California to pay farmers to flood fields in winter

State to pay landowners for flooding rice fields this winter

Proposals are now being accepted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is for the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program (CWRHIP).

Winter-flooded rice fields provide a significant portion of the caloric needs of ducks and migrating shorebirds in the Sacramento Valley. The CWRHIP was developed in response to the decline of winter-flooded rice acreage in the Central Valley.

Assembly Bill 2348, passed by the California Legislature in 2018 established the CWRHIP, which is designed to encourage the winter-flooding of harvested rice fields through economic incentives.

Landowners or lessees who agree to manage their properties in accordance with CDFW’s Comprehensive Wetland Habitat Program can receive $15 per acre.

Properties located within five miles of an active airstrip on a military base or international airport are not eligible to enroll in the program.

For Fiscal Year 2021-2022, a total of up to $3,001,190 in CWRHIP funds will be available for new one-year agreements under this proposal solicitation notice.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2021, at 4 p.m. The program solicitation, application instructions, and other information are available on CDFW’s website.

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