The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestry producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits.
Through Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), NRCS works with partners and private landowners to focus voluntary conservation on working landscapes.
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NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers, helping them plan and implement conservation practices that benefit target species and priority landscapes.
WLFW projects focus on declining species that have needs compatible with agricultural practices and rural land management and that can benefit from conservation on private lands. The habitat needs of these species are representative of healthy, functioning ecosystems where conservation efforts benefit a much broader suite of species. Maryland has identified four target species.
Target Species in Maryland
- Golden Winged Warbler
- American Black Duck
- Bog Turtle
- Northern Bobwhite
Working Lands for Wildlife provides financial and technical support to increase conservation efforts and share the cost of conservation practices with landowners in the areas known to support one or more of the selected species. Producers and landowners can enroll in WLFW on a continuous basis at their local NRCS office. Funding assistance for WLFW projects is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The NRCS conservation professional you work with can help you determine which Farm Bill program can help support your proposed project.
To learn more about assistance available through WLFW, contact your local USDA service center.
Mikel Williams Hawkins
Farm Bill Specialist
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.
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.
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.