The United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is again accepting applications for the Upper Black Creek Watershed Initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The NRCS and United States Forest Service (USFS) are partnering to improve the health and resiliency of the forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet.
The Upper Black Creek Watershed Initiative project is part of the Joint Landscape Restoration partnership in Mississippi to help mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners. The project will also assist to improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species and protect water quality and supply throughout the area.
Some of the most popular conservation practices are tree planting, forest site preparation, prescribed burning, grazing land practices and herbaceous weed control for cogongrass. There are also opportunities for forest landowners to receive financial assistance with forest management plan development.
The Mississippi counties that are eligible include all or parts of the following counties: Jefferson Davis, Marion, Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Pearl River, Stone, George and Jackson.
“NRCS is proud to partner with the USFS to provide financial assistance to eligible landowners and operators to address the resource concerns in the Upper Black Creek Watershed,” stated Kurt Readus, state conservationist for Mississippi.
Landowners and producers interested in participating in the Upper Black Creek Watershed Initiative may apply at their local USDA Service Center / NRCS office. NRCS financial-assistance programs offer a continuous sign-up; however, applications received by January 15, 2016, will be considered for funding in the first ranking period.