FARMS AND FISH
With issues like drought, a changing climate bringing more variable weather, and less reliable water resources year-after-year, HFF is pushing the envelope with innovative solutions to match the pace and scale of the challenges we face. In 2018, the Henry’s Fork Foundation partnered with Friends of the Teton River (FTR), Trout Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy to form the Upper Snake River Collaborative Farms and Fish Program, a first of its kind in Idaho. The program aims to bring benefits to both agriculture and fisheries through incentives to keep working farms working, protect rural landscapes, reduce rates of water withdrawal, and keep water in Island Park Reservoir.
The program works with local farmers and irrigators, on the ground, to change crop rotations and irrigation methods to reduce water use. The program employs a variety of tools, including:
Voluntary irrigator-to-irrigator water leases and/or forbearance agreements
On-the-farm changes in crop production
Soil health enhancement
Finding common ground in an effort to conserve water can bring benefits to water resources and the health of the river at a more significant scale than ever before.