F2F Technical Session #4
September 20, 2010
Tamara Ambler, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority
Leslie Middleton, Rivanna River Basin Commission
Buzz VanSantvoord, Conserv
Nick Evans, Conserv
Michael Collins, Conserv
Buck Kline, VDOF
Greg Harper, Albemarle County
Rex Linville, Piedmont Environmental Council
Mike Santucci, VDOF
Rob Farrell, VDOF
Marcus Griswold, American Rivers
Note: Chris French, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, attempted to call in but was unable to get through to the meeting due to technical problems
Michael Collins opened the meeting by describing the purpose of the F2F Initiative:
To create a process to financially link urban water consumers with rural landowners in the South Fork Rivanna River Watershed through water supply related ecosystem services. The process will function through the creation of an optimum land cover for these water supply related ecosystem services.
Buck Kline then described the (5) Management Practices that payments were being created to stimulate. Those are:
- Forest Establishment
- Harvest Site Stabilization
- Forest Stewardship Management Pre-Harvest Plan
- Riparian Buffer Tax Credit Match
- Forest Cover Easements
Buck went on to describe the results of the bidding process – a couple of bids were received. This was felt to be due to land conversion concerns, perceived or real hassle factors with the bidding process. Another participant noted that the uncertainty of payment level was another factor that made the bidding less viable in the minds of the landowner. Consequently, a revised process would begin in October to have ongoing enrollment. Buck described the contract:
Virginia Department of Forestry
South Fork Rivanna River “Forests to Faucets” Program
LANDOWNER NAME: ______________________________________________________________________________________
Taxpayer ID Number is required. Complete a Federal W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) and return with your application.
PROPERTY INFORMATION: DOF Tract No: ________________ DOF Parcel No: __________________ Acres Applied For: ______________
COUNTY Tax Map/Parcel No: ____________________________
PROJECT DESCRIPTION (check off those practices being applied for):
___ Forest Management/ Preharvest Plan Reimbursement of cost based on current VDOF rates and limits
___ Harvest Site Stabilization Reimbursement of cost, not to exceed $5000
___ Riparian Buffer Tax Credit Match Cash match, not to exceed $5000, for an uncut riparian buffer.
Copy of “VDOF Certification of Eligibility for Riparian Buffer Tax Incentive” form required.
___ Forest Establishment 1) Reimbursement of stand establishment costs plus $50/acre maintenance payment
2) Lump-sum payment for 20 year contract
3) One acre minimum for Riparian Buffer Establishment
4) Five acre minimum for general open land planting
RECOMMENDATIONS: (VDOF forester to complete Form 75 if needed) _____________________________________________
LANDOWNER AGREEMENT: I agree………
- To install practices as prescribed by the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)
- To designate and assume responsibility for boundaries of the parcel where the project is to be performed, and to give VDOF employees the right to enter the property for the purpose of inspecting the progress and maintenance of the project.
- To comply with recommended Best Management Practices, the Silivcultural Water Quality Law and the Virginia Seed Tree Law.
- To ensure 80% of the recommended trees per acre are planted correctly based on VDOF planting quality standards, if my project involves tree planting.
- To replant, should the results of the VDOF survival reinspection made at the end of the first growing season for pine plantings and/or second growing season for hardwood plantings show that an insufficient number of seedlings exist to develop into a well stocked stand.
- To provide receipts, contractor statements OR a completed “Landowner Certification of Expenses” (VDOF Form 23) upon completion of the project. NOTE: For any Riparian Buffer Tree Planting or General Open Land Tree Planting project, this requirement must be met by July 1st of the same year the planting was completed or the project funding will be cancelled.
- To provide to VDOF copies of documentation, obtained from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) that you are an EQIP eligible landowner.
- I am responsible for payment of invoices. Upon submission of appropriate documentation, payment will be made directly to me.
- The applicable charges for services provided by the VDOF will be subtracted from the incentive payment.
- Livestock grazing must be excluded from the project area for the life of the contract.
- For the practice of Forest Establishment, I agree to refund any incentive payments along with a 10% penalty fee, if the project is not completed as prescribed, or if seedlings planted are intentionally removed or destroyed (by current or subsequent landowners) before the end of the 20 year contract.
