A soil health program piloted by Ducks Unlimited is moving into its second phase with another grant from the Outdoor Heritage Foundation.
The Cover Crop and Livestock Integration Project, or CCLIP (c-clip) is expanding from a few counties in southeast North Dakota, to include 37 counties that encompass the state's Prairie Pothole Region. The project began with a $620,000 grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund in the summer of 2017. OHF is now giving $1.25 million. Tanner Gue is a regional biologist with Ducks Unlimited. He says the project was received well in its first phase, and public interest helped to propel it into phase two.
"We were getting phone calls from all over the state, from folks saying 'hey, I heard about CCLIP1, when is it coming to my area?' and so we went back to the Outdoor Heritage Fund and explained the need, and proved our success in the southeast part of the state. We applied for basically twice as much money for our priority area - basically the Prairie Pothole Region in North Dakota."
Gue says a main goal of the program is to reduce some of the economic pressures landowners may feel to drain small, yet significant wetland areas in their croplands. He says CCLIP assumes some of the financial risk by sharing 60 percent of the expenses of adding grazing infrastructure and purchasing cover crop seed. He says landowners interested in participating can just contact their regional Ducks Unlimited biologist.