Friday, May 22, 2015

MDC and USDA offer funds to improve wildlife habitat and water quality on private pasture and forest lands in Missouri

Qualifying landowners must sign up for the program at their local NRCS office by June 5.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have partnered to provide $739,000 to private landowners for improvement to wildlife habitat and water quality on forest and pasture lands in Missouri. The funding is part of the new NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). 
Qualifying landowners must sign up for the program at their local NRCS office by June 5 to be eligible for this year’s funding. 
This funding marks the first year in an anticipated five-year project that will provide more than $3.6 million directly to private landowners for conservation.
“The Missouri Department of Conservation has a long history of working with NRCS to successfully implement USDA conservation programs,” said MDC Private Land Services Division Chief Bill White. “This new RCPP funding provides Missouri landowners with a great opportunity to improve water quality, soil quality, and wildlife habitat.”  
Funding is available through two separate RCPP projects: the Grassland Bird and Grazing Land Enhancement Initiative and the Restoring Glade and Woodland Communities for Threatened Species. 
Funding is available to private landowners interested in improving the quality of soil, water, and wildlife habitat on working grazing lands. The goal of the grazing land enhancement program is to make conservation practices available to producers that help meet both livestock production objectives and provide wildlife habitat on the same operation. Lands located within the following counties are eligible: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barton, Bates, Benton, Caldwell, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Daviess, DeKalb, Douglas, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt,  Howell, Jasper, Johnson, Lawrence, Livingston, Mercer, Montgomery, Nodaway, Ozark, Pettis, St. Clair, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Worth, and Wright.
Funding is also available to reimburse landowners to restore or manage glades and woodlands in Carter, Iron, Madison, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, and Wayne counties. 
There is also opportunity to treat cropland in Perry County to enhance wildlife habitat and water quality.
For more information, contact MDC Private Land Programs Supervisor Lisa Potter atLisa.Potter@mdc.mo.gov.