Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
5 Steps to EQIP Assistance
General EQIP Information
Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 EQIP Continuous Funding Model
Conservation program applications are accepted year-round and will be evaluated for funding based on the FY2015 batching schedule to support a continuous sign-up, planning and obligation process. Funds will be distributed according to an allocation schedule that will provide a source of funding for each of the designated batching periods. Applicants may apply for NRCS programs at any time during the year. Application batching periods will close on the third Friday of the month according to the batching period schedule. The FY15 batching schedule is as follows:
- Batching Period 1 – January 16, 2015
- Batching Period 2 – February 20, 2015
- Batching Period 3 – April 17, 2015
- Batching Period 4 – June 19, 2015
- Batching Period 5 – July 17, 2015
Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 EQIP Fund Pools
Purpose of EQIP
The purpose of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is to promote agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals; to optimize environmental benefits; and to help farmers and ranchers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.
Ranking and Funding Pools
In order to assure EQIP program funds are available to resource priorities across various land use types, for special emphasis resource needs and to assure that underserved groups have access to assistance California has developed the following types of ranking and funding pools –
Air Quality Fund Pools
National and state initiatives designed to provide financial assistance to producers address air quality compliance requirements in non-attainment areas of California. Please visit one of the website links below for more information.
Bay-Delta Fund Pools
A partner-driven national landscape-level initiative designed to provide financial assistance to address water quality, water quantity, and wildlife habitat resource concerns within the California Bay-Delta Central Valley watershed. Please visit the Bay-Delta Initiative webpage (coming soon) for more information.
Catastrophic Fire Recovery EQIP Fund Pool
The purpose of the Catastrophic Fire Recovery EQIP Fund Pool is to provide immediate resource protection in areas burned by catastrophic fires in the past eighteen months. Priority resource concerns for the Catastrophic Fire Recovery EQIP Fund Pool include immediate soil erosion protection, minimize noxious and invasive plant proliferation, protect water quality, and restore livestock infrastructure necessary for grazing management on forestland and rangeland. Please visit the Catastrophic Fire Recovery webpage for more information.
Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) Fund Pool
A Conservation Activity Plan or CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. With a CAP plan, producers can then apply for financial assistance to implement the needed conservation practices. Please visit the CAP webpage for more information about FY15 CAPs and the fund pool.
Chief’s Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership Fund Pools
In California two projects have been approved under the Chief’s Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership – the Healthy Forest EQIP Initiative for Middle Klamath River Communities and the Healthy Forest EQIP Initiative for Middle Klamath River Communities. Please visit the Healthy Forest Initiative webpage (coming soon) for more information.
Fish and Wildlife Habitat Fund Pools
California’s fish and wildlife fund pools are designed to provide financial assistance to agricultural operators who want to create, improve or enhance fish or wildlife habitat on farms and ranches. Please visit one of the following links for more information about California fish and wildlife habitat fund pools.
Critical Waterbird Habit Enhancement - (coming soon)
Declining Species Wildlife Habitat
Pacific Salmon Habitat Enhancement - (coming soon)
Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Ponds - (coming soon)
Historically Underserved Fund Pools
In California these fund pools are targeted to applicant’s that meet the criteria of beginning farmer/rancher or socially disadvantaged farmer/rancher and self-certify their status when submitting an EQIP application on Form NRCS-CPA-1200, “Conservation Program Application.” Please visit one of the following links for more information. (coming soon)
On-Farm Energy Fund Pool
A national on-farm initiative specifically designed to provide financial assistance to address energy conservation through practice implementation and for development of an agricultural energy management plan (AgEMP). Please visit the On-Farm Energy Initiative webpage for more information.
Organic Fund Pools
The national organic initiative is designed to provide financial assistance opportunities for organic, transition to organic and organic-exempt producers to address natural resource concerns related to organic production as well as requirements related to the National Organic Program (NOP) requirements.
Regional Fund Pools
California’s regional fund pools are multi-county ranking and funding pools based on similar geographic, landscape climate, operation-type and resource conservation needs. Please visit the six regional fund pool types for more information.
Seasonal High Tunnel Fund Pool
The seasonal high tunnel initiative can assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The initiative has the potential to assist producers in addressing a resource concern by extending the growing season, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport. Please visit the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative webpage for more information.
Tribal Fund Pools
Tribes often have different conservation priorities than other producers and tribal culturally based priorities such as the management of traditional Native American food and fiber plants are not priorities for mainstream producers. Please visit the Tribal Initiative webpage for more information about financial assistance opportunities. (coming soon)
Water Quality Fund Pools
The NWQI was established as a joint initiative with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in FY 2012 to address agricultural sources of water pollution, including nutrients, sediment, pesticides, and pathogens related to agricultural production, in priority watersheds. In California two priority watersheds were identified for financial assistance opportunities. Please visit one the following webpages for more information. (coming soon)
Working Lands for Wildlife Fund Pools
Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) is a partnership that leverages capabilities and resources, targets assistance where it is most needed, cooperatively engages state and local partners, and works collaboratively with agricultural producers, forest land managers, and Tribes. NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have selected at-risk species whose decline can be reversed given sufficient resources and landowner participation. In California two fund pools can provide financial assistance opportunities to agricultural operations for Sage Grouse and for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Please visit one of the following links for more information.
Alan Forkey, Program Manager
Erik Beardsley, Program Specialist