Conservation Cost-sharing is Available
By Chris Anderson – January 13, 2017
Being a good steward of your land provides numerous benefits, from the psychic reward of knowing you are helping the natural environment to the financial reward of maximizing the value of your property. Under a program called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) the federal government, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide private landowners who meet qualification guidelines with financial assistance for preparing a conservation plan. Once a plan is approved, additional funding is available to help pay for things like timberstand improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, invasive species control, and streambank protection, to name just a few.
The process starts by applying for funding to have a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) prepared by a qualified Technical Services Provider who is certified by the NRCS both for their technical expertise in their particular field and for their knowledge of how to prepare a CAP that meets the stringent guidelines. In Tennessee, requests for funding should be submitted on October 1.
Once the application has been filed and both landowner and land are determined to be eligible for EQIP, the Technical Service Provider will evaluate the current condition of the natural resource conditions or concerns on your land and prepare a CAP that will address the concerns or management goals while improving and protecting the natural resource condition of the land. There are roughly 170 conservation practices that are eligible for funding.
The next step is to choose the practices to implement and apply for matching funds to carry them out. Typically applications for cost-sharing on recommended practices are submitted in October of the year following plan funding. Applications are evaluated for funding from national, state, or local funding pools. Funding pools allow EQIP to target funding to specific natural resource concerns, locations or operations, nationally, by state, and locally.
The best part about the EQIP program is that there are no restrictions placed on your property and no long-term commitments to make.
If you need assistance in getting started, give us a call.
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