Asst. State Conservationist for Programs
Natural Resources Conservation Service
For immediate release
Application cut-off date for many conservation, easement programs set for March
SPOKANE, Wash. (Jan. 18, 2011) – March 4 is the application cut-off date for
several conservation and easement programs, including five new Conservation
Activity Plans (CAPs) for comprehensive nutrient management (confined animal),
nutrient management, irrigation water management, conversion to organic farming
and forestry, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced
CAPs are being offered this year for the first time to producers who want
technical assistance on a specific resource concern. Through a CAP, NRCS funds
are used to pay a portion of the cost for a private technical service provider
(TSP) to develop plans outlining conservation treatment alternatives.
“Producers are assured of quality assistance because all TSPs are certified and
must follow NRCS standards,” NRCS Asst. State Conservationist Dave Brown said.
“Producers can then implement the practices on their own, or seek financial
assistance through NRCS or other agency programs.”
According to Brown, completed CAPs may also receive funding priority in future
NRCS application rankings.
The March 4 application cut-off date also applies to four special initiatives in
Washington through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI): SGI offers financial assistance to farmers and
ranchers interested in improving sage grouse habitat through practices including
retrofitting existing fences to increase their visibility and reduce sage-grouse
mortality; installing escape ramps for wildlife in watering facilities;
deferring grazing in nesting areas to increase residual cover and increase brood
survival rates; and treating noxious or invasive weeds to improve range
condition and sage-grouse habitat. The initiative is limited to sage grouse
habitat areas of central and eastern Washington.
Wildfire Initiative: NRCS is offering to assist private landowners in recovering
from documented 2010 wildfires through a $4 per-acre, per-year incentive
payment. This incentive payment, which can be made for up to two years, is
intended to help offset the ranchers’ cost of finding alternative pasture.
Conservation Reserve Program Take-Out Initiative: NRCS is providing special
funding to help producers with expiring CRP contracts protect their land.
Funding will be available for producers interested in converting this land to
grazing use by implementing practices such as water developments, fencing and
Organic Initiative: Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or
$80,000 over six years through this initiative. Funding is for implementing
practices that solve resource concerns. This initiative is not intended to
provide funding or incentives for producers to convert to organic farming.
Eligible producers and entities interested in conservation easement and
restoration programs will also have until March 4 to submit their applications
for consideration this fiscal year. Those programs are:
Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP): NRCS is seeking proposals from
local, state and federally recognized tribal governments and non-governmental
organizations interested in working together to acquire conservation easements
on farms and ranches. FRPP helps communities preserve farm or ranch land and
cultural resources. The program offers a way to keep prime farmland in
agriculture use and, at the same time, keep farming and ranching communities
thriving by relieving development pressures.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP): WRP assists eligible applicants in the
restoration, protection and enhancement of wetlands on their property through a
voluntary, environmentally safe and cost-effective manner. Landowners receive
assistance through three program participation options: 10-year restoration
cost-share agreements; 30-year conservation easements; or permanent easements.
Under the permanent easement option NRCS pays 100 percent of wetland restoration
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP): GRP is a voluntary conservation program that
emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and
animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to
other uses. Participants voluntarily limit future development and cropping uses
of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and
operations related to the production of forage and seeding, subject to certain
restrictions during nesting seasons of bird species that are in significant
decline or are protected under federal or state law. A grazing management plan
is required for participants.
“While all of these programs are offered on a continuous sign-up basis,
individuals interested in applying for 2011 funding should contact their local
USDA-NRCS service center office before the March 4 application cut-off date,”
An Equal Opportunity Provider and
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of
race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex,
marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation,
genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an
individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all
prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large
print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600
(voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director,
Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an
equal opportunity provider and employer.
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316 W. Boone, Suite 450
Spokane, WA 99201
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