- Author: Khara Strum, Audubon California
An exciting opportunity for rice growers to create on-farm habitat will have a final enrollment opportunity on July 29th. A Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) supports practices in the Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP) and provides incentives to farmers to voluntarily modify their field management in small ways to benefit birds that are also compatible with farming. Rice provides critical food and other resources for many species of waterbirds year-round. Small changes to farm management, as supported by this program, can increase the value of rice fields as resources for birds.
We strongly encourage new growers/landowners who have not enrolled in WHEP or RCPP in the past to apply. New applicants will be preferentially ranked for acceptance into the program. However, we anticipate that quality proposals from past WHEP-RCPP participants will also be considered for funding. Practices available through the RCPP-WHEP include:
- Two weeks of continuous shallow flooding August-October
- Variable drawdown of winter-flooded fields in February
- Planting and maintaining cover crops for nesting birds
- Nesting islands for safe breeding habitat
- Postponing decomp activities until January
No long-term commitment is required in this program. EQIP-eligible producers in Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yuba, and Yolo counties can apply. For more information about this program or to schedule a farm visit to discuss this program, join us at a free workshop about the program June 7th 10:30am at the Colusa Casino OR contact Khara Strum at Audubon California, email@example.com OR Paul Buttner at the California Rice Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org.