The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary conservation program that emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to other uses.
Participants voluntarily limit future development and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and operations related to the production of forage and seeding, subject to certain restrictions during nesting seasons of bird species that are in significant decline or are protected under Federal or State law. A grazing management plan is required for participants.
Emphasis for enrollment into GRP in Illinois is placed on:
Preservation and restoration of native and natural grasslands
Protection of grasslands from threat of conversion
Support of grazing operations
Maintenance and improvement of plant and animal diversity
GRP is reauthorized in the Section 2403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) (2008 Farm Bill) and is administered jointly by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA).
Paula Hingson, Assistant State Conservationist for Easement Programs
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
2118 W. Park Court
Champaign, IL 61821