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Kansas USDA-NRCS Announces Financial Assistance to Cheyenne County Landowners Along the South Fork Republican River

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Before (top) and after (bottom) photos of area where brush management has been implemented to remove undesirable plant species.

RCPP-SFRR will provide funding to landowners along South Fork Republican River to address plant pest pressure, groundwater depletion, and water quality issues.

SALINA, KANSAS, December 1, 2023 ‒ Kris R. Ethridge, Acting State Conservationist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has announced producers in the South Fork Republican River (SFRR) watershed in Cheyenne County are eligible to receive financial assistance under Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The project is funded through the USDA Regional program which is locally led by the Cheyenne County Conservation District and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.  RCPP-SFRR will provide funding to landowners along SFFR to address plant pest pressure, groundwater depletion, and water quality issues, and will utilize the ACT NOW funding process for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

“These resource concerns can be addressed by implementing brush management, specifically to remove Russian olive, salt cedar, and eastern red cedar trees in rangeland along the river,” said Ethridge.  “This RCPP project can also provide funds for alternate water sources for livestock, prescribed grazing, and other practices on an as needed basis to achieve these goals.”

Applications for RCPP-SFRR are accepted year-round, and by following the ACT NOW funding process, applications can be preapproved for funding as soon as NRCS staff completes the application ranking and review.  This will facilitate a quicker turn-around to enter into a contract for participants.

The final date to apply for FY 2024 funding is Friday, April 19, 2024.  Applications received prior to the deadline will be planned, assessed, ranked, and submitted in the order received.  These applications will be preapproved based on fund availability, and if a ranking score above the threshold level has been met.  The threshold score for this batching period will be zero points.  Applications received after the deadline will be batched and considered in the next batching period. 

“The ACT NOW funding process will allow applicants with high-ranking scores to avoid the long processing time typically associated with conservation programs,” said Ethridge.  “This will enable interested and qualified applicants to begin implementing the needed conservation practices sooner and reduce the wait time.”

To learn more about NRCS programs, producers can contact their local USDA Service Center.  Producers can also apply for NRCS programs, manage conservation plans and contracts, and view and print conservation maps by logging into their account. If you don’t have an account, sign up today.

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