Benton County program awards grants to agricultural operations to prevent conflicts with wildlife. (Photo by Bill Boss/Getty Images via Canva)

Benton County’s Agricultural and Wildlife Protection Program recently awarded over $20,000 in nonlethal wildlife deterrent grants.

Through the AWPP, agricultural operations of any size in Benton County that wish to prevent conflicts with wildlife can apply annually for up to $5,000 for the purchase of nonlethal wildlife deterrents to protect livestock and crops. Applications were reviewed by an award committee composed of Benton County staff, representatives from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University Extension, Chintimini Wildlife Center and an at-large citizen member.   

“We had a number of outstanding grant applications this year and were fortunate to fund several of these around the county to protect poultry, livestock, and a variety of crops while co-existing with wildlife native to Benton County,” Sheanna Steingass, AWPP coordinator, said in a press release. “We still have reimbursable grant funds up to $5,000 available year-round for Benton County residents who wish to implement nonlethal deterrent and mitigation methods for beavers who may be affecting their property.” 

The AWPP grant program is in its fifth year. This year’s grantees are located throughout the county and include a variety of nonlethal deterrent projects including scare devices, new and updated fencing, and protective netting.   

The next round of general wildlife deterrence grants through AWPP will be available in 2023. Currently, reimbursable funds of up to $5,000 can be applied for by landowners who are concerned about conflicts with beavers— those applications are accepted year-round.