The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released their 2018 Land Values Summary. The Mountain Region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, experienced a 0.9 percent increase in value from 2017.
The Upper Colorado River Commission System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) will be put on hold after this year. The program has funded 45 fallowing efforts at an average cost of $205 / acre-foot of conserved consumptive use in the first three years. In 2018, ranchers and famers in the upper basin will receive $3.9 million in payments through the program.
The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) has issued a Request for Proposals to invite users of the Colorado River System water in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to submit proposals for Pilot Program water conservation projects. Projects are meant to test methods for saving water that could be part of a drought contingency plan in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River.
Nationwide, farm real estate values average $3,080 per acre in 2017, up $70 an acre or 2.3 % from 2016. The Mountain region has the lowest farm real estate value at $1,130 per acre. The value of cropland in the same region increased 1.1% year-over-year to $1,780 and pasture land values rose 1.3% to $625 per acre in 2017.
The USDA NRCS has awarded more than $22.6 million to drive innovation in conservation this year. Nationwide in 2017, 33 projects are receiving funding through the Conservation Innovation Grant program. There were a handful of innovative programs funded that are geared to the American West including several conservation finance projects.
The large task of preserving heritage and conserving natural resources across the American West takes multi-faceted and concentrated efforts. The private sector serves as an important partner in the collective work to achieve the preservation and conservation outcomes in many individual communities and ecosystems. Though there are many businesses across the country that traditionally support these efforts, the beer industry in particular has continued to support restoration, preservation and conservation efforts in both interactive and innovative ways.
National agriculture industry consulting and CPA firm K-Coe Isom recently announced a new program aimed to help ranchers generate revenue from conservation projects while simultaneously reducing the rancher’s inherent risk of testing and implementing such projects. Funded by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the program is specific to ranchers whose property is located in priority sage grouse habitat or crucial mule deer winter range or designated mule deer migration corridors within Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, or California.
Across much of the American West, primarily the southwest, overstocked and mismanaged forests are leading to poor tree growth, increased fire danger and increases in threads to overall forest health from insects and disease. Additionally, the proper management of these same forests has the ability to create positive impacts in local economies by providing jobs and goods for regional communities. This intersection of the issues of private land stewardship and bolstering sustainable economies fits squarely within the mission of The Western Landowners' Alliance (WLA).
We are so excited about our work that we just can't keep it to ourselves. Soon we will be featuring #inthefield photo posts revealing glimpses of the projects we are contributing to and featuring the inspiring places in which we work. Follow Topos & Anthros on Instagram to keep up with what we're doing #inthefield!