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Funds Available to Renovate Shelterbelts, Forested Riparians
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/28/2011

Agriculture producers in South Dakota and three other states are now eligible to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian buffers under two Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) proposals. The Central Great Plains Shelterbelt Renovation CCPI proposal will target shelterbelt renovations in all of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The Central Great Plains Forested Riparian Buffer CCPI proposal will target riparian areas in all four states. The application deadline is April 8, 2011, to be considered for this year's funding. Producers need to contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to sign up.

Through CCPI, NRCS is able to utilize the resources and capabilities of non-federal partners along with USDA technical and financial resources to implement conservation on working farms, ranches, and forest lands. With these initiatives, the state forestry agencies in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas will be able to address two areas of critical need in their states.

Many shelterbelts in the central Great Plains are old and are no longer providing the benefits that they used to. CCPI will provide landowners with a valuable tool to restore the functions of these shelterbelts. CCPI helps agricultural producers achieve natural resource benefits such as clean air, clean water, productive soils, and abundant wildlife. Forests along rivers and streams were historically important forest types in the Great Plains. These forest areas are in decline due to human-caused changes to river channels and stream flows.

USDA will provide $573,362 in financial assistance in fiscal year 2011 through CCPI, which is administered by the NRCS. These projects will work through the existing Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to leverage additional services and resources from the state forestry agencies in the four states and other non-federal partners to implement conservation on working farms, ranches, and forest lands.

Both CCPI proposals apply to all agricultural lands in the four states. Any producers eligible for EQIP funding can participate in the program. Additional information specific to CCPI projects is available from your local USDA NRCS Office or at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

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