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News Release

USDA-NRCS conducting sign-up for the longleaf pine initiative

Contact:
Luther Jones, State Public Affairs Specialist
706 546-2069


For Immediate Release 

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Applications must be received by June 15, 2012

ATHENS, GA, June 1, 2012 —James E. Tillman, Sr., State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia today announced that the NRCS has over $1.5 million available in financial assistance funds under Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to help private landowners manage and restore longleaf pine. Applications for the Longleaf Pine Initiative are due June 15, 2012.

Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States. Today, only a few thousand acres of this vital habitat remains.

Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of groundcover plants per acre and approximately 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast. Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the fox squirrel, northern bobwhite quail, red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise.

The longleaf pine initiative will incorporate both technical and financial assistance to help landowners improve habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest and Tribal land.

Approved participants will receive financial assistance for implementing conservation practices including planting longleaf pine, installing firebreaks, conducting prescribed burning and controlling invasive plants.

Additional information on the Longleaf Pine Initiative, NRCS and our programs is available on our Website at www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA NRCS office.

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