Funding now available to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian areas | TSLN.com

Funding now available to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian areas

Agriculture producers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas are now eligible to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian buffers under two Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) proposals. The Central Great Plains Shelterbelt Renovation and the Central Great Plains Forested Riparian Buffer CCPI proposals will target shelterbelt renovations in all four states. Sign-up begins July 26 and the deadline to be considered for this year’s funding is August 11, 2010. Producers need to contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to sign up.

The two CCPI proposals are part of a pool of 26 projects in 15 states approved by NRCS in Washington, D.C. on July 14, 2010. CCPI helps agricultural producers achieve natural resource benefits such as clean air, clean water, productive soils, and abundant wildlife.

“Through CCPI, NRCS is able to utilize the resources and capabilities of non-federal partners along with USDA technical and financial resources to implement conservation on working farms, ranches, and forest lands,” said Janet Oertly, South Dakota State Conservationist, Huron.

“With these initiatives, the state forestry agencies in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas will be able to address two areas of critical need in their states,” said Ray Sowers, State Forester/Division Director, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Pierre. “Many shelterbelts in the central Great Plains are old and are no longer providing the benefits that they used to. CCPI will provide landowners with a valuable tool to restore the functions of these shelterbelts,” added Sowers.

Forests along rivers and streams were historically important forest types in the Great Plains. “These forest areas are in decline due to human caused changes to river channels and stream flows,” said Sowers. “Many groups have focused on restoring forested riparian areas and CCPI will fit nicely into those efforts.”

USDA will provide nearly $817,140 in financial assistance in fiscal year 2010 through CCPI, which is administered by the NRCS. These projects will work through the existing Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to leverage additional services and resources from the state forestry agencies in the four states and other non-federal partners to implement conservation on working farms, ranches, and forest lands.

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Both CCPI proposals apply to all agricultural lands in the four states. Any producers eligible for EQIP funding can participate in the program. Additional information specific to CCPI projects is available from your local USDA NRCS Office or at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

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