NRCS Announces Strong Interest In New Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)PALMER, Alaska Oct. 8, 2009 - Following the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White's announcement that NRCS has received 21,300 applications to participate in the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Alaska's State Conservationist Robert Jones was pleased to announce 24 applications came from Alaska. "In the past, a similar program received sparse interest from Alaskan landowners and I am excited that this new program shows more potential," said Jones.
"Nationally, NRCS has received enough applications to carry out conservation activities on more than twice the number of acres Congress authorized for CSP this year," White said. "This incredible response shows that conservation-minded producers and landowners want to attain higher levels of conservation stewardship."
Congress capped the annual acreage enrollment nationally at 12,769,000 for each fiscal year. The final national and state-by-state numbers on acreage nationwide will be available in November 2009.
CSP provides financial and technical assistance to eligible agricultural and forestry producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land, and encourages producers to voluntarily implement more conservation practices and improve, maintain and manage existing ones.
Lands accepted into CSP include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial private forestland-a new land use for the program-and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. Individual landowners/operators, legal entities, corporations and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for CSP assistance.
Those who are not approved for funding through this first sign-up will have the option to participate in the second sign-up period, which opened on Oct. 1 and will continue through January 2010.
For additional information about CSP, including eligibility requirements, the interim final rule, and to submit comments please visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/new_csp or contact your local NRCS field office. The Alaska NRCS office phone numbers are: Aniak (907) 675-4269, Copper Center (907) 822-4484, Delta Junction (907) 895-4241, Dillingham (907) 842-3240, Fairbanks (907) 479-3159, Homer (907) 235-8177, Juneau (907) 586-7220, Kenai (907)283-8732, Kodiak (907) 486-5598, Nome (907) 443-6096, and Wasilla (907)373-6492. Contact information for the offices in Alaska is also available at www.ak.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/fieldoffices.html.
NRCS employees provide technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs. NRCS provides financial assistance for many conservation activities. Participation in programs is voluntary and non-regulatory.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint, write the Secretary of Agriculture, USDA, Washington, D.C. 20250 or call 1-800-720-1127 (TDD). USDA is an equal employment opportunity employer.
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