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NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) BEGINS STATEWIDE SIGN-UP FOR CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM (CSP)

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) BEGINS STATEWIDE SIGN-UP FOR CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM (CSP)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     MEDIA CONTACT:  Walter Marshall                                                                                                                                                  Public Affairs Specialist   (401) 822-8816

Warwick, RI - June 4, 2010—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) began continuous sign-up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in Rhode Island. The first application cutoff for ranking purposes was originally scheduled for June 11, 2010 but the application period has been extended to June 25, 2010 State Conservationist R. Phou Vongkhamdy announced today.

         The Conservation Stewardship Program should appeal to our diverse customer base where voluntary conservation practices by private agricultural and forestry producers are an essential part of our effort to improve soil and water quality,” said Vongkhamdy. “NRCS Rhode Island hopes that agricultural and forestry producers take full advantage of the benefits of this worthwhile program.”

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) authorized the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which offers annual payments for up to 5 years to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship.  Eligible lands in Rhode Island include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian Tribe.  

Eligible producers may submit an application to enroll eligible land in CSP on a continuous basis.  Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP now to ensure their applications will be considered during the next funding and ranking period.  Potential applicants are encouraged to use the CSP self-screening checklist to determine if the program is suitable for their operation.  The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations, and potential payments.  The checklist is available on the NRCS Web site at:  http://www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/PDF FILES/CSP_Producer_Self_Screening_Checklist.pdf

For sign up details or additional conservation program information, please visitwww.ri.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CSP2010.html or contact one of the following:

Michael Kenyon, ASTC Field Operations-(401) 822-8821

Justin Tuthill, District Conservationist-(401) 822-8839

John Richard, District Conservationist-(401) 822-8838