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News Release

NRCS is Accepting Applications for Special Projects in Bayou Boeuf and Lower Bayou Macon Watersheds

Conservation Priority Report Louisiana

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7.8.2011

East Carroll, West Carroll, and Morehouse Parish Ag Producers and Non-Industrial Forestland Users
NRCS is Accepting Applications for Special Projects in Bayou Boeuf and Lower Bayou Macon Watersheds
The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service recently announced funding for 19 projects in eight states to help eligible agricultural producers and non-industrial private forestland users in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices to improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat while maintaining agricultural productivity.  Two projects were approved for Louisiana watersheds.  Both projects cross state lines and will be implemented in Arkansas as well as Louisiana.

The approved projects are part of NRCS’ Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)-Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI).  MRBI-CCPI projects are voluntary and provide financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to address water quality concerns in selected watersheds.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts and Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, will be working in the Bayou Boeuf and Lower Bayou Macon Watersheds. 

The Bayou Boeuf Watershed MRBI-CCPI project area includes portions of Morehouse Parish and West Carroll Parish in Louisiana and portions of Ashley County and Chicot County in Arkansas.  This watershed received $654,623 in fiscal year 2011 funding for this project.

The Lower Bayou Macon Watershed MRBI-CCPI project area includes portions of West Carroll Parish and East Carroll Parish in Louisiana and Chico County in Arkansas.  This watershed received $447,146 in fiscal year 2011 funding for this project.

“Both projects will help producers implement conservation practices to avoid excess application of nutrients and water on fields; control the amount of nutrient and water runoff from fields into the watershed, and trap nutrients before they leave the field,” said Kevin Norton, NRCS State Conservationist in Louisiana.

Funding for eligible producers for these projects will be through three of NRCS’ most popular conservation programs:  the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).

In Louisiana, applications will be accepted for both projects through the Conservation Stewardship Program through July 15, 2011 and through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program through July 27, 2011. 

For more information on the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative, click here.

United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
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Notice to Hispanic and/or Women Farmers or Ranchers:
Click here if you are a woman or Hispanic farmer and believe you were improperly denied farm loan benefits by USDA between 1981 and 2000.  You may be eligible for compensation.

Bayou Boeuf/Lower Bayou Macon Watersheds MRBI-CCPI
Special Projects

CSP Application Deadline:
July 15, 2011
EQIP/WHIP Deadline:
July 27, 2011
Applications may be obtained and filed with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the following locations in Louisiana:

East Carroll Parish

Lake Providence NRCS
USDA Service Center
406 Lake Street, Suite C
Lake Providence, Louisiana  71254
(318) 559-2604, Ext. 3
 

West Carroll Parish

Oak Grove NRCS
USDA Service Center
208 South Constitution Street
Oak Grove, Louisiana  71263
(318) 428-9303, Ext. 3
 

Morehouse Parish

Bastrop NRCS
USDA Service Center
9604 Marlatt Street
Bastrop, Louisiana  71220
(318) 283-7626, Ext. 3

For more information regarding submitting an application for these special projects in Arkansas, call the Ashley County NRCS office at (870) 853-9881, Ext. 3, or Chicot County NRCS office at (870) 265-2608, Ext. 3.

Commitment to Equality
USDA believes every farmer and rancher should be treated equally and fairly, and we are committed to resolving all cases involving allegations of past discrimination by individuals.

Referral Guide for USDA Settlements and Claims Adjudication Process

Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation.  To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429.  To request a claims package online, please visit www.farmerclaims.gov
Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To request a claims package by telephone, call:  1-888-233-5506.  To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit:  www.indianfarmclass.com
African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826.  To find information online, please visit:  www.blackfarmercase.com
USDA NRCS Access Opportunity Equity Partnerships

To find out more about this conservation opportunity and more, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service:  Office Locator