The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Applications for the 2010 funding cycle of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) are due in to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) by mid-February to be considered in the first round of ranking.

Priority natural resource issues using EQIP funds include air quality, a forestry category for both general forest resource concerns and invasive species control and an organic category. Limited resource producers, beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers will be eligible for up to 90 percent cost share and an advance of 30 percent of the cost of implementing a practice.

More than $6 million is available for landowners interested in creating or restoring wetlands through WRP this year. Pasture, forest and cropland that has been drained and cultivated is eligible. Easement options include 30-year or perpetual easements.

More than 20 conservation practices are available to agricultural producers interested in improving wildlife habitat using WHIP. Landowners must be involved in agricultural production to be eligible. Special consideration will be given to applications that will provide habitat for declining or endangered species.

Landowners interested in any of the programs should contact the NRCS, 240 West Lake St., Unit B., Oak Harbor (419-898-6431); the Wood County Service Center, 1616 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green (419-352-5172); or the Sandusky County Service Center, 2000 Countryside Dr., Fremont (419-334-6330) to obtain more information, find out if they are eligible for funding and to get started completing USDA program eligibility forms.

Visit www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.