Partners in Restoration
The United States' biggest source of watershed pollution is agricultural runoff from farms and ranches, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When soil gets washed into streams and creeks, contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers also end up in the water, eventually polluting wildlife and fish habitats and contaminating water.
Many landowners want to protect the rivers, streams, and other natural resources on their lands; however, this process is complicated and expensive. As a result, many farmers fail to then take preventative measures. For example, when farmers want to restore an eroded creek, they must apply to seven agencies for permits, spend more than $1,500 in fees, and wait at least a year for approval before they can begin restoration.
Sustainable Conservation believes that farmers and ranchers who are willing to solve environmental problems on their lands should get praise, not a regulatory headache. As a result, Sustainable Conservation launched the Partners in Restoration (PIR) Project in 1998 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and local Resource Conservation Districts.