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Improving Grazing Land Health in the Smith River Valley TIP

EQIP
Apply by: October 28, 2022

This Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP) is available in Meagher 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: Meagher
Primary Resource Concern: Plant productivity and health
Time Frame: Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 through FY 2025

The primary goal of this TIP is to improve rangeland health in the Smith River valley. Producers seeking NRCS technical and/or financial assistance will have the opportunity to add needed infrastructure and grazeable forest enhancement practices in order to implement a grazing rotation that will improve the health, productivity, and resilience of grazinglands. This will ultimately make their operations more profitable and economically viable, and resilient through droughts and natural disasters such as fire and pest infestations.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • 382 Fence
  • 642 Water Well
  • 516 Livestock Pipeline
  • 614 Watering Facility
  • 533 Pumping Plant
  • 574 Spring Development
  • 314 Brush Management
  • 381 Silvopasture
  • 384 Woody Residue Treatment
  • 315 Herbaceous Weed Treatment
  • 528 Prescribed Grazing

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

Project Partners

  • Meagher County Conservation District
  • Meagher County Weed District
  • Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

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. a) Does the application include Prescribed Grazing on all enrolled grazingland acres?
    b) Does the application include Prescribed Grazing on a portion of the enrolled grazingland acres?
  2. a) Does the application include practices that would address conifer encroachment on rangeland?
    b) Will practices in the application address pastureland that has a Pasture Condition Score of 30 or less?
    c) Will practices in the application address native rangeland that has a negative trend?
  3. Does the application include practices specifically planned to improve riparian function?
  4. Does the application include off-stream water developments?

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

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

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 number.

If you don’t have a farm 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 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. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

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.