NRCS Commits $1 Million to Protecting Declining Wildlife Species

Mar 30, 2012, 12:51 ET from USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

Applications are due to NRCS Offices by April 16 for consideration

DAVIS, Calif., March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will provide accelerated technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve or enhance aquatic or wildlife habitat on agricultural land.  This Wildlife Initiative for Declining Species is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The application deadline is April 16, 2012.

"NRCS has been committed to protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat for decades and this new initiative helps our agency provide expanded assistance for those species that depend on a higher level of habitat and care," said NRCS California State Conservationist Ed Burton.

NRCS staff will work with farmers and ranchers to determine which conservation practices are appropriate on individual properties. Hedgerow planting, fish and wildlife structures, mulching and conservation cover are a few of the multitude of eligible conservation practices that create additional or expanded habitat for species.

Eligible species include, but are not limited to, the Western Burrowing Owl, the Western Pond Turtle and pollinators. Farmers and ranchers who provide the highest levels of benefit for one or more of these species can qualify for financial assistance to implement approved conservation practices. One million dollars is available in financial assistance funding.

Eligible counties in California include: Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura and Yolo.

Interested farmers and ranchers should visit or contact their local NRCS office for additional information on eligible species and to submit an application.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit

SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service