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News Release

Partnership Targets USDA Stewardship Funds to Northwest Michigan

EAST LANSING, Jan. 19, 2018 – Agricultural producers and private non-industrial forest owners in Northwest Michigan wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program.

Through the Conservation Stewardship Program, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. The USDA, as part of the Tribal Stream and Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative, plans to enroll 300 acres of land in Northwest Michigan into the program. Counties eligible for this initiative include Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Wexford.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period.

The Tribal Stream and Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative was created in 2016 through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The lead partner for the project is the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The project also includes funding for improving fish passages and conserving agricultural land.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.