COLUMBUS — In an effort to restore oak-hickory woodlands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its conservation partners created the ‘Collaborative Oak Management’ project in southeastern Ohio.
The project area includes the Wayne National Forest and Ohio State Forests, as well as privately held forest land.
Approximately 73 percent of the land within the Wayne National Forest is privately owned and interspersed within the forest boundaries. However, the boundaries of private and public land don’t exist for invasive species and wildlife.
The Collaborative Oak Management project provides a mechanism to restore oak-hickory woodlands seamlessly across both public and private land.
NRCS uses the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help restore oakhickory woodlands owned privately.
Woodland owners in the project area can receive both technical assistance from professional foresters and financial assistance to implement conservation measures recommended by foresters using EQIP.
Conservation measures that promote oak and hickory growth include the control of invasive plants and undesirable trees like the highly invasive non-native tree of heaven.
Woodland owners in Adams, Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington Counties can apply for the EQIP Oak Management program.
Visit a local USDA Service Center to apply.