The 2008 Farm Bill features many opportunities for nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners, such as State forestry agencies and other Technical Service Providers (TSPs), provide forestry-related assistance to private landowners and Tribes to plan and implement conservation practices and address resource concerns on their forest, woodland, farm, or ranch.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is available to help participants address a wide range of resource concerns on forest land and other land uses. Click here to see forestry practices available through EQIP and the application/implementation process.
Thin dense stands of trees;
Control invasive and noxious weeds/brush/trees;
Develop, protect, or enhance wildlife habitat;
Reduce the threat of wildfire by treating slash and installing fire breaks;
Plant trees and other grasses/shrubs to restore forest ecosystems;
Improve water quality by installing riparian forest buffers; and
Reduce soil erosion and energy usage by establishing windbreaks/shelterbelts on cropland and building sites.
Before applying for financial assistance through EQIP for your forest or woodland, you should develop a forest management plan. To get started, contact your Arkansas Forestry Commission county forester, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission private lands biologist or local USDA service center to find a forester near you. Your State forestry agency may be able to help you develop a Forest Stewardship Plan (a type of forest management plan).
Other NRCS programs that may be helpful for private forest landowners include the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). The USDA Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program may also be helpful.