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USDA-NRCS Programs Keep Your Backyard 'Green' Through Any Season

Web image: The Conservation Stewardship Program funds wildlife habitat projects such as creating vernalpools like this one. Vernal pools are temporary ponds that are used by frogs and salamanders. Click image for full screen view.

The Conservation Stewardship Program funds
wildlife habitat projects such as creating vernal
pools like this one. Vernal pools are temporary
ponds that are used by frogs and salamanders

Full screen view

Web image: CSP can include planting or improving food or small animals. Click image for full screen view
Mushroom plugs in this log will provide food
for small animals

Full screen view

Cleveland Hill Tree Farm
Erin, New York, Chemung County

Some people might be surprised to learn that the Natural Resources Conservation Service doesn’t just help farmers who grow crops or tend animals, but other landowners who are interested in creating habitat for wildlife on their property. Programs like the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Wetland Reserve Program, (WRP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) provide incentives and technical assistance to help landowners create wildlife habitat for declining species and increase biodiversity.

Daniel Cleveland, owner of Cleveland Hill Tree Farm in Erin, New York, is one such landowner who participated in the Conservation Stewardship Program.

“I’ve had a lifetime interest in wildlife and I’ve always wanted to make enhancements to my property to encourage it,” said Cleveland. “I’ve noticed an increase of animals including roughed grouse and woodcock since we started this work.”

Some of the improvements made on Cleveland’s property include preserving young forest habitat for threatened shrubland birds, removal of invasive species, creating vernal pools, establishing brush piles for animals to hide in, and planting or improving food for animals such as wild berry bushes, mushrooms, apple trees, American ginseng, and cranberry bushes.

“The great thing about CSP is that it helps landowners take conservation to the next level. We get to reward people who want to go above and beyond,” says Suzy Daubert, NRCS District Conservationist for Tioga and Chemung counties.

The Conservation Stewardship Program, which is managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is a voluntary program that works with landowners to protect and improve the natural resources on their land; resources such as soil, water, plants, and wildlife.

With offices in nearly every county in the United States, NRCS works with landowners and communities to conserve and improve our nation's natural resources. If you are interested in how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forestland, please visit our Conservation Stewardship Program, Wetland Reserve Program, and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Web pages, or contact your local NRCS office.

Media Contact: Public Affairs 315-477-6524