NRCS Farm Bill Programs
Apply by December 20, 2013 for Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Pond Initiative 2014 NRCS Conservation Program
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals for productive lands and healthy ecosystems. NRCS staff will work with farmers, ranchers and other eligible land managers to determine which conservation practices are appropriate on individual properties. Please click on the links below to learn more about the full range of NRCS conservation programs that are offered and how to apply, or contact Alyson Aquino at (925) 371-0154 ext. 116 or Alyson.Aquino@ca.usda.gov for more information.
Interested landowners may find these additional links useful:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary USDA conservation program for farmers and ranchers to treat natural resource concerns with technical and financial assistance. EQIP provides cost-share funding to promote agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals.
Examples of eligible projects include:
Rangeland Management (cross-fencing, water developments, pipelines, tanks, troughs, prescribed grazing)
Cropland Management (water conservation, cover crop, pest management)
Wildlife Habitat improvement (pond enhancements, habitat management)
Eligible farmers and ranchers may apply for EQIP program benefits during open application periods. Application ranking periods are established to allow evaluation of projects and awarding of contracts based upon an environmental score for each application that achieves the natural resource benefits identified by local, state and national priorities.
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The Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Pond Initiative is a voluntary program for people who want to rehabilitate livestock ponds for habitat and to provide a reliable source of drinking water for livestock.
The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) occur primarily on rangelands, where the dominant management activity is cattle grazing. Livestock ponds provide alternative, high-quality aquatic habitat for these species and have become a vital feature on the landscape as the amphibians’ natural habitat is lost due to land development and conversion to cropland. The program provides cost-share payments to landowners under agreements that are usually 5 to 10 years in duration, depending upon the types of practices to be installed.
If you would like additional information about this program, please contact Alyson Aquino at (925) 371-0154 ext. 116.
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Conservation Stewardship Program
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that encourages producers to address resource concerns by providing funding to support existing land stewardship as well as additional conservation activities. The program provides annual payments to support good land management. CSP provides opportunities to both recognize excellent stewards and deliver valuable new conservation.
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Grassland Reserve Program
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and Forest Service are coordinating implementation of GRP, which helps landowners restore and protect grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrubland and certain other lands and provides assistance for rehabilitating grasslands.
The program emphasizes support for grazing operations, plant and animal biodiversity, and grassland and land containing shrubs and forbs under the greatest threat of conversion. The program offers several enrollment options: 30-year and permanent easements; 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, or 30-year rental agreements; and restoration agreements which may be used in conjunction with any easement or rental agreement.
Applications may be filed for an easement or rental agreement with NRCS or FSA at any time. Additional information about the program can be found by following the links below.
If you would like additional information about GRP for Alameda County, please contact Jackie Charbonneau at (925) 371-0154 ext. 114.
Additional Easement Programs
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), a voluntary program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agricultural production. Information and application materials are available online at the California FRPP website.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), a program offering easements and restoration agreements for the purpose of restoring wetlands and associated uplands and riparian habitat on agricultural landscapes. Information and application materials are available online at the California WRP website.
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