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 http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.  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 www.twraprivatelands.org , 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  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs.


Dr. Anna George Recognized As 2015 Outstanding Fisheries Scientist

Dr. Anna George, director of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, (TNACI) was recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Fisheries Scientist by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (TNAFS). This award is presented each year to a current member of TNAFS who has exhibited exceptional contributions to the fisheries community in Tennessee and the Southeast. ... (click for more)

Fishing Report From The TWRA

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA: Center Hill Reservoir : Due to weather conditions, there is no report this week. Chickamauga : A few anglers ventured out on Sunday. Most sloughs were covered in ice. Cold weather prevented anglers from going to the lake for the most part during the past week. A lot of fishing shows were watched. Dale Hollow Reservoir ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

88-Year-Old Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)