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Drought Recovery | EQIP

Image of drought.


The conservation goals and funding priorities of the EQIP Drought Recovery ranking pool is to provide immediate resource protection in drought stricken, or burnt areas and property destroyed by fires in Washington on all land uses.

Priority resource concerns include immediate soil erosion prevention, minimize noxious and invasive plant proliferation, protect water quality, reduce fire hazard due to excess dead vegetation build-up, deferred grazing to allow pasture/rangeland to regrow, aquatic habitat, and weather resilience of lands.

The following sections include the applicable land uses and conservation practices for the Drought Recovery ranking pool.

Eligible Land

The descriptions below are the general NRCS land use definitions - applications should fit within these descriptions. Below are the applicable land uses for the ranking pool.

  • Forest: Land on which the primary vegetation is tree cover (climax, natural or introduced plant community) and use is primarily for production of wood products or non-timber forest products.
  • Range: Land used primarily for the production of grazing animals. Includes native plant communities and those seeded to native or introduced species, or naturalized by introduced species that are ecologically managed using range management principles.
  • Crop: Land used primarily for the production and harvest of annual or perennial field, forage, food, fiber, horticultural, orchard, vineyard, or energy crops.
  • Pasture: Land composed of introduced or domesticated native forage species that is used primarily for the production of livestock. Pastures receive periodic renovation and cultural treatments, such as tillage, fertilization, mowing, weed control, and may be irrigated. Pastures are not in rotation with crops.
  • Water: Shellfish beds for production of Olympia Oyster
  • Farmstead: Land used for facilities and supporting infrastructure where farming, forestry, animal husbandry, and ranching activities are often initiated. This may include dwellings, equipment storage, plus farm input and output storage and handling facilities.
  • Associated Agricultural Lands: Land associated with farms and ranches that are not purposefully managed for food, forage, or fiber and are typically associated with nearby production or conservation lands. This could include incidental areas, such as odd areas, ditches and watercourses, riparian areas, field edges, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and other similar areas.

Eligible Activities & Treatments

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through the Drought ranking pool are listed in the below table.

Code Practice
314 Brush Management
315 Herbaceous Weed Treatment
327 Conservation Cover
328 Conservation Crop Rotation
340 Cover Crop
342 Critical Area Planting
368 Emergency Animal Mortality Management
383 Fuel Break
384 Woody Residue Treatment
394 Firebreak
484 Mulching
490 Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
500 Obstruction Removal
512 Pasture and Hay Planting
528 Prescribed Grazing
550 Range Planting
612 Tree/Shrub Establishment
643 Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities
660 Tree/Shrub Pruning
666 Forest Stand Improvement

FY21 Drought Recovery Ranking Tool

Only these practices and scenarios are available. For more information about NRCS conservation practices, click here.

Prohibited Items or Actions

  • No used materials for all practice standards (PS)
  • Cannot restore, rebuild or purchase equipment (combines, implements, tractors, atv, vehicles, grain augers, etc.)
  • Cannot restore, rebuild, or purchase buildings (shops, grain bins, pole barns, houses, offices, barns, etc.)

EQIP Contracting Timeline

8/19/2021 Application and FSA eligibility deadline
9/1/2021 EQIP application screening, site visit, resource concern determination, "other eligibility", planning completed, CART Assessment and Ranking deadline
9/1/2021 Pre-approval of selected EQIP applications for contracting
9/15/2021 Development of all necessary contract documents
9/24/2021 Contract obligation

For Immediate Installation Need |EARLY START WAIVER

Participants needing to install conservation practices to protect a resource, alleviate significant environmental problems, prevent endangerment to life and property should request an Early Start Waiver to the State Conservationist of WA NRCS. The applicant must not start the conservation practice or activity prior to approval of the waiver.

The participant must request an Early Start Waiver in writing. Either email or written format. The written request must state what conservation practice(s) the participant needs to install before the contract is awarded. Submit your written request to your local NRCS field office within a USDA Service Center.

NRCS must inform applicants that the ...

  1. Approved waiver does not guarantee contract approval;
  2. Conservation practices or activities must meet NRCS standards and specifications; and
  3. Applicant must maintain Farm Service Agency eligibility, or the applicant will be ineligible to receive payments.
  4. Conservation practices or activities completed prior to contract obligation but after the waiver has expired are not eligible for payment.

NRCS and the participant must complete these actions before the State Conservationist will approve Early Start Waiver ...

  1. Submit completed CCC-1200 EQIP application form and entered into Protracts
  2. Signed Conservation plan and map by Designated Conservationist and Participant
  3. Signed conservation practices jobsheet(s) by appropriate NRCS staff with job approval authority and Participant for all conservation practices requested in Early Start Waiver.
  4. Signed CPA-52 document by conservation planner and Designated Conservationist.
  5. Completed Cultural Resources review.

EQIP Drought Recovery fund pool eligibility requirements

  • Own or control land
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility documents
  • Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification (AD1026) filed and recorded
  • Farm and Tract establishment
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for FY2021
  • Farm Operating Plan for Entity or Individual CCC-902

Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs

Click here to read about FSA's available programs to help participants affected by drought or wildfires.

More Information

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation.

Click here to find the NRCS representative for your county.

For more information on eligibility, please click here to visit the EQIP page.

To watch a video presentation on this drought assistance program, click here.

To learn more about how to help make your forest more resilient or how to restore it after a wildfire, check out our Before the Fire and After the Fire Webpages.