The Boise River Enhancement Network received a $100,000 Cooperative Watershed Management Program grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 2013. With funding from the grant and thousands of dollars of in-kind matching support, BREN accomplished the following tasks.
1) Cooperatively developed a structure and operating process for BREN that defines participation, establishes roles and shares responsibilities and created an organizational sustainability plan.
2) Planed and conducted outreach that increased BREN’s effectiveness by building and diversifying participation.
3) Improved and expanded BREN’s communication services including publication of a monthly online newsletter.
4) Worked with stakeholders to assemble information about critical watershed issues, identify and prioritize enhancement needs and project concepts and use that information to create the Boise River Enhancement Plan published in October 2015.
Reclamation has announced there will be Phase II funding available in 2017 to support the work of multi-stakeholder groups like BREN that have adopted watershed enhancement plans. The funds will support local watershed groups in implementing collaborative solutions to water management issues. Reclamation is currently accepting comments on the draft criteria and eligible project types for the Phase II funding.
BREN will host meetings in the Treasure Valley to discuss ideas and identify partners interested in applying for funding for a project that implements recommendations of the Boise River Enhancement Plan. Reclamation will provide 50% of the funding and local partners will provide 50%.