Conservation Easement at Winje's Farm Conservation Easement

February 7, 2010

Encouraging visit from Audubon

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 9:37 am

Partnerships brought input and cooperation between agencies to show support and build a higher rating for our farm as we worked toward entering the WRP process.

October Graham wrote:

Dear Russell ā€“ Thanks again for hosting us all today. Surprise Valley was at its best today with wonderful snow up the slopes and clear air. My sense is that your project will move all and I look forward to helping out. My bird list from today is below. Best, Graham
Location: Winje’s Farm
Observation date: 10/22/07
Notes: Two flocks of Sandhill Cranes flew over.
Number of species: 18
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Sandhill Crane 85
California Gull 1
Rock Pigeon 4
Black-billed Magpie 2
Mountain Chickadee 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 8
European Starling 6
American Pipit 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Savannah Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 15
Cassin’s Finch 1
House Finch 4
American Goldfinch 8
House Sparrow 4

February 6, 2010

Our ranking was too low, Partners reach out to assist.

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 8:55 am

September 18th came and went, and to our dismay, our ranking was low as the NRCS representative viewed the farm on a hot, dry September day. Proposed partners offer their assistance, and the process once again takes a new step forward.

September 26th, Graham wrote:
Dear Russell ā€“ I have not heard from Jessica and I will reach out to her to get her impression of their visit to your property. I believe there are a number of things we can do to increase the points for your ranking. Iā€™m sure Surprise Valley is gorgeous right now. Best, Graham
Steve Caly wrote:
Russ; I’ll be meeting Loren and Matt on tuesday to talk about your
ranking and how to get it up where it should be.

October 10th, Steve Clay wrote:

Hello Russ; Loren, MAtt, and I met yesterday and went through your
ranking. We quickly got it up to 165 points and think that with the
partnership stuff we can get it into the 180’s. Loren will be
shepherding this through the process and I believe that it stands a very
good chance to get funded. Hopefully Matt can fill you in more when he
meets with Graham and you? Matt or Loren could give you a better feel for
the time line.

February 5, 2010

Plowing ahead

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 6:55 am

Plowing ahead, the support from partners improves our chances for acceptance into the WRP program.

Oct 19th, Graham wrote:

Dear Russell — We have scheduled a visit your place Monday at 9 am on Monday with Steve Clay, Matt Dreschel (tentative) and Richard Shinn (DFG) (Tenative). I also spoke with Jessica Groves (NRCS) and Peter Perrine of the Wildlife Conservation Board earlier this week about your project and developed some ideas about how to potentially approach. Jessica seemed less concerned with the initial rating and recognizes that Audubonā€™s participation could increase the points. In addition, the Wildlife Conservation Board may be very interested in the idea of participating through a trail, signage and public access if that is something you might want to pursue. Look forward to seeing you on Monday. Graham

February 4, 2010

Officially, the ball is rolling, with a date set

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 7:07 am

September 5th Matt Drechsel responded to our request to enter the WRP program.
A date is set for the NRCS representative to visit the farm and make the initial ranking.

Russell and Jan,

Thank you for your interest in the WRP program. I will be out in Lake City on Tuesday the 18th with Jessica Groves for WRP. Would the afternoon of the 18th work for you?

Attached you will find an application (AD1153 CA.pdf) and two sample deeds (a permanent and a 30 year). I have also attached the website where these, and other WRP information, can be found.

http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp.html

Matt Drechsel
District Conservationist
USDA-NRCS Alturas Field Office

February 3, 2010

Officially applying for a WRP easement.

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 6:47 am

In order to formally start to WRP process we were instructed by Graham Chisholm to write a letter to all involved stating that we officially wish to apply for the WRP easement.

September 1, 2007 Graham Chisholm wrote:

Russell — Aside from Steve Clay and Loren who are with US Fish and Wildlife is that you should also send the message to the NRCS folks:

Matt Drechsel, head of NRCS in Modoc — Matt.Drechsel@ca.usda.gov
Richard King, Richard.King@ca.usda.gov
Jessica Groves, Jessica.Groves@ca.usda.gov

Assuming you have not formally applied for a WRP easement, I would recommend sending an email addressed to Matt, but cc:ing Richard, Jessica, Steve and Loren as follows:

Dear Matt

My wife, Jan, and I are interested in applying for a WRP easement on our property in Surprise Valley. I have already previously discussed the potential project with Steve Clay (USFWS) and Graham Chisholm (Audubon) and I would be interested in receiving application materials to proceed to the next steps. I would also welcome you, Richard, Jessica, and others to visit the property before winter in order to evaluate and rank the project for consideration. The natural values of our agricultural property could be greatly enhanced in order to provide greater benefits to a number of riparian and wetland bird species, and we’d like to work with NRCS, USFWS and Audubon to implement a project.

Sincerely,

Russell

February 2, 2010

What comes after the site is ranked by the NRCS?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 12:04 pm

As the process moved ahead I asked Loren Ruport of the USFWS to explain what we could expect next, while we waited for the NRCS to come rank the property.

August 16, 2007 Loren Ruport wrote:

Once we have the project ranked which will occur at our next meeting we
will then be able to see where we are on the state list with NRCS. When we
figure that out we can start to get the project ranked higher on the list
by getting partner contributions. If it ranks anything like the Nardella
project we may not have to worry about anything because it will be at the
top of the list and be funded. So for right now we will rank it and see
what the score is and then take it from there. If you are accepted which
will happen you will then have an appraiser come out and give you an actual
land value and this will be up to you to accept the offer or deny it. If
you accept we will be doing the project and you will get a substantial
easement payment. As soon as matt calls I will let you know.

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