Saturday, January 29, 2022

NWTF and NRCS Join Forces in NY – Again

August 5, 2011  

I am pleased to announce a new partnership with US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  NWTF and NRCS signed a Contribution Agreement that paves the way for NWTF staff to assist with delivery of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Forestry Initiative. Information below has been compiled and slightly modified from the following NRCS and NYS DEC websites: The New York Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Forestry Initiative is an opportunity for private forestland owners in New York to implement conservation and management practices that will improve health and productivity of their forests and prevent soil erosion. The EQIP Forestry Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible landowners who are willing to address priority environmental issues by implementing conservation practices. EQIP Forestry applications address resource concerns in the Forest Management focus area. Technical assistance for Forest Management applications will be provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and in some areas the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Eligible practices include but are not limited to Forest Health Thinning, Crop Tree Release, and Forest Trails and Landings. How are payment levels determined?  Each eligible conservation practice has a Practice Payment Rate (PPR) which is a fixed amount based on a percentage of the state average cost of a typical installation of that practice. What do I do next?   After applying at your local NRCS office, an NRCS conservationist, NWTF Regional Biologist, or DEC Forester will help you finalize a conservation plan, including selecting conservation practices. Your application will be ranked based upon national and state ranking criteria. Applications will be selected for funding based on these criteria. You will be notified once funding decisions have been made. How can I find out more?  Contact your local USDA-NRCS office using this website to locate the correct office, your local DEC Forester, or NWTF Regional Biologist, Doug Litte at [email protected]. Does this obligate me to open my land for hunting or other recreation?  Absolutely not.  I am asked this question frequently as I promote these programs to landowners. Landowners that enroll in NRCS programs are in no way obligated to open their lands for hunting access. Please consider looking into the EQIP Forestry Initiative as a means to assist with technical advice and financial assistance in your forest stand improvement projects, particularly if you already have a Forest Stewardship Plan.


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