Contact(s): Scott Walter, DNR upland wildlife ecologist,608-267-7861
MADISON -- Farmers and other landowners in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin have until March 15 to apply for federal funds to help reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve fish and wildlife habitat on their working lands, forests, prairies, and cold water streams.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service announced recently that Wisconsin will receive $1.5 million through the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative.
"This program recognizes the unique beauty and important natural resources of this area in southwestern Wisconsin, providing funds to help landowners reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve fish and wildlife habitat on their working lands, forests, prairies, and cold water streams," said noted Scott Walter, Farm Bill Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The funding is available to farmers and other landowners who are eligible for funding through NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Interested landowners should contact the NRCS staff at their county's USDA Service Center soon, as applications must be received by March 15, 2013 in order to be considered for funding.
The Initiative takes a broad approach to promoting conservation, and many practices are available depending upon current land use and the landowner's conservation and production goals. Examples of a few of the conservation practices available include:
"This is an exciting opportunity for landowners in the Driftless Area. Agricultural producers and those actively managing their forests certainly know of ways in which their operations can benefit from the numerous practices available. I really hope that interested landowners move quickly to take advantage of these funds," Walter said. "From developing a management plan for your woodlands to working to protect the stream on your property to regenerating oak forests, this program has something to offer everyone. In tight budget times, these funds may really help make active conservation feasible for a lot of folks."
Interested landowners can find out more about this exciting new program at www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/DALCI/dalci.html, or by contacting the NRCS staff at the local USDA Service Center serving your county.