Conservation funds still available

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COLUMBUS — Oct. 19, is the deadline to submit applications under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices, leading to cleaner water and air, healthier soil, and better wildlife habitat, while improving agricultural operations.

Producers have several projects available to them which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations, applying best management practices, and more. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for details.

Conservation funding

In addition, land users who farm in the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed may apply for funds available under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, “Promoting Best Management Practices for Phosphorus,” a collaborative grant amongst Delaware, Knox, Licking, and Morrow Soil & Water Conservation Districts. To find out more, contact the NRCS office in your county.

If you are a woodland owner in southeastern Ohio and interested in improving the health of your forest, the Collaborative Oak Management project could help. The NRCS is now accepting applications for a program that focuses on improving the health of oak-hickory woodlands in southeastern Ohio.

Oak management

To restore oak-hickory woodlands, NRCS and its conservation partners created the Collaborative Oak Management project. The project area includes the Wayne National Forest and Ohio State Forests, as well as privately held forest land.

The Collaborative Oak Management project will use prescribed burning within Ohio’s woodlands for the first time.

Woodland owners in Adams, Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington counties can receive both technical assistance from professional foresters and financial assistance to implement conservation practices recommended by foresters using EQIP.

To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers, farm landowners, or forest landowners and meet eligibility criteria. Get the latest information on the Ohio NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov and select “EQIP Application Deadlines” near the middle of the landing page.

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