USDA Conservation Programs Application Date Extended

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received notification from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee that the application period has been extended for agricultural and non-industrial private forestland program for technical and financial assistance. The original cutoff date had been Dec. 20, 2013 and has been changed to Jan. 17, 2014.

Producers are encouraged to sign up throughout the year. This signup cutoff date is for the first evaluation funding consideration.  Pending the availability of funds, additional evaluation periods may occur. Cutoff dates will be posted on the Tennessee website at  The signup cutoff deadline applies to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and EQIP National Initiatives and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and WHIP National Initiatives. 

“When landowners take part in conservation cost share programs, the funds filter through the community, and the initial investment rolls over several times, benefitting the whole area,” said Kevin Brown, Tennessee NRCS State Conservationist. The funds from both EQIP and WHIP help farmers improve the natural resources on private working lands in Tennessee. Conservation practices help the environment while also making the land more productive by addressing issues like water quantity, water and air quality, wildlife habitat, and soil health.

Eligible producers with a conservation plan for their operation receive priority for financial assistance. NRCS staff is available to help producers create conservation plans.  Only projects that are “ready to implement” will be ranked for funding.  Applications can be submitted anytime throughout the year.

NRCS's conservation programs address resource concerns such as soil erosion, soil health, irrigation efficiency, impaired water quality, and fragmented wildlife habitat.  EQIP, one of NRCS’s largest conservation programs, helps eligible producers plan and implement conservation practices that provide opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, energy, air, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.

The TWRA has four private lands biologists that work out of NRCS offices and will develop wildlife habitat plans for landowners and guide them through the USDA application process.  Once plans are accepted in programs, the biologists will also provide advice to help the participants successfully implement their habitat practices.  Their assistance is also available to landowners that do not desire to participate in USDA programs.

Contact information for the TWRA biologists, USDA offices, and information on USDA programs can be found at , by contacting their local USDA Service Center, or by calling the TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division at 615 781-6610.

More information about WHIP and EQIP and other NRCS programs can be found at

Claire Henley: Adventures West (Luxury In Lake Tahoe)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). As we stood on the side of Highway 50, our arms extended and thumbs raised in an effort to get a ride back to the trailhead at Echo Lake, I reflected on the past few days ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Fireside at the Greenway Farm  Thursday  Evenings in October Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, family friendly, outdoor music series known as  Fireside  at the  Greenway Farm  in Hixson, TN. We're proud to announce that  Tennessee Valley Federal ... (click for more)

Gannett Buys Memphis Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Other Newspapers

The Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News-Sentinel are among 15 daily newspapers acquired Wednesday by Gannett, which already owns the Nashville Tennessean. That leaves the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the only large daily print newspaper in Tennessee not owned by Gannett, which is also the parent of USA Today. The $280 million purchase from Milwaukee-based ... (click for more)

Haslam Stops By Chattanooga Volkswagen; Says Tennessee "Married" To Troubled Automaker; SUV Line Still Set To Go Forward

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam spoke Wednesday after a mass team meeting with Volkswagen management and workers in an attempt to reassure Chattanoogans that local production is still on schedule and that his office still trusts that the Chattanooga plant is a solid long-term investment, despite the company's ongoing emissions scandal.   He said that legislation have ... (click for more)

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Unfortunate Sentence

There was a most unfortunate line in a recent email written to me and, in retrospect, I should not have included it in some examples of the huge response regarding the bicycle lanes now being installed on Broad Street. I’ll admit I misread the line because I feel certain I know what the writer was trying to convey. As a matter of fact, I received enough of an outcry I want to clarify ... (click for more)