RIPARIAN BUFFERS: SRAM
Seasonal Riparian Area Management
SRAM (pronounced S-RAM) is our most popular buffer program.
• Pasture acres along BSRP priority water bodies, within the 100-year floodplain;
• 30 foot buffer minimum;
• No grazing allowed April 1st through September 30th;
• Haying is allowed beginning June 15th;
• Grazing allowed October 1st through March 31st;
• An alternative water source shall be available; and
• Minimum vegetative stand of 4-6in maintained at all times.
Landowners meeting these eligibility requirements and who are willing to adopt these practices may then be offered a 10 or 15 year contract which includes a one-time, up-front payment of $70-90 per acre per year (e.g. 25 acres enrolled for 10 years at $70/acre = a $17,500 one-time payment).
The BSRP also offers a program called Riparian Area Management (RAM), which was initially created as a compliment to CRP in 2008. Although SRAM was introduced in 2013, it now has the vast majority of enrollment due to the allowed haying and grazing uses. Since 2013, 2,926 acres of land have been enrolled in SRAM and RAM, totaling 394,481 linear feet or 74.66 miles of stream protection.
Landowners appreciate our adaptable approach to buffer programs because they can still utilize their land, in addition to being great for water quality.
Before applying for your own SRAM project,
please read and understand the following:
This application is subject to the approval of the Big Sioux River Project (BSRP) Senior Watershed Coordinator and the Minnehaha Conservation District (MCD) based on project priorities. You must obtain prior approval for any work planned to be eligible for cost-share.
Marginal pastureland within the 100-year floodplain immediately adjacent to the Big Sioux River and its 303d impaired tributaries will be eligible for the SRAM program. Eligible streams will be determined by the Senior Watershed Coordinator and the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR). Enrolled acres shall not be grazed April 1 through September 30.
A minimum buffer width of 30 feet and an average maximum width of 120 feet from top of bank will be used to determine eligible acres of the buffer unless the 100-year floodplain exceeds 120 feet. In cases where the 100-year floodplain exceeds the 120-foot distance, the additional acres immediately adjoining the 120-foot buffer may be enrolled to the extent of the 100-year floodplain.
A payment rate of $70 - $90 per acre is determined based on location within the watershed. Additional land outside of the 100-year floodplain immediately adjoining the eligible acres offered may be eligible and paid 50% of the per acre rate to square up field boundaries. These acres shall only equal a maximum of 25% of the total acres offered.
Haying will be allowed through the summer months and bales should be removed before inclement winter weather prevents removal which at no time shall be later than November 15. Haying cannot begin until after June 15.
All invoices and receipts must be submitted to the MCD to be eligible for cost-share reimbursement. If applicable, 75% of actual cost for grass planting and trees/fabric will be provided. Trees and fabric shall be capped at $10,000.00. Alternative water shall be provided if grazing is carried out after September 30.
The MCD, BSRP Senior Watershed Coordinator, and associated partners will be granted access and allowed to inspect the SRAM acres enrolled on the property listed above throughout the lifespan of the program. Vegetative spot checks to verify program compliance will be conducted at various times during the contract term on land enrolled in the program. A minimum vegetative stand of 4-6 inches shall be maintained.
All final SRAM contracting should be completed by March 1 of any given year to be considered for enrollment into the program beginning April 1 of the year. Once a contract is signed, I will be responsible for the maintenance of the enrolled acres (10 or 15 years) and will follow the contract and associated Management Plan for the lifespan of the program.
Any questions can be directed to BSRP Senior Watershed Coordinator Barry Berg.