Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)
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Healthy Forest Reserve Program
The purpose of the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) in Oklahoma is to assist landowners, on a voluntary basis, in restoring, enhancing and protecting forestland resources on private lands through 30-year and permanent easements.
The objectives of HFRP are to:
Promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the Ozark Big-eared Bat, Grey Bat, and the Ozark Cavefish;
Improve plant and animal biodiversity; and
Enhance carbon sequestration.
The HFRP was signed into law as part of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. It was amended in the 2008 Farm Bill.
The Ozark Plateau Karst Dependent Species Conservation Initiative HFRP project was first approved for HFRP funding in 2009. The HFRP project falls within five counties in northeastern Oklahoma: Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, and parts of Ottawa and Sequoyah. The federally listed species for habitat and population recovery activities include the Gray Bat, the Ozark Big-eared Bat, and the Ozark Cavefish. The primary emphasis of the HFRP project will be forest management and forest restoration activities in areas surrounding bat caves and associated foraging areas of the bat populations within the project area.
Map of Ozark Plateau Karst Dependent Species HFRP Area (PDF; 216 KB)
The HFRP is being implemented in coordination between NRCS, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS). NRCS and OFS will provide technical assistance to help program participants develop and implement their HFRP forest management restoration plans. Landowner protections will be made available to HFRP participants who agree, for a specified period, to restore or improve their land for threatened or endangered species habitat so that there is a net conservation benefit to the species. In exchange, the program participant will avoid future regulatory restrictions on the use of that land protected under the Endangered Species Act.
HFRP is a continuous application program. Persons interested in entering into an easement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) must turn in a completed , application, landowner application checklist, and the Landowner Disclosure Form to the local USDA Service Center.
The cut-off date for application ranking in 2013 is May 1st. Applications received after this date will be evaluated in the next funding cycle.
HFRP At A Glance (PDF; 51 KB)
HFRP Oklahoma Fact Sheet (PDF; 241 KB)
HFRP Final Rule (PDF; 103 KB) Published February 10, 2010
HFRP Questions and Answers (PDF; 441 KB)
Application Process and Enrollment Options
Applications will be accepted from landowners of eligible lands within the HFRP area of the five designated counties on a continuous basis. Application may be made at any of the five local NRCS Field Service Center offices within the five county area. Applications received by established cut-off dates, will be prioritized according to ranking criteria used for protecting or enhancing the habitat of the targeted species. Eligible lands include privately owned lands or lands owned by Indian tribes. Privately owned lands are lands that are not owned by a government entity and may include lands owned by individuals as well as entities and non governmental organizations. In addition to the application forms the landowner will be required to complete the supplemental information sheet, provide a copy of the property deed showing ownership, and a copy of the legal description or plat map of the property.
The following HFRP Application Forms are available online
Visit the eForms website to search and download the requested form.
USDA Service Center eForms Web Site
Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application
Form CCC-901, Member's Information (Used for information on entities, trusts, and multiple owner shares)
Form SF-1199, Direct Deposit Sign-up Form
Form CCC-505, Voluntary Base Acres Reduction (when needed)
Four primary enrollment options are available to eligible landowners: a 10-year cost-share agreement where the landowner may receive up to 50 percent of the average cost for applying approved restoration practices; a 30-year easement where the landowner may receive 75 percent of the easement value of the enrolled land and up to 75 percent of the average cost of approved conservation practices; or a permanent easement where the landowner may receive up to 100 percent of the easement value of the enrolled land and up to 100 percent of the average cost of approved conservation practices. An additional enrollment option is available on tribal lands (lands in which title is held by individual Indians and Indian tribes). These lands may be enrolled in a 30 year contract on which compensation will be paid the same as a 30 year easement.
HFRP Conservation Easement Language (PDF; 56 KB)
HFRP Approved Restoration Practices (PDF; 10 KB) List of approved restoration practices and current average costs.
Eligibility and Evaluation Ranking Criteria
HFRP Ranking Criteria (PDF; 17 KB) Criteria used within each ranking period to determine which applications will be pre-approved for funding. Caves and areas around caves which have been identified by USFWS as being utilized by the endangered species will be given the highest rankings.
To qualify for HFRP, the land offered must be
Privately owned or owned by an Indian Tribe or individual Indian landowner
Capable of supporting habitat for the federally listed targeted species
Covered by a forest stewardship plan and HFRP restoration plan, if needed
If the land is owned by the United States or units of local government, or is subject to existing deed restrictions or other legal constraints which would interfere with HFRP purposes or under which the conservation values are already protected, it is ineligible for HFRP.
NRCS State Office Contacts
Email: John Mustain
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)
Email: Richard Zetterberg
Last Reviewed/Modified: 03/27/2013
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