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News Release

Multi-State Initiative Works to Improve Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat

 

Signup through February 24, 2012

SALINA, KANSAS, February 7, 2012--Eric B. Banks, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas, announced that applications for participation in a multi-state initiative designed to improve the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LEPC) habitat are being accepted through February 24, 2012. This initiative promotes the overall health of grazing lands and the long-term sustainability of ranching operations in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“Our intent is to help producers keep expired or expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields that have potential to provide lesser prairie-chicken habitat in permanent cover and use the expired CRP acres for grazing by providing technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners,” said Banks.

The LPCI is available in 36 Kansas counties: Barber, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, and Wichita.

“Many expired CRP fields are feasible to graze, but lack fencing and access to water,” said Banks. “This initiative offers financial assistance for implementing necessary conservation practices for lesser prairie-chicken habitat and development of efficient grazing management systems. The unique circumstances and concerns of interested historically underserved ranchers are also addressed by offering a higher payment rate for them."

“Over the past two years, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative has succeeded in improving and increasing lesser prairie-chicken habitat acres in all five states,” said Banks.

Interested persons must meet eligibility requirements to qualify.

For more information visit the Kansas NRCS web page at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/lpci/index.html or contact your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at offices.usda.gov). Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Map - Lesser Prairie-Chicken Priority Areas (PDF; 546 KB)