-term flooding of fields in summer,

No-till, no-chop rice fields,

Post-harvest residue management of corn fields,

Winter flooding of corn fields with staggered flood-up,

Winter flooding of fields with staggered drawdown in February

WHEP is a voluntary program; interested growers must apply to their local NRCS office for this special habitat program. The first application deadline is Friday, February 20, 2015. Thereafter, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through July.

WHO: Audubon California, Point Blue Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy, Delta Protection Commission, Delta Conservancy, and NRCS

WHAT: Free workshops about on-farm habitat creation

WHEN: Monday February 9, 2015 at the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church, 14120 Grand Ave, Walnut Grove, CA 95690

Friday, February 13, 2015 at the Isleton Community Center, 208 Jackson Blvd, Isleton, CA 95641

WHY: WHEP was first offered to producers in 2012 in the Sacramento Valley with a focus on rice; since that time, over 120,000 acres and 220 producers have enrolled in WHEP to implement practices that enhance their fields for migratory birds. This year, WHEP is expanding to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to support additional crops.

The program is available in the following counties: Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, Butte, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn, Placer and Yuba. Interested parties should attend one of the free workshops or contact their local NRCS Service Center to learn more about the program and application process.

About Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership
The Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership (MBCP) is a collaboration between Audubon California, Point Blue Conservation Science, and The Nature Conservancy. Combining the experience and expertise of three of California’s leaders in bird conservation enables the Partnership to address issues of science, habitat conservation, restoration, management, and conservation policy to ensure California can support its migratory bird populations.