- The Department of Forestry obligation is subject to availability of funds and can be terminated at any time for any reason before implementation. In addition, in the event that by operation of law, the powers and authority of the State Forester shall be so curtailed as to prevent the continued performance of his duties, this agreement and all responsibilities of the State Forester hereunder shall cease.
- That I qualify for the agricultural exemption from Virginia Retail Sales Tax on seedlings purchased from the VDOF as the trees are to be planted for future commercial production of timber.
REFORESTATION SERVICES AGREEMENT (Check the reforestation services you wish to obtain from the VDOF should you or a planting contractor be unable to provide these services. If these VDOF costs are incurred, landowner will not be billed.)
___ Coordinate Planting on the Tract @ $ ________/Acre $ ________ Min. ____ Deliver Seedlings to Tract @ $ ________/Loaded Mile $ ________ Min.
LANDOWNER NAME (PRINT) LANDOWNER SIGNATURE DATE
I certify that the above project(s), if properly carried out, will qualify for an incentive payment under the South Fork Rivanna River Forests to Faucets program. A copy of the project map is included with this application.
FORESTER NAME (PRINT) FORESTER SIGNATURE DATE
ASSISTANT REGIONAL FORESTER NAME (PRINT) ASSISTANT REGIONAL FORESTER SIGNATURE DATE
TO BE COMPLETED UPON PROJECT COMPLETION
I certify that the above project was completed according to recommendations provided Acres Completed: ________________________________
FORESTER SIGNATURE DATE
Virginia Department of Forestry
South Fork Rivanna River
“Forests to Faucets” Program
GENERAL: All landowners will need to document EQIP eligibility at the time of funding application. An application will not be accepted or considered complete without this documentation. It will be the landowners responsibility to contact the FSA (Farmers Service Agency) for copies of the necessary forms proving eligibility. In most cases, based on the category of land ownership, this documentation will include USDA forms AD1026, CCC 926, and CCC 901.
On the Funding Application Form, landowners should check the practice(s) being applied for. A project application must be complete before submitting to the Assistant Regional Forester for approval. This includes the landowner submitting the necessary documentation to prove EQIP eligibility, a Federal W-9 tax form, a project map, a copy of VDOF Form 75 (if applicable) and all necessary signatures on the application form. NOTE: When the management practice is Forest Establishment, the project map must show mapped acres. Because of the potentially significant amounts of landowner payments involved it is important to map the planting sites.
Forest Stewardship Management Plans (FSMP) with Preharvest Plan Component. A FSMP that incorporates preharvest planning language designed specifically for a timber harvest that is scheduled to begin on or before October 1, 2012 is eligible for an incentive payment to help with FSMP plan preparation fees. The Preharvest Planning section shall incorporate approved practices as described in the “Virginia’s Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality” handbook.
If the plan is prepared by a VDOF forester, a completed VDOF Form 127 (FSMP application form) must be attached when requesting the incentive payment. If the plan was prepared by a private forestry consultant, a copy of the plan and a copy of the consultant’s billing invoice for the plan must be submitted. Reimbursement for plan preparation costs will be capped at $4.50 per acre up to a maximum of $2250. All plans must be approved by the Assistant Regional Forester.
Harvest Site Stabilization. Upon completion of a timber harvest, costs associated with stabilizing skid trails, haul roads, and log decks used during the timber harvest site are eligible for full reimbursement up to a cap of $5000 per landowner. This practice is for a timber harvest that occurred and was completed after October 1, 2010. All harvest stabilization work must be done and application successfully submitted by August 1, 2012. Eligible expenditures include items such as seed, labor, and structural work (e.g. water bar installation, skid trail grading). Work shall be done in accordance with guidelines found in the “Virginia’s Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality” handbook. Costs shall be submitted on a VDOF Form 23 (Certification of Work Completed Form) and signed by the approving VDOF forester. NOTE: None of these funds shall be used to satisfy a Special Order, Emergency Special Order or Water Quality Protection Recommendations (VDOF Form 143) that has been prepared by VDOF. If all of water quality law concerns have been addressed and satisfactorily closed out per VDOF, the harvest site would become eligible for this practice.
