TPWD Print-Friendly Page: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/print.phtml?req=20061211b

Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

Additional Contacts: Lori Valadez, USDA/NRCS, (254) 742-9811, lori.valadez@tx.usda.gov

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Dec. 11, 2006

NRCS Texas Offers $73 Million for Conservation, Dec. 15 Deadline

TEMPLE, Texas — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is seeking grant applications from landowners for conservation cost-share programs for 2007. NRCS has nearly $72.5 million for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and $665,000 for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).

Agricultural producers interested in funding for 2007 need to apply at their local NRCS office by Dec. 15, 2006.

EQIP gives farmers and ranchers financial and technical assistance to install or implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. Over the last four years, $7.4 million has been directed toward four Texas EQIP wildlife resource areas that benefit quail, prairie chickens, longleaf pines and other declining species. These funds have cost-shared brush management, range reseeding, prescribed burns and reforestation while paying landowners incentives for good wildlife and range management.

For 2007 an additional $2.13 million has been allocated to five areas. For more information on the five Wildlife Habitat EQIP areas and EQIP priorities for individual counties, visit the Texas EQIP website.

WHIP provides technical assistance and financial incentives to landowners interested in working with declining wildlife and habitats on private lands. This year NRCS joins other state and national resource agencies in focusing critical habitat spending through the use of key points from TPWD’s Texas Wildlife Action Plan in their WHIP ranking system.

NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round; however, EQIP and WHIP applications must be made by the Dec. 15, the cutoff date to be considered for funding in 2007. Applications made after the application deadline will be considered in the next funding cycle.

###

———
On the Net: