North Dakota NRCS Highlights Accomplishments
October 3, 2011
For More Information:
Tanner Blair, Acting Public Affairs Specialist, 701-530-2074
BISMARCK, ND October 3, 2011 ï¿½USDAï¿½ Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) issued over 2,000 contracts to North Dakota producers and close to $93 million in financial assistance in fiscal year 2011. NRCS funding will help improve, protect, and conserve natural resources on over 1.7 million acres of private lands and restore over 11,000 acres of wetlands.
ï¿½orth Dakota NRCS had a very successful year delivering conservation assistance to thousands of private landowners,ï¿½stated Mary Podoll, NRCS State Conservationist. ï¿½n addition to these contracts, we had over 6,000 applications requesting NRCS conservation assistance. This demonstrates the level of interest landowners have in partnering with NRCS to conserve and sustain the stateï¿½ private lands.ï¿½
NRCS offers financial and technical assistance on a competitive basis to eligible producers through its 15 programs and special initiatives. Assistance provided through these programs and initiatives is intended to ensure that private lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to environmental challenges.
New additions to the NRCS programs portfolio were the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Initiative and the Northern Plains Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (NPMBHI). NRCS issued over 500 contracts and $1.2 million in funding through SPCC to help prevent and mitigate fuel and oil spills on agricultural operations. Through the NPMBHI, over 100 contracts and $2.1 million in financial assistance were issued to help producers manage their wetlands and farmlands while protecting and enhancing habitats for migratory birds.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) generated the most public interest among NRCS programs with over 3,500 applications and close to 1,400 new contracts. The longest running program offered by NRCS, EQIP is a voluntary program that offers farmers and ranchers assistance to address their natural resource concerns based upon locally developed priority areas and resource concerns.
With field offices located in most North Dakota counties, NRCS tailors its programs to meet the specific needs of any private landowner in the state. This legacy of local conservation planning has helped NRCS establish itself as a leader in natural resource conservation. Working cooperatively with its clients throughout the state, NRCS programs and services benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals, resulting in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
ï¿½his localized conservation approach has helped NRCS find success in delivering high quality services to producers throughout the state,ï¿½stated Ms. Podoll. ï¿½e fully expect to have another successful year of conservation planning in 2012.ï¿½
In addition to its financial assistance programs, NRCS manages a Soil Survey Program and a Plant Materials Center (PMC). The Soil Survey produces information beneficial to producers wanting to acquire skills necessary to understand, manage, conserve, and sustain their soil resources. The PMC offers technical assistance for native landscaping, windbreaks, improving land productivity, and enhancing wildlife habitat and wetlands.
ï¿½he Soil Survey and PMC, along with our financial assistance programs and initiatives, have strengthened the stateï¿½ agricultural industry and planted the seeds for sustainable growth for generations to come,ï¿½added Ms. Podoll.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Mary Podoll, please call Tanner Blair at 701-530-2074 or email Tanner at email@example.com.
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