Riparian Buffer Tax Credit Match. Timber harvests that left intact, uncut riparian buffers are eligible for a cash-match incentive payment. The cash-match will be equivalent to the amount of the Virginia Riparian Buffer Tax Credit, up to a cap of $5000 per landowner. This practice is applicable for a successfully filed Virginia Riparian Buffer Tax Credit. A copy of the “VDOF Certification of Eligibility for Riparian Buffer Tax Incentive” will be required with the application. Only timber harvests that occur between October 1, 2010 and September 1, 2012 AND have the completed “VDOF Certification of Eligibility for Riparian Buffer Tax Incentive” are eligible.
Forest Establishment. There are two components to the landowner payment. The first component will be a reimbursement of reasonable planting costs (site preparation, bare rooted seedlings (NOTE: balled and burlapped or potted saplings are not eligible), planting labor, and other VDOF recommended supplies such as tree shelters and mats when planting hardwoods in a riparian area). There will be a cap of $600 per acre for hardwood plantings done as part of any Riparian Buffer Planting and $200 per acre for pine plantings.
In addition to this reimbursement of planting costs, landowners will receive a $50/acre maintenance payment. This maintenance payment can be applied to replanting, stand maintenance (mowing, spraying), or fencing.
The second component will be the lump-sum, Present Value payment for the land rental. This lump-sum payment will be calculated as the Present Value of a series of terminating annual payments. It will be based on the per acre bid submitted by the landowner, total project acres, 7% discount rate, and the required 20 year contract.
There are two qualifying types of Forest Establishment, riparian buffer plantings and general open land planting. Below each of these are described.
Riparian Buffer Planting: The minimum project size for these plantings will be one contiguous acre. Plantings must be adjacent to the stream and be a minimum of 50 feet in width measured from the top of the stream bank. Both hardwood and pine species are appropriate species for planting. The actual species used, recommended spacing, and site preparation needed will be at the discretion of the approving forester. Because of limited available funding, pine plantings are preferred. Up to 10% of the project area can be a perennial wildlife planting. Livestock must be excluded from the planting site for the life of the 20 year contract.
General Open Land Planting: The minimum project size for these plantings will be 5 contiguous acres. Only pine species are eligible for planting. The actual species used, recommended spacing, and site preparation needed will be at the discretion of the approving forester. Up to 10% of the project area can be a perennial wildlife planting. Livestock must be excluded from the planting site for the life of the 20 year contract.
PROJECT COMPLETION: Upon project completion, the VDOF forester will sign off on the completed project application form. A VDOF Form 22 (Request for Billing), along with any required supporting documentation such as copies of contractor invoices, receipts (or VDOF Form 23) will be submitted to the Assistant Regional Forester for payment approval. NOTE: For any Riparian Buffer Tree Planting or General Open Land Tree Planting project, this requirement must be met by July 1st of the same year the planting was completed or the project funding will be cancelled.
Nick Evans described the prioritization process (for forest establishments and easements) which includes the selection of Mechums River-Beaver Creek (JR02) and Ivy Creek-Little Ivy Creek (JR03) subwatersheds as having greatest N, P, and sediment per acre according to MEASURES. Nick then described the process for selecting approximately 150 parcels in these watershed that will be targeted for a letter and field visit by a project representative.
Michael Collins then described the OEE (Optimum Environmental Efficiency) model goal:
To provide the greatest long-term pollution reduction in terms of N, P, sediment, and lost groundwater storage per $.
Michael then explained the OEE scope of work (as of September (2010)):
OEE Scope of Work
September, 2010 Revision
A. For each Alternative FOREST Cover Scenario – Determine Cost of quantity of Raw Water
B. To create Alternative FOREST Covers:
- Start with current land cover and convert from new Albemarle/Rivanna layer to MEASURES land cover categories.
- Run MEASURES for current land cover.
- Create three alternative FOREST COVER scenarios.
- Convert each of these to MEASURES land cover categories
- Run MEASURES for each.
This may be a fairly simple exercise of adjusting forest cover values for each of the South Fork Sub-watersheds. Question: Does it matter if the resolution of the land cover would be at this course of a scale?
C. Cost of Quantity of Raw Water = Yearly Cost of Dredging + Yearly Cost of Conservation Management (for each Alternative Land Cover Scenario) + Yearly cost of algae treatment + yearly cost of new watershed storage + Other Fixed Costs
D. Yearly Cost of Dredging = Cost of dredging/life of the reservoir
E. Cost of Dredging = estimates of dredging costs prepared recently by RWSA consultants. This number will have to be inflated for the Future Year of Anticipated Dredging (for the rehabilitated SFRR) for each alternative land cover.
