WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Karen A. Woodrich, State Conservationist, Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), today announced funding for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program for the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed and Middle Creek Watershed. The programs will receive $725,000 for Rattlesnake Creek and $121,800 for Middle Creek to address water conservation efforts in Kansas.
The NRCS Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, commonly known as Public Law 566 (PL-566) helps units of federal, state, local and tribal governments (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds of up to 250,000 acres. This program creates a partnership between the federal government and states to work together to prevent erosion, floodwater and sediment damage and to promote conservation development and the proper use of land in authorized watersheds. These PL-566 projects will help build on over 20 years of partnerships addressing natural resource concerns.
“The agreement reached earlier this year between the Big Bend Groundwater Management District 5 and the Fish and Wildlife Service will help satisfy the water needs of both Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and local producers,” said Sen. Moran. “I appreciate Acting Chief Norton’s work to provide assistance from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to prepare a watershed plan, an important step forward to begin fulfilling the terms of the agreement at Quivira.”
“These projects are important for Kansas,” said Woodrich. “Water management, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and enhancing the surrounding agricultural community are just a few resource concerns that we can address in our conservation efforts across our state.”
Middle Creek funding will support the planning and design of Floodwater Retention Dam (FRD) Number 11. This dam will improve flood protection for property and agricultural lands downstream.
Rattlesnake Creek funding will be used for the development of a watershed plan for the Rattlesnake Creek Basin in south central Kansas. NRCS will work with stakeholders to assess the existing resources, evaluate conservation alternatives, and develop a plan to conserve and protect the valuable resources of the area. The primary resource concern in Rattlesnake Creek Watershed is the inadequate water quantity including low surface water flows to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.
Rattlesnake Creek Watershed consists of 151,509 acres located in a prime agricultural region with 4,587 farms producing $1.89 billion in crop and livestock sales annually. It provides surface flows to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge which consists of 7,000 acres of wetlands. Providing critical habitat for over 300 species of birds on the central flyway, including threatened and endangered species.