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Wadena Field Office Successful in Using EQIP to Improve Its Forestry Resource

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Wadena Field Office Successful in Using EQIP to Improve Its Forestry Resource

In Wadena County, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) has been used successfully to improve its forestry resource. Wadena County applied and received over $230,000 dollars worth of projects to improve its forestry resource. These EQIP dollars are going to accomplish a great deal of forestry application over the next 5 years.

L-R Joel Holden, Minnesota DNR; Elena Teich, Minnesota DNR; Tami Wenthold, landowner;  Ivan Reinke, NRCS Conservation Technician and Anne Oldakowski, SWCD Forester.Wadena County’s EQIP success was due to team work at the local level. The Minnesota NRCS State Office communicated early in the EQIP sign-up process that 1 million dollars would be allocated through EQIP for the Forestry Initiative. After receiving this challenge from the State Office, the Field Office got the word out to the conservation partners such as the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

”If it wasn’t for the hard work put in by all of our partners and the conservation ethic of our producers this would not have been so successful,” said Stephen Lutes, District Conservationist, Wadena Field Office. “It is important to point out that Anne Oldakowski, SWCD Forester, DNR foresters Joel Holden, Lonnie Lilly and Elena Teich, and NRCS Conservation Technician Ivan Reinke worked together as a conservation team,” said Lutes.

The local Wadena conservation team’s hard work and dedication to conservation and the forestry resource has been fantastic and was rewarded with the highest level of Forestry Initiative funding in the state of Minnesota. EQIP contracts with local Wadena county farmers resulted in contracts containing: 129.6 acres of forest Stand improvement, 128.70 acres of Forest Site preparation some of the sites will have both chemical and mechanical site prep, 3450 ft of Hedge Row Planting, 254 Acres of Tree plantings and 236.6 acres that will be protected for the first few years by providing animal repellant or bud caps.

For additional information regarding the outreach effort for the EQIP Forestry Initiative, please contact Steven Lutes, District Conservationist at (218)-631-3195.

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