F. Future Year of Anticipated Dredging = Capacity of rehabilitated SFRR divided by the lbs./yr. of Sediment from each Alternative Land Cover
G. Capacity of rehabilitated SFRR = RWSA consultant data
H. lbs./year Sediment from Alternative Land Cover =
- Calculate yearly average lbs. sediment since dam constructed (channel loss and overland loss)
- Subtract from this MEASURES estimate of loss from current land cover = Estimate of average yearly loss of sediment from channel
- Assumptions will have to be made about likelihood of channel loss sediment continuing for next reservoir (probably hold the same as historic)
- The total sediment loss is this yearly channel estimate + MEASURES estimate from alternative land cover
We don’t know about the data that goes into MEASURES calculation. Is there anything in there that would account for an historic sediment value? What are the conceptual errors associated with the delta between these rates and claiming that is historic sediment rate (instream)?
I. Life of the reservoir = Time from the last dredging of current reservoir (estimate when that might happen) to the time that it loses sufficient capacity such that it will need to be dredged again
J. Yearly cost of conservation management = Total management cost to maintain alternative land cover
- For each alternative FOREST COVER, we will assume that X% of newly forested areas (for instance) are due to easements afforestation contracts ONLY.
- Determine total acres of each management type to get alternative land cover
- Using bidding data and/or other valuation information, perhaps from Buck paper, calculate total cost to achieve desired alternative FOREST COVER.
N and P
K. Get algae treatment data and prepare for use in OEE
L. Use MEASURES to generate lbs. N and P from each alternative FOREST COVER.
M. Estimate cost per pound of N and P reduction for each alternative FOREST COVER scenario
N. Determine efficiency of dollar for conservation for N and P vs. dollar for algae control
O. Get cost of new watershed storage data and prepare for use in OEE
P. Use Evans/Collins Underground Albemarle (2010) theoretical water budget to estimate baseflow for each alternative land cover
Q. Estimate cost per pound of baseflow retention for each alternative land cover scenario
R. Determine efficiency of dollar for conservation for baseflow vs. dollar for new watershed storage
Is it conceptually valid that an optimum forest cover leading to optimum groundwater storage causes the greatest capture of water in the reservoir? What research is there that links different stages of forest cover to watershed storage? Virginia Tech is looking into this, we have been told.
Management Practice Prioritization
For each ecosystem service category above, “priority” areas of the watershed will be identified to determine optimum locations for application of conservation management practices.
- MEASURES is a tool that can go the parcel level but incorporates data from the 8 digit HUC unit it is located within.
- We may want to use new Rivanna Land Cover Map for future parts of the study.
- Rather than modeling the future costs of a reservoir, model the costs today.
- HDR has sedimentation rate since the reservoir was constructed.
- Extended discussion on channel vs. overland sediment loss issue. Regarding this discussion, it was suggested that we not make the process overly complicated and if possible, try to use per acre sediment loss from specific land cover types that might be able to be gleaned from the Rivanna Land Cover Map, for instance.
- There is nothing in the MEASURES algorithm that accounts for channel sediment loss.
- The premise that an optimum forest cover leading to optimum groundwater storage causes the greatest capture of water in the reservoir was thought to be conceptually valid.
Payments for Tree Planting Marketing
The group discussed the fact that it is difficult to get landowners enrolled. This difficulty is not unique to this program. Possible steps to help:
- Get David Wyant to introduce the Ruritan presentation or perhaps get him to introduce the program in the letter to the selected landowners in the next phase of the ongoing enrollment process.
- Perhaps information could go out through the RWSA billing?
- Get the language right on the letter
- Place a phone call after the letter
It was also noted that the parcel list for easements and forest establishment will likely result in different landowners, but where there may be overlap, those are important parcels!
- Send out Meeting Summary ahead of time
- Be careful to document this process or it will be forgotten
- Post drafts of papers on-line
- Contact Paul Barton to get his research at U of M – note, the forest service is working on a map of where forests protects water supplies – Al Todd is involved with this work