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News Release

NRCS announces application deadline for financial assistance to restore and improve forest health in 29 western Arkansas counties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., - Forest landowners in 29 counties in western Arkansas have until June 13, 2014, to apply for financial assistance for the voluntary installation of forest land conservation practices to help restore, maintain and enhance more open woodland.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and United States Forest Service (FS) recently announced a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems across the nation.

The Western Arkansas Woodland Restoration project aims to double the conservation activity on private lands and on the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests over the next three years.

“Both of these agencies have the same goal – improving the health of our forest lands,” Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist said. “The project has two components that will restore and improve forest land. The NRCS portion will provide voluntary, incentive-based assistance to private landowners, while the Forest Service portion will focus on Forest Service lands.”

Key conservation practices include forest stand improvement (thinning), prescribed burning, firebreaks, tree and shrub planting and forage and biomass planting. All trees, shrubs and grass planted through the program must be native.

“As with all NRCS programs, participation is completely voluntary,” Sullivan said. “This project incorporates the same practices at an accelerated pace landowners have been voluntarily implementing for years.”

Additional information about the project, an area map and conservation practices, is available here.  To apply, visit your local NRCS office.  To locate the local field office, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/main/national/contact/local.