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Farm Bill funds available for conservation practices on public lands



For many years, Nevada’s farmers and ranchers have received funding under the Farm Bill for conservation activities on their private land.  Now with the passage of the newest Farm Bill, public land permittees are able to receive funding for conservation measures installed on public lands.


“Funding contracts on public lands is a relatively new opportunity for farmers and ranchers in Nevada,” said Gary Roeder, assistant state conservationist for programs with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  “We work with the permittee and land managing agency, such as the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, to identify projects and areas where natural resource and public benefits can be enhanced with the use of Farm Bill funds on public lands”, said Roeder.


“We funded several public land contracts last year under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program of the 2008 Farm Bill,” said Roeder.  These contracts included a wide range of practices such as fencing, pinyon – juniper reduction, brush management, and site specific improvements for sage-grouse habitat restoration.


To qualify, applicants must be the permittee on the public land where the work is being done, and meet eligibility requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill for the program.  The same payment rates apply for both the public and private land.  Historically underserved, beginning and limited resource producers receive a higher percentage payment. Payments are determined by the estimated cost of the project practices.  All environmental clearances must be completed on public land according to the agency’s policies before practices can be contracted and installed.  Program participants pay for the installation of the approved practices and are reimbursed once the practices are installed according to NRCS specifications.


Applications for participation in EQIP are taken on a continual basis at local USDA Service Centers.  Projects are ranked and selected for funding based on the project benefits as related to other applicants.  For more information, contact your local NRCS office or visit the Nevada NRCS Web site at http://www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov.

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