Media Advisory: Listening Session on Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Jun 3, 2016

WASHINGTON – Minnesota Congressman and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson and North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer will host an Agriculture Committee Listening Session Monday, June 6 in Moorhead.

The session will focus on the role of tile drainage and drainage management to complement the work of the Red River Retention Authority (RRRA) under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Chairman Glenn “G.T” Thompson, R-Pa., and Reps. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Kristi Noem, R-S.D., will join the discussion.

WHO:    House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
            Representative Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
            Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Chairman G.T. Thompson, R-Pa.
            Representative Tim Walz, D-Minn.
            Representative Kristi Noem, R-S.D.

WHAT:   House Agriculture Committee Listening Session re: tile drainage and drainage management

WHEN:   Monday, June 6, 2016, 9:00 a.m.     

WHERE: Courtyard by Marriott, 1080 28th Ave. South, Moorhead

BACKGROUND:

USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Services provided $50 million for the Red River Initiative to utilize existing conservation programs in the Valley. This is in addition the $12 million RCPP previously awarded the RRRA.

The USDA Red River Initiative cost-shares the addition of drainage management structures on drainage systems through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and also helps to enroll wetland areas that can hold water through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Wetland Reserve Easement component.

Members will be looking at the road blocks frustrating farmers as they try to make wider use of tile drainage, including the timeliness of USDA determinations and the ability to mitigate middle of field wetlands. Drainage management practices that NRCS can cost-share on tile drainage and other end of field options to address water quantity and quality will also be discussed.