Walsenburg: Thanks to a grant from the Colorado State Conservation Board and assistance from the Huerfano County Commissioners, the Upper Huerfano Conservation District (UHCD) has been able to employ a conservation technician for the past two years. The technician not only provides technical assistance to landowners to get conservation projects on the ground, but also assists local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist, Tony Arnhold with federal Farm Bill Programs which include Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program projects administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
When he retired from NRCS two years ago, Don Sanchez had 42 years experience with the NRCS, with 28 years of service to the land and people of the Huerfano County. Sanchez was hired by UHCD in January of 2007 and works between 16 to 20 hours per week. In 2008 he assisted local landowners with several conservation practices including: 38,000 linear feet of livestock water pipeline, 3,320 linear feet of underground irrigation pipeline, 1,000 linear feet of gated irrigation pipeline, 14 livestock water tanks, 10 structures for water control, 2 livestock water pits, 1 solar panel and pump, 1 windmill, and 1 spring development.
Without the State grant and assistance from the Huerfano County Commissioners, employing a local conservation technician would not have been possible. This not only saves valuable time, but also saves federal dollars.