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News Release

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Announces Application Acceptance for Forest Program

Charles Kitts

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kentucky announces the application cutoff date for the implementation of the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP).  Applications are currently being accepted, with the next scheduled ranking cutoff date of April 19, 2013.  Applications received after that date will be evaluated for the next funding cycle.

The purpose of HFRP is to assist landowners, on a voluntary basis, in restoring, enhancing and protecting forestland resources on private lands through permanent and 30-year easements.  The objectives of HFRP are to:

1.      Promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the Indiana Bat;

2.      Improve plant and animal biodiversity; and

3.      Enhance carbon sequestration.

Under this working forestland program, landowners will be compensated for their 30-year or permanent easement with a lump sum easement payment.  Landowners must agree to implement a forest management plan that maintains and improves biodiversity and habitat for target species during harvest or management activities on the enrolled land.

Eligible areas include parts of the Upper Cumberland Watershed.  Eligible land must be located within those parts of the Upper Cumberland River, Rockcastle River, South Fork of Cumberland River, Upper Buck Creek, and Lower Buck Creek that lie within Lincoln, Rockcastle, Jackson, Laurel, Pulaski, Wayne, McCreary, Clay, Knox, Whitley, Bell, Harlan, and Letcher Counties.

Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information. You may also visit the Kentucky NRCS website for details.


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