Conservation Helping Hand program aims to help landowners

The San Juan Conservation District (SJCD) is proud to offer a program we started 16 years ago, Conservation Helping Hand, to help landowners with properties in Archuleta County and parts of the Hinsdale and Mineral counties.

Are you interested in implementing a conservation practice on your property, but need help with the cost? We will award grants to pay for 50% of your project, up to $4,000. Conservation practices to promote more efficient irrigation systems, use of planned grazing systems, and healthy forest restoration that will benefit both livestock and wildlife will be considered.

The SJCD is working with the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership, also known as WEP, to map all agricultural water uses in the Upper San Juan, Blanco, and Navajo watershed basins. This is a community process to understand local water supply needs and information gaps.
As a result of this inventory, landowners in the project areas will be given higher priority to receive funds to implement improvements to the irrigation system.

We will be accepting applications until May 2. Applications will be reviewed by elected Board members and prioritized based on targeted resource concern, environmental benefits, and cost of implementation. Applicants for funded projects will be notified by May 13. All projects must begin by July 1 and be completed by September 30.

Technical assistance will be provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and all approved projects must meet NRCS standards and specifications. Applications are available at the San Juan Conservation District Office, 505A County Road 600. Please stop by or call (970) 731-3615 for more information.

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Ryan H. Bowman