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Financial Assistance for Managing Woodlands, Windbreaks, and Riparian Forests

Financial Assistance for Managing Woodlands, Windbreaks, and Riparian Forests

by Robert Atchison, Forester, Rural Forestry Program Coordinator
Kansas Forest Service
Manhattan, Kansas

Kansas landowners should act now to apply for financial assistance funds through the 2012 Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). An early spring application evaluation period cutoff date is expected. The funds can help restore or enhance the state’s declining windbreaks, woodlands, and/or riparian (streamside) forests.

This means some of the $200,000-plus requested for Kansas’ 2012 projects is still available for qualified landowners, said Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service (KFS).

“As an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiative through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the CCPI can address all kinds of natural resource needs associated with agricultural lands. Landowner participation is both voluntary and competitive. The projects also can be ambitious enough to take more than one funding year,” Atchison said.

CCPI forestry funds can provide payment assistance for establishing riparian plantings and for improving or renovating windbreaks, forests, and woodlands, he said. The costs can include using heavy equipment to remove unhealthy trees, planting quality trees and shrubs, controlling weeds, and installing protective fencing or a micro-drip irrigation system.

“For Kansas, the initiative couldn’t come at a better time,” Atchison said. “The state’s needs are becoming critical in terms of our having healthy, mature trees in place–not only to preserve our soil resources but also to protect our water resources. Increasing pressures on our natural resources have been leaving us in an increasingly vulnerable place.”

Landowners may also contact the KFS at Kansas State University by phone at 785-532-3310 or by email at Atchison@ksu.edu. More information about the forestry initiative is available at http://www.kansasforests.org/rural/lib/eqip.pdf. EQIP self-assessment worksheets that landowners can use to prepare for applying (and earn extra points for their application) are at http://www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/.

Landowners apply for EQIP-CCPI funds at the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in their local USDA Service Center. NRCS offices can accept applications year round. Applications that miss a particular year’s cutoff date will be evaluated in the following fiscal year.

For more information about CCPI and natural resources conservation, please contact your local NRCS office or conservation district office. The office is located at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at offices.usda.gov). More information is also available on the Kansas Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov. Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Financial Assistance for Managing Woodlands, Windbreaks, and Riparian Forests (DOC; 55 KB)