Okanogan Conservation District Secures Initial Funding for Carlton Complex Landowner Assistance
Staff at the Okanogan Conservation District have been working closely with landowners since August of 2014 to determine the extent of losses to natural resources and agricultural infrastructure on private property in the Carlton Complex fire zone. The Washington State Conservation Commission provided funding to cover staff time to conduct site visits and talk one-on-one with landowners about the post-fire risks and options for recovery of the landscape. Between August 2014 and February 2015, the District has worked with over 200 private landowners.
Information provided by landowners to the Okanogan Conservation District provided the basis for the Conservation Commission’s $1.2 million dollar request to the Legislature to provide on-the-ground restoration assistance to Carlton Complex landowners. The Legislature approved and the Governor signed the 2015 Supplemental Budget on Thursday February 19, 2015.
Supplemental Budget dollars will fund the following actions for landowners directly affected by the Carlton Complex:
- Structure protection, to prevent losses due to flash flooding.
- Critical area seeding, for places most at risk of severe erosion and/or destruction of crucial infrastructure such as roads or culverts.
- Deer and livestock fencing replacement.
- Weed management, to be coordinated by the Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Board.
Additional funding is being requested for the next biennium; this supplemental budget funding is to be expended by June 30, 2015. Landowners who have not yet contacted the Okanogan Conservation District for assistance should do so as soon as possible at 509-422-0855 ext 5 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.