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Floodplain Easements Agreements

Emergency Watershed Protection - Floodplain Easement Program

USDA NRCS Officials Sign Agreements with Landowners to Purchase Floodplain Easements with Recovery Act Funds

LITTLE ROCK, October 8, 2009 — Officials with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arkansas have signed agreements with landowners to purchase easements on 1,453 acres for $1,779,557. The funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The six floodplain easements are in Arkansas, Clay, Phillips, Prairie, Pulaski and Yell counties.

“Floodplain easements restore, protect, maintain, and enhance the functions of the floodplain; conserve natural values including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention, groundwater recharge, and open space; reduce long-term federal disaster assistance; and safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion,” said Kalven L. Trice, NRCS state conservationist.

“The six easements selected for funding in Arkansas will help restore the natural functions of the floodplain they are found in.  This will be accomplished by converting cropland often damaged by flooding, to permanent native vegetation and restoring natural topography to the 1,453 acres included in these easements” Trice said. “Once restored, these projects will reduce flood damage to crops, filter runoff water, reduce soil erosion, and protect and preserve endangered species and migratory birds,” he said.

Restoration work includes establishment of native bottomland hardwood trees and native grasses; and de-leveling precision-leveled fields.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack selected 289 applications for 36,000 acres of land in 36 states.

Funding provided through the ARRA of 2009 is part of the Obama Administration's plans to modernize the nation's infrastructure, jumpstart the economy, and create jobs. For more information, visit www.recovery.gov.