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Conservation Cost-Share Programs

Agricultural Cost Share Program

Agriculture Cost Share ProgramThe major cause of water quality problems in Gaston County and in much of North Carolina is nonpoint source pollution.  In many places, damage to our water resources comes from soil erosion, excessive fertilizer use, animal waste contamination, and improper use of agricultural chemicals.  The Agriculture Cost Share Program helps address nonpoint pollution by providing technical and financial resources.

Who is eligible?
If you are a landowner or renter of an existing agricultural operation that has been operating for more than three years, you are eligible to participate in the Agriculture Cost Share Program.

The Agriculture Cost Share Program is successful because of the grassroots efforts of your local soil and water conservation district.  The Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District works with agricultural landowners and renters to:

  • Develop and approve individual conservation plans
  • Identify the best management practices (BMPs) best suited for your particular operation
  • Design BMPs and help ensure their longevity
  • Acquire preliminary approval of a Cost Share contract

The NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation provide administrative and technical assistance to the Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District.  The division gives final approval to cost share contracts and processes requests for payments to farmers participating in the program.

How does the program work?
Submit an application to the Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District.  The applications are ranked based on resource concerns identified in the county.  Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of a predetermined average cost for each BMP installed.  The applicant is responsible for 25 percent of the costs.  This may include the use of existing material and labor.

There is some cost share and acreage restrictions depending on the BMPs used, the type of operation involved or policy set by the Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District or the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission.  Cost share incentive payments are also available to encourage the use of certain agronomic management practices.

Best Management Practices:


Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program
Ag WrapThe Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) was authorized through Session Law 2011-145.  The program is administered by the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission through the Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District.

The purposes of the AgWRAP are to:

  • Identify opportunities to increase water use efficiency, availability and storage
  • Implement best management practices (BMPs) to conserve and protect water resources
  • Increase water use efficiency
  • Increase water storage and availability for agricultural purposes

The Soil and Water Conservation Commission annually allocates 60% of available BMP funding for district allocations for all approved AgWRAP BMPs.  The remaining 40% will be allocated for new ponds, pond repair/retrofits, water collection and reuse systems, conservation irrigation conversions, and micro-irrigation system conversions through a competitive regional application process.

Best Management Practices:


Community Conservation Assistance Program
Community Conservation Assistance ProgramThe Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) is a voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on urban, suburban, and rural lands not directly involved with agriculture production.

Who is eligible?
Eligible landowners may include homeowners, businesses, schools, parks, and publicly owned lands.

Why is the program important?
The effect of rapid urbanization on water quality becomes important as Gaston County’s land use continues to change.  CCAP can help educate landowners on water quality, storm water management, and retrofit practices to treat storm water runoff.

How does CCAP work?
Interested landowners may apply to the Gaston Soil and Water Conservation District for financial and technical assistance for the installation of BMPs to protect water quality.  Applications are ranked based on local water quality priorities and, if eligible, a conservation plan is prepared.  Landowners may receive financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the pre-established average cost of the BMP.

The Soil and Water Conservation Commission annually allocates 100% of available BMP funding for all approved CCAP BMPs through a competitive regional application process.

Best Management Practices:

North Carolina Beaver Management Assistance Program (BMAP)
BMAP is designed to help manage problems caused by beavers on private and public lands.  Due to practical and ecological considerations, the program’s goal is to address specific beaver damage problems rather than to eliminate beaver from North Carolina.  BMAP service providers use an integrated approach, in which a combination of methods (some lethal, some non-lethal) may be used or recommended to reduce beaver damage.  The program places first priority on issues that threaten public health and safety, and secondly on assistance to landholders experiencing beaver damage.

BMAP is primarily implemented by USDA Wildlife Services (Wildlife Services) through cooperative service agreements with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Gaston County.  Landholders gain access to assistance at a reduced cost-share rate or may receive free training if they are willing to perform the work themselves.

Who is eligible?
Landholders who own or manage land in Gaston County.  The NC Department of Transportation also receives BMAP services along its rights-of-way statewide.

Assistance to Landholders - both public (municipalities) and private (residents, businesses) landholders in Gaston County may request BMAP services.

Assistance to NCDOT - Due to health and safety concerns related to flooding along roadways, NCDOT pays to receive BMAP services statewide.  NCDOT projects receive priority, especially if water is going over roads or water is threatening to reach the road within the next twenty-four hours.  Services to NCDOT are funded separately; Gaston County participation fees do not go toward projects along NCDOT rights-of-way.

Who Administers BMAP?
Administrative authority for BMAP rests with NCWRC, but enabling legislation allows NCWRC to transfer program administration, upon agreement, to Wildlife Services (G.S. 113-291.10).  Presently, Wildlife Services administers BMAP according to a plan developed by the Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board (the Advisory Board) and approved by NCWRC.  Administration of BMAP follows the state fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).

The Advisory Board is composed of representatives from nine state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations. It meets at least once annually to review the previous year’s accomplishments and to make recommendations for the coming year.

How is BMAP funded?