USDA approves 16,500 more acres in S.D. for habitat | TSLN.com

USDA approves 16,500 more acres in S.D. for habitat

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that 16,500 acres in South Dakota are now available for wildlife habitat improvement incentives.

FSA is accepting applications to enroll more acres in the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) whereby FSA contracts with landowners so that environmentally sensitive land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation. Targeted wildlife species in South Dakota is pheasants.

Program participants establish long-term plant species to control soil erosion, improve water quality, or strengthen declining wildlife populations. In return, participants receive annual rental payments between 10 and 15 years.

The SAFE program allows state fish and wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations and other conservation partners to target the Conservation Reserve Program within distinct geographic areas to help wildlife. SAFE is limited to 1.35 million acres nationally, with 97 projects in 36 states and Puerto Rico.

Interested landowners can enroll acres in a designated wildlife project in their state at any time. Participants and land must meet certain eligibility requirements. Other restrictions may apply. For additional details, contact your local Farm Service Agency office at offices.usda.govor visit the website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.

–USDA Farm Service Agency