Waihi Leader, Tuesday 19 August 2008
Clean Streams funding still available
FARMERS are being reminded they have just four more years to apply for financial help from Environment Waikato to fence stock off from waterways under the Clean Streams programme.
The regional council pays up to 35 per cent of the cost of fencing as part of its efforts to stop stock and stock effluent from contributing to effluent and sediment contamination of waterways.
Also, so-called priority one stock exclusion waterbodies can still qualify for Clean Streams funding. Funding for fencing these had previously been due to finish last financial year, as part of efforts to encourage farmers to get them fenced off more quickly.
But, recognising the financial pressures farmers have been under in recent years, the council has recently decided to extend this deadline to help ensure landowners are still able to get help to fence off priority one waterways.
Many priority one waterbodies still to be fenced are in upper catchment areas where sheep and beef farming predominate. In these cases, the costs of fencing out stock generally exceed those in the dairying situation. Other priority one waterbodies include harbours and estuaries.
"All of the regionís waterways are very precious and we want to work closely with farmers to protect them, whatever their circumstances," says river and catchment services committee chairman Andra Neeley.
"But we will prioritise applications from upper catchment farmers wishing to fence off priority one waterbodies. Itís easier to protect clean water near the start of rivers than deal with dirty water in the lower reaches. Weíll also look particularly favourably at applications to fence off harbours and estuaries."
Cr Neely says the fencing of the margins of harbours and estuaries is particularly important, as these are the ones that tend to have most stock being run nearby.
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