Kansas Corn Pleased with Funding for Rattlesnake Creek Watershed

A federal grant will put into action efforts to implement an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to settle a long-standing water right issue involving the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. On Monday, Kansas National Resources Conservation Service and Senator Jerry Moran announced funding of $846,800 for the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed through the Watershed Protection Flood Prevention Program. Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) staff worked with Groundwater Management District #5 (GMD 5) and Senator Moran to find ways to secure the funding.

“Kansas Corn was eager to assist in this process to protect the agricultural producers covering more than 452,000 irrigated acres in the basin. We were able to utilize our connections in Washington DC to connect experts in funding programs with the leadership of GMD 5 and assist in the application process,” said Josh Roe, KCGA Vice President of Market Development and Policy. “This funding will help the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed implement the terms of the agreement.”

Through strong local leadership from members of the Groundwater Management District #5 (GMD 5) and WaterPack, as well as elected leaders such as Senator Jerry Moran, an agreement was signed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to settle an impairment claim in the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed earlier this year.

Pieces of the agreement included adding additional water to the Rattlesnake Creek, voluntarily retiring water rights and making improvement on the wildlife refuge. While this is a positive development, each of these pieces may involve environmental reviews and other complex administrative procedures.

Funds received by GMD 5 with the newly announced NRCS grant will provide the needed resources to complete these reviews, but more importantly, will allow GMD 5 and other entities, including local producers to apply for additional cost-share dollars to fund the implementation of these activities.

The Kansas Corn Growers Association represents its grower members in legislative and regulatory issues and promotes corn and products made from corn.