New Ohio wildlife program approved

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COLUMBUS — According to Ohio’s state executive director for the Farm Service Agency, John Stevenson, USDA has approved Ohio to administer a new conservation project through the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program referred to as State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement.

State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement proposals address state and regional high-priority wildlife objectives. Its practices provide the flexibility to meet the specific needs of high-value wildlife species in a participating state or region.

Owners and operators of certain cropland in designated geographic areas may enroll eligible land into State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement.

Goal

The goal is to enroll up to 11,600 acres into native grass, oak savanna and wetland complexes in order to expand habitats for high-priority species including: Karner blue butterflies, frosted elfin butterflies, Henslow’s sparrow, dickcissels, wood ducks, northern bobwhite quail and ring-necked pheasants.

These projects will be limited to priority focus areas throughout Ohio, best suited for such habitats. A sign-up start date will be announced early this spring with sign up on a continuous basis.

Through Continuous Conservation Reserve Program sign up, USDA accepts year-round producer offers, provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements. Producers can offer land for enrollment in State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement and other Continuous Conservation Reserve Program programs at their local Farm Service Agency Service Center.

Offers

Producers within a State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement area can submit offers to voluntarily enroll acres in Continuous Conservation Reserve Program contracts for 10 to 15 years. In exchange, producers receive annual rental payments, incentives and cost-share assistance to establish habitat-enhancing natural covers on eligible land.

Producers enrolling in Continuous Conservation Reserve Program enter into contracts with USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. Farm Service Agency administers this program on behalf of Commodity Credit Corporation.

More information

For more information on Ohio’s State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement project, visit your local Farm Service Agency Service Center.

Prior to the sign-up period, producers may file a Record of Inquiry form at their local Farm Service Agency office to express their interest in State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement.

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