Conservation Connection e-blast - December 15, 2010
Conservation Connection e-blast...the latest news from NRCS Massachusetts and our partners
The United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced application cut-off dates for several conservation programs in Massachusetts. These federal programs, authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, provide financial and technical assistance to help local farmers protect soil, water and other natural resources. Applications for Farm Bill conservation programs may be submitted at any time, however applications received by the dates below will be considered for the next round of ranking and funding in Massachusetts
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has issued a final rule for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) that adds a new national priority for restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat. The new WHIP national priority is to protect, restore, develop, or enhance important migration and other movement corridors for wildlife. This priority complements the four existing national WHIP priorities that focus on activities to benefit native fish and wildlife habitats, at-risk species, and declining or important aquatic wildlife species, in addition to reducing the impacts of invasive species on fish and wildlife habitat.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has issued the final rule for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), which defines requirements for participants and incorporates changes to program implementation requested by the public. The final rule addresses public comments on various program definitions, wind power, native species, landowner contributions, long-term management funding, ranking priorities, state-level priorities and the terms and conditions of GRP deeds.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is seeking proposals for grants to improve water quality, air quality and promote energy conservation. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $25 million through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to address natural resource concerns nationwide with a special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin. Now in its eighth year, the CIG program offers funding dedicated to the adoption of technologies to address a broad range of agricultural issues.
Want to learn more about funding available for your renewable energy or energy efficiency project? Attend one of a series of free workshops for farmers and forest products business owners about financial incentives available through state and USDA programs. These workshops are sponsored by the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute, Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation and Development(RC&D) Area , Patriot RC&D, Pilgrim RC&D and the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP).
For nearly half a century Lee Davis of Barnstable has fought to preserve the fragile natural resources of coastal Massachusetts and to enhance the quality of land, water and wildlife throughout the state. Davis was honored by colleagues, partners, friends and family at the Cape Cod Conservation District annual meeting for creating a healthier, more productive, more livable and more natural environment for the next generation of Bay Staters.
The Hampshire Conservation District recognized Sean Libbey, Service Forester for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as its "Gene Mills Conservationist of the Year" award recipient at the district's 2010 annual meeting. Libbey was hired as a Service Forester for DCR in September of 2008 to provide technical assistance to landowners, private foresters, and loggers regarding forest resource management and to ensure that the regulations protecting these resources are complied with during timber harvests.
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Helping People Help the Land
NRCS Massachusetts State Office: 451 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002 | 413-253-4350 | fax 413-253-4395 | www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov
Christine S. Clarke, State Conservationist
Massachusetts Conservation Connection editor: Diane Baedeker Petit, Public Affairs Officer
NRCS field offices are located at USDA Service Centers in Barnstable, Greenfield, Hadley, Holden, Pittsfield, Westford and West Wareham.
Visit www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov for addresses and phone numbers.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.