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News Release

NRCS Announces National Water Quality Initiative Conservation in Kentucky

NRCS Announces National Water Quality Initiative Conservation in Kentucky

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Christy Morgan, PAS
859-224-7363
christy.morgan@ky.usda.gov

Lexington, Ky., May 8, 2012 -State Conservationist Karen Woodrich announced the launch of a new National Water Quality Initiative committed to improving three impaired waterways in Kentucky. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will manage the initiative by making funds available to farmers and forest landowners in the selected watersheds.

"The Water Quality Initiative will further NRCS' partnership efforts to improve water quality using voluntary actions on private lands," Woodrich said. "This initiative is a focused approach in areas facing significant natural resource challenges. When landowners take action in one area, one watershed, it can make a difference."

Through this effort, eligible producers in the selected watersheds will invest in voluntary conservation actions to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. The selected watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the NRCS State Technical Committee.

Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide funding and advise to producers to install conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in watersheds with impairments where the federal investment can make a difference to improve water quality.

"American farmers are good stewards of the environment, especially when they have the tools they need to protect or improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality," said NRCS Chief Dave White. "We look forward to collaborating with producers in key watersheds to help them have a positive impact on streams with impaired water quality."

The watersheds approved for this initiative in Kentucky are the Lower Cumberland - Bennettstown Little River, Lower Kentucky - Clarks Run, and South Fork Licking - Headwaters Hinkston Creek.  Counties impacted by these watersheds include Bath, Boyle, Christian, Montgomery, and Trigg.

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. Remember to check with your local NRCS office to see if you are located in a selected watershed. All applications for funding consideration, during this fiscal year, must be received by June 15, 2012. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results and begin developing contracts with selected applicants.

Since 1935, NRCS's nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests. 

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