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2010 Arkansas Annual Report

Arkansas Annual Report 2010

Dear Arkansans:

The Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) had a busy and productive year in 2010. We accomplished many great things this year and helped Arkansas landowners improve the environment and their farming operations. Numerous communities also benefited from our work with special initiatives and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Arkansas NRCS staff for their efforts. The work that has been done is truly amazing. The Farm Bill Programs – Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, Conservation Stewardship (two sign ups), Wetlands Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program – were all delivered in an excellent manner. We also provided Conservation Technical Assistance including technical training/workshops, supported Resource Conservation and Development Councils, enhanced soil surveys, developed and transferred plant materials technology, and provided watershed project assistance. On top of all of that, we added:

  • 13 Recovery Act Projects – Eight flood plain easements, four watershed repairs and one watershed rehabilitation (first in Arkansas).

  • Mississippi River Basin Initiative - additional funding through Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, Conservation Stewardship and Wetlands Reserve Program for six watershed projects

  • Irrigation Projects – assisted with planning and implementation

  • Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative – additional funding for enhanced habitat on 65,000 acres in 30 counties

  • Energy Initiative – audits/Ag Energy Management Plans funded with Technical Service Providers

  • Completion of a state Natural Resources Inventory report

  • Illinois and Eucha/Spavinaw watersheds – additional Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding

  • Enrolled more than 9,800 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program and restored more than 11,600 acres.

We have great support from the Arkansas Conservation Partnership – Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts (AACD), Arkansas Association of Conservation District Employees, Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Councils Inc., University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Arkansas Forestry Commission. We made progress improving communication internally between and among employees and between the field, area, and state offices.

We also celebrated the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s 75th anniversary and the beginning of the federal commitment to conserving natural resources on private lands. The agency’s rich conservation legacy has resulted in many benefits to the nation’s citizens - abundant food and fiber, cleaner water, pure air, productive soils and open spaces to use and enjoy.

I know there are many other things that could and should be listed – but these are just a few. They clearly indicate to me, however, that this has been a great year – the information in this document substantiates just how significant our accomplishments have been. I believe our best is yet to come! We will continue to make improvements – making Arkansas NRCS the employer of choice – and delivering outstanding assistance throughout Arkansas helping people help the land!

Mike Sullivan
State Conservationist