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Addressing a Species in Decline: White Pine, King of the Forest TIP


This Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP) is available in Sanders County, Montana. TIPs are local-level Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiatives used by NRCS in Montana to guide on-the-ground implementation of locally developed Long Range County Plans.

Project Description

County or Counties: Sanders
Primary Resource Concern: Plant Structure and Composition
Time Frame: Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 through FY 2024

This Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP) focuses on increasing the proportion of white pine and improving the health of the forest stands within the project area.  White pine, or 'king pine' as they are commonly known are a species in peril.  Once a primary component of our forests in the interior Northwest of Idaho and Montana they are now found on less than 10 percent of the original five million acres that they once dominated. The TIP encompasses the area of Northwest Sanders County, containing over 40,000 acres of private forestlands.  Currently, white pine is drastically underrepresented in the forested stands within the TIP area resulting in a lack of adequate diversity, structure or composition to support the desired ecological functions. This TIP will work on private forestlands to promote and enhance white pine populations within the focal area.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • 666 Forest Stand Improvement
  • 384 Woody Residue Treatment
  • 660 Tree and Shrub Pruning
  • F655 orest Trails and Landings
  • 490 Tree and Shrub Site Preparation
  • 612 Tree and Shrub Establishment
  • Forest Management Plans

Detailed descriptions of these conservation practices can be found in the Field Office Technical Guide Section 4 - Practice Standards and Supporting Documents.

Project Partners

  • Green Mountain Conservation District
  • Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC)
  • Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group
  • Sanders County Emergency Management
  • US Forest Service

When to Apply

Program applications are accepted on a continual basis. However, NRCS establishes application ranking dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. Applications received after the ranking date will be automatically deferred to the next funding period. See Montana Programs and Application Dates.

Local Ranking Questions

NRCS uses these questions to evaluate eligible applications for this project and to prioritize applications for potential funding.

  1. Has the applicant implemented management that is restoring forests/woody vegetation and improving white pine habitat on the property before NRCS financial assistance?  (demonstrates a commitment to project objectives)
  2. Will the application work in conjunction with the Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group, US Forest Service project or similar project with similar objectives?
  3. Will proposed practices promote white pine and will the resulting stand have less than 33% Douglas Fir and/or grand fir?
  4. If present within the stand will the white pine component benefit from practices either through releasing existing trees or planting of blister-rust resistant stock?
  5. Is there an existing conservation easement on the property demonstrates a commitment to keep the property in an undeveloped state, to allow potential conservation benefits to be realized?

Additional Montana Information

Targeted Implementation Plans (TIPs) are local-level Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiatives used by NRCS in Montana to guide on-the-ground implementation of locally developed Long Range County Plans. These plans are part of the "Focused Conservation” strategy to guide Montana's EQIP investments. Learn more about Montana Focused Conservation and Targeted Implementation Plans.

Additional Information

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

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How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm tract number.

If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.