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News Release

NRCS Announces Water Quality Conservation in North Dakota


May 11, 2012

For More Information:
Tanya Koch, Public Affairs, 701-530-2096

BISMARCK, ND May 11, 2012 �Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the launch of a new National Water Quality Initiative committed to improving one to seven impaired watersheds in every U.S. state and territory. The selected watersheds were identified with assistance from state agencies, key partners, and NRCS State Technical Committees. USDA� Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will make available at least $33 million in financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners this year.

�he National Water Quality Initiative signifies a bold step by USDA to improve water quality in some very challenging watersheds,�Vilsack said. �e want to work with farmers in watersheds where there are opportunities to make tremendous gains in water quality.�

Through this effort, eligible producers will voluntarily implement conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to producers for implementing conservation practices such as cover crops, nutrient management, filter strips and terraces.

�e are pleased to offer this assistance in North Dakota as our farmers and ranchers have demonstrated, time and again, their commitment to stewardship,�stated State Conservationist Mary Podoll. �ur experience and technical know-how will help us address water quality issues in our state� critical watersheds.�/p>

To deliver the initiative, NRCS worked in collaboration with local partners and state conservation and water quality agencies to identify watersheds where on-farm investments have the best chance to improve water quality. NRCS also will work with state and federal partners, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey, to assess results over the long term. In North Dakota, the initiative will build on ongoing efforts to restore bodies of water within the Turtle River Watershed and Spring Creek Watershed.

All eligible applications must be submitted by June 15, 2012 in order to be considered for this fiscal year's funding opportunity. However, NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results of the competitive selection process and begin developing contracts with applicants approved for funding. To learn more about the EQIP National Water Quality Initiative, or to find out about other NRCS initiatives and programs, please visit your local NRCS service center.

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