Program Assignments The Soil Conservation Service has general responsibility for administration of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act and the work authorized under the Flood Control Acts. This includes responsibility for the installation of land treatment measures and structural works of improvement in authorized watersheds on non-federal land and on federal lands by arrangement with the administering agency. The Forest Service is responsible for installing planned land treatment measures and certain structural works on National Forests and other lands administered by the Forest Service in authorized projects. It is also responsible, in cooperation with and through state and local agencies, for the installation of planned forestry measures on forest lands within projects.
The Forest Service does emergency work on national forest reserve lands and on adjacent land which they administer under formal agreement. Farmers Home Administration has responsibility for administration of Sections 4 and 8 of the Act as they relate to loans and advances to local organizations. The following table shows the funds obligated for PL-534 watershed operations, emergency personal loans in Louisiana operations and PL-566 small watersheds in FY 1976 and estimates for FY 1977 and FY 1978. Distribution of Funds for Watershed Operations Authorized by PL-554, by Agency and Project The following table shows obligations in 1976 and estimates for 1977 and 1978 for each of the operating watersheds (the Buffalo Creek Watershed in New York was completed in 1964). Gullies of 20 to 40 feet in depth are common and several gullies have developed to depths of 50 feet or more. Channels of the complex and extensive drainage system are frequently choked up by deposits of sediment which originate in the uplands.
Work plans have been completed on 88 of the 130 feasible subwatersheds.
Construction has started on 87 subwatersheds and is completed on 82 of them. Basic plans have been developed on 49 percent of the watershed. Over 27 million feet of terraces and 9,800 acres of grassed waterways have been installed. About 377,000 acres have been protected by contour farming. Flood Damage Reduction - On May 15, 1976, approximately 5" of rain covered portions of eastern Woodbury, western Ida, southern Cherokee, and northern Monona counties.
Considerable sheet and rill erosion was noted on unprotected land. In some cases newly constructed terraces were overtopped and breached. No significant damage was observed or reported to the structural improvements in any of the subwatersheds. Recreation - The first multi-purpose structure in the Little Sioux Flood Prevention Project was under construction in 1976. Site M-3 in the Crawford Creek Subwatershed, Ida County, will eventually provide a 63 acre floodwater retarding and recreational pool.
A 250 acre county conservation board park is being developed around this pool. Considerable favorable interest has been created by this project in the community. Forestry measures are installed through the Iowa Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Forest Service. During fiscal year 1976 forestry aspects were included in 63 educational programs presented mostly in outdoor classes to sixth grade classes in eight counties. A total of 114 woodland owners received assistance. Twenty-one of these assists were reconnaissances or cruises involving about 800 acres.
Twenty-one acres of hardwoods were marked for commercial harvesting, most of which was black walnut. Eight acres were marked for timber personal loans in Louisiana stand improvement.
Twenty- five acres were planted to hardwoods and conifers. Interest in developing wildlife habitat continues to grow. One hundred and fifty-seven acres of forest lands were removed from destructive grazing. Other assists included recreation planning, community and urban forestry, and forest personal loans in Louisiana insect and disease.
Yazoo River Watershed - Mississippi This project consists of 4,012,440 acres, of which 227,975 acres are publicly owned.
Principal problems are needed for land treatment and critical area stabilization on severely eroded lands, land use adjustments, floodwater and sediment damage reduction on productive agricultural flood plain lands, and agricultural water management in flat land Delta watersheds. Work plans have been prepared on 54 - 215 - subwatersheds, covering approximately 2. Progress in Land Treatment - Of the 21,177 farmers personal loans in Louisiana in the watershed, 18,707 are cooperators. Basic conservation plans have been completed for 16,396 farmers, covering 2,836,766 acres. Progress in Structural Measures - To date, 243 floodwater retarding structures have been completed. Ninety-one large stabilization and sediment control structures have been completed, and 594 miles of stream channel work.
Effectiveness of Project Proved - Five subwatersheds in Carroll County, covering 250,000 acres, protect valuable Delta land in Carroll and Leflore Counties. Structural measures and land treatment are now about 80 percent complete and the results were evident in the way these projects reduced flood and sediment damage during a severe flood in March 1973. One hundred twenty-one reservoirs of varying size hald back their storage capacity of 100,000 acre-feet of water, preventing floods that would have descended on Greenwood and the Delta areas of Carroll and Leflore Counties. This ranged from a few inches to ten to twelve feet in extreme areas. All homes and businesses between Greenwood and the Bluff Hills, from Grenada County to Holmes County would have been flooded.
As it was, half of the buildings in this thickly-populated area escaped.