California communities receive additional conservation assistance for farmers and ranchers

Communities throughout California will receive $1,043,200 million to accomplish goals such as stopping erosion, improving water quality, enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing fire hazards and other conservation projects.

Jun 27th, 2001

DAVIS, Calif., June 27, 2001 — Communities throughout California will receive $1,043,200 million to accomplish goals such as stopping erosion, improving water quality, enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing fire hazards and other conservation projects. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced the funds will be available to eligible farmers and ranchers through a new conservation assistance program. The new program, the Soil and Water Conservation Assistance (SWCA) program, will be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"Farmers and ranchers can receive financial assistance to voluntarily address threats to soil, water, and related natural resources," says Henry Wyman, Interim State Conservationist with NRCS in California. According to Wyman, "These programs will also help landowners comply with environmental laws and make beneficial, cost-effective changes to cropping systems, grazing management, nutrient management and irrigation systems.

Farmers and ranchers in California are eligible if located in areas that are not already funded through priority areas designated for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Landowners can find out about their eligibility by contacting their local USDA Service Center or Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office.

Those landowners who qualify must own or control the land under contract and agree to implement specific eligible conservation practices outlined in an approved conservation plan. The federal cost-share is up to 75 percent of the cost of most eligible practices. The application period for this year's funding cycle will be July 1 to July 20, 2001. Local NRCS offices can accept applications and assist landowners with development conservation plans.

Specific questions regarding the program may be directed to NRCS at the above address or by contacting Diane Holcomb, State Resource Conservationist, NRCS, Davis, CA at 530-792-5667, and email: Diane.Holcomb@ca.usda.gov or Mark.Parson@ca.usda.gov. Additional information is available via the California NRCS web site at: http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/rts/SWCA/SWCAintro1.html .

NOTE: USDA news releases and media advisories are available on the internet. The NRCS California home page can be viewed at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.

SOURCE: National Resources Conservation Service

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