The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) efforts supported by the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture (OPJV) – Grassland Restoration Incentives Program (GRIP) Partnership.
This special RCPP-GRIP EQIP initiative is open to production acreage applicants in 30 approved Texas counties that represent high priority opportunity areas for bird and other wildlife conservation efforts. The counties are: Archer, Austin, Baylor, Callahan, Clay, Colorado, Delta, Dewitt, Edwards, Ellis, Fayette, Fannin, Gonzales, Hunt, Karnes, Kinney, Lamar, Lavaca, Montague, Navarro, Real, Red River, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Washington, Wilson and Wise counties.
The application deadline is Aug. 24, 2018. All applications must be received by NRCS field offices by the deadline date to be considered for this funding cycle. The EQIP assists landowners and producers who voluntarily implement conservation and management practices aimed at improving the conservation elements of their agriculture and grazing lands.
“This RCPP offers a valuable opportunity to work with our partners on the ground across vital grasslands wildlife habitat,” said Texas NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas. “Through this national initiative, approved agricultural producers and forest landowners can receive financial assistance for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like brush management, herbaceous weed control, and pollinator habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land.”
Jim Giocomo, coordinator of the OPJV, said: “We are excited to be working closely with Texas NRCS and our many OPJV partners to address the decline of grassland bird populations. Restoring and managing our grasslands in a healthy manner is not only beneficial for birds and many other wildlife species, it often is vital for keeping the land productive and profitable.”
All interested and eligible producers in the focal counties are encouraged to apply. For more information visit www.tx.nrcs.gov and look for EQIP under Farm Bill Programs; contact a local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
Guidance for the Grassland Restoration Incentive Program (GRIP) (PDF; 743 KB)