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News Release

RI farm and forest land owners and managers: Sign up for USDA conservation assistance by Nov. 16th

Contact:
Diane Petit, Public Affairs Officer
401-822-8843


A high tunnel and row crops with irrigation.

WARWICK, RI, Oct. 3, 2018 –- Do you own or manage farmland or forest land in Rhode Island? Could you use some technical and financial help in managing it more effectively? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) encourages you to sign up for conservation assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by Nov. 16, 2018.

You may apply for NRCS conservation programs at any time; complete applications are ranked for funding in batches periodically throughout the year. In Rhode Island, applications for assistance with high tunnels, conservation activity plans, and New England cottontail habitat – as well as for projects under the National Water Quality, Young Forest, Source Water Protection, and Soil Health initiatives – received by Nov. 16th, will be evaluated by Jan. 31, 2019.

Applications for practices to treat natural resource concerns not mentioned above will be accepted, but those applications will be processed after February 2019. A later cutoff date will be identified for those applications and will be posted on the Rhode Island NRCS website at www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov.

“If you operate a farm or manage forest land and want to improve your land, we can help,” said Pooh Vongkhamdy, State Conservationist for NRCS in Rhode Island. “A planner will discuss with you your vision for your land and will explain the conservation planning process and how to apply for financial assistance.”

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and forest land owners to address natural resource concerns through an array of conservation practices. Assistance is available to support private land owners and managers in addressing farm, field, forest, wildlife, water, and/or plant management issues including:

  • Erosion control
  • Irrigation systems
  • Fencing grazing systems
  • Farm and forestry conservation plans
  • Forest stand improvement
  • Grazing plans
  • Pasture and hayland planting
  • Pollinator habitat
  • Protection of heavy use areas for livestock
  • Riparian buffers
  • Seasonal high tunnels
  • Waste storage facilities
  • Restoration and management of declining habitat (oyster reef restoration)
  • Wildlife habitat management and development
  • Soil health management plans

For more information, contact your local conservation district or the USDA-NRCS Rhode Island office:

Eastern RI Conservation District
Serving Newport and Bristol counties
401-934-0842

Northern RI Conservation District
Serving Providence County
401-934-0840

Southern RI Conservation District
Serving Kent and Washington counties
401-500-0422

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46
Warwick, RI 02886
www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov
NRCSInfo@ri.usda.gov
401-822-8848

Some of the EQIP funding will be provided to farmers and forest landowners via the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which encourages partner organizations to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales. Through the RCPP program, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas.

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources.