Project Examples - Delivery

On the ground conservation actions fostered through development of Conservation Delivery Networks (CDN) represent great examples of LMVJV supported delivery projects.
A core strategy of successful CDN implementation is the targeted leveraging of capacity and funding in the most effective means available toward accomplishing identified priority projects.  As is well recognized in the conservation world, leveraging existing capacities within conservation partnerships in tandem with both private and federal funding is a highly effective approach to achieving conservation priorities.  The JV’s partnership with the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) represents a functionally successful example of applying this approach.

A specific example of the benefits of such partnerships is the intersection between the establishment of the Arkansas MAV CDN, the initiation of the LMVJV sponsored WFF Conservation Grant, and the launching of the NRCS’s Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). 

The LMVJV established a formal partnership with the WFF in 2010 to support the delivery of $1,000,000 in support of habitat restoration on frequently flooded agricultural lands within the delta of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Spring of 2010 also saw the launch of the first LMVJV supported CDN (AR MAV) and the initiation of the NRCS’s MRBI. 

A key outcome of this fortuitous intersection of conservation partnership and programs has been the funding of multiple MRBI projects within CDN-identified priority areas.  A prime example of one of these projects is the “Restoration of Bottomland Hardwood Forests in the Cache River Watershed of Arkansas: A private lands Wetlands Reserve Enhance Project (WREP)”.

The primary focus of this project is reforestation of riparian associated croplands in sub-watersheds of the Cache River in Arkansas.  The WREP special project areas targeted in the project are identified as conservation priorities by the LMVJV/CDN (Figure 1) and create critical links between large and protected forest blocks.  The project will enroll private lands in the Cache River watershed through a priority ranking system to include land occurring in three 12-digit HUC sub-watersheds that allow for the development or enhancement of habitat corridors linking to the Cache River NWR through identified CDN priority areas.  WFF Conservation Grant funds totaling $340,000 are being used as match to complete reforestation activities, coordinated by TNC and DU, on tracts enrolled in WRP.  The mechanism for the balance of the projects funding is being delivered through the Farm Bill as a special MRBI/WREP with potential of $15M+ targeting restoration and protection of up to 10,000 acres of conservation easement acquisition and reforestation by NRCS over the planned five year project period.