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News Release

NRCS Announces Conservation Innovation Grant Recipients

NRCS Media Advisory-US Department of Agriculture-3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 250, East Lansing, Michigan-Phone 517/324-5270,




EAST LANSING, Oct. 5, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $181,345 for four Michigan projects that will develop and demonstrate innovative conservation approaches that can be adopted by farmers and forestland owners.

“These projects will help address real conservation concerns of Michigan agricultural producers,” said Garry Lee, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Conservation Innovation Grant funds were awarded through a competitive application process and are administered by NRCS. Michigan projects were eligible for a maximum individual grant award of $75,000 that can cover up to half of the project cost. The four projects selected for Conservation Innovation Grants included.

  • The ATLS Tree Farm in Niles received a $75,000 grant to control the spread of invasive species by demonstrating the feasibility of portable wood kilns.
  • An 11,865 grant was awarded to Melinda Study in Gaylord to demonstrate the use of improved technology and approaches for the small scale agricultural producers. The project will include the use of passive solar heat collection, water conservation and produce production making use of seasonal tunnels and existing farm buildings.
  • The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy in Bath was awarded a $19,480 grant to develop and implement a series of targeted presentations aimed at increasing landowner awareness and ability to scout, trap and properly dispose of feral swine.
  • The Shiawassee Conservation District in Owosso received a $75,000 grant to design a wetland mitigation bank program model framework and create a Shiawassee Wetland Mitigation Bank pilot program.

NRCS administers CIG as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues.