ABCs Conservation Programs

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Basics of US Department of Agriculture conservation programs, March 2009, by Duane Hovorka, National Wildlife Federation.

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ABCs Conservation Programs

  1. 1. ABCs of USDA Conservation Programs Duane Hovorka National Wildlife Federation
  2. 2. Acronyms R Us AMA CRP CREP CCRP CSP EQIP FPP/FRPP FSA GRP HFRP NRCS TSP USDA WHIP WRP
  3. 4. A is for Agriculture <ul><li>50% of the USA is cropland, private forestland, pasture, or rangeland </li></ul>
  4. 5. Habitat Conservation Programs Farm Bill Conservation Programs Conservation Reserve Program 34 million acres Wetlands Reserve Program 2 million acres Grasslands Reserve Program 1 million acres Total 37 million acres
  5. 6. Habitat Conservation Programs Farm Bill Conservation Programs Conservation Reserve Program 34 million acres Wetlands Reserve Program 2 million acres Grasslands Reserve Program 1 million acres Total 37 million acres Other Habitat Conservation Programs Nat. Wild. Refuge lands (minus AK) 26 million acres Pittman-Robertson (acquired lands) 4 million acres Duck Unlimited (conserved to date) 11 million acres Private Land Trusts (under easement) 5 million acres
  6. 7. USDA On-Farm Conservation Fiscal Year 2007 <ul><li>CRP $2,021 million </li></ul><ul><li>EQIP $1,005 million </li></ul><ul><li>CSP $ 237 million </li></ul><ul><li>WRP $ 228 million </li></ul><ul><li>FPP $ 73 million </li></ul><ul><li>WHIP $ 40 million </li></ul><ul><li>GRP $ 2 million </li></ul>
  7. 8. Conservation Reserve Program <ul><li>Marginal Cropland Planted to Native Grass Mixes </li></ul><ul><li>10-15 Year Contracts, Rental Payments </li></ul><ul><li>50% Cost-Share for Planting Grass, Trees </li></ul><ul><li>$1.9 Billion per Year in Payments </li></ul>USDA ARS C R P
  8. 9. Conservation Reserve Program <ul><li>“ Whole Field” CRP </li></ul><ul><li>Landowners Submit Bids During General Signup </li></ul><ul><li>Selection Based on Environmental Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Managed Haying, Grazing </li></ul><ul><li>29.5 million acres </li></ul>C R P
  9. 10. Conservation Reserve Program <ul><li>“ Continuous Signup” CRP </li></ul><ul><li>High Priority Practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffer strips along streams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windbreaks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife buffers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shallow water for wildlife </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grass waterways </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2.2 million acres enrolled </li></ul>USDA C R P
  10. 11. Conservation Reserve Program <ul><li>“ Continuous Signup” CRP </li></ul><ul><li>Special Initiatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wetlands (several) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upland Bird Buffers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bottomland Hardwood Trees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longleaf Pine Plantings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>0.8 million acres enrolled </li></ul>Ron Nichols, NRCS C R P
  11. 12. Conservation Reserve Program <ul><li>“ Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program” </li></ul><ul><li>State/Local Partners Provide Additional Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Target State/Local Natural Resource Problem </li></ul><ul><li>1.1 million acres enrolled </li></ul>USDA C R P
  12. 13. CRP Benefits <ul><li>Upland habitat (pheasants, quail, prairie chickens) </li></ul><ul><li>Buffer strips improve water quality </li></ul>Ron Nichols, USDA USDA Research: 4% Increase in CRP Acres = 22% Increase in Pheasants C R P
  13. 14. CRP Challenges <ul><li>Expiring CRP Contracts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept. 2008 1.2 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept. 2009 3.9 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept. 2010 4.5 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept. 2011 4.4 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept. 2012 5.6 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>19.6 million acres </li></ul></ul>Ron Nichols, USDA C R P
  14. 15. Wetlands Reserve Program <ul><li>Restore and protect cropped wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>2 million acres enrolled </li></ul><ul><li>1 million acres to be enrolled </li></ul>US Fish & Wildlife Service W R P
  15. 16. Wetlands Reserve Program <ul><li>Protection through easements, contracts </li></ul><ul><li>30-year and permanent easements </li></ul><ul><li>Restoration agreements </li></ul>US Fish & Wildlife Service W R P
  16. 17. Wetlands Reserve Program <ul><li>Restoration through cost-share agreements </li></ul><ul><li>75-100% for permanent </li></ul><ul><li>50-75% for others </li></ul><ul><li>Restore hydrology, plant community </li></ul>US Fish & Wildlife Service W R P
  17. 18. Wetlands Reserve Program <ul><li>Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage state/local funding </li></ul><ul><li>Target regional/state/ local resource concern </li></ul>US Fish & Wildlife Service W R P
  18. 19. Grassland Reserve Program <ul><li>Protect and restore grasslands </li></ul><ul><li>1 million acres enrolled since 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 million acres to be enrolled </li></ul>G R P
  19. 20. Grassland Reserve Program <ul><li>Protection through easements, contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent easements (60% of $$) </li></ul><ul><li>10-20 year rental agreements (40%) </li></ul><ul><li>Land trusts can hold and enforce easements </li></ul>G R P
  20. 21. Grassland Reserve Program <ul><li>Restoration through cost-share agreements </li></ul><ul><li>50% cost-share </li></ul><ul><li>Grazing management plans </li></ul>G R P
  21. 22. Other Easement Programs <ul><li>Farmland Protection Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protect ag land and related conservation values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps entities buy conservation easements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$121 million in 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Healthy Forests Reserve Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protection and restoration of non-industrial forests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$10 million in 2009 </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Environmental Quality Incentives Program <ul><li>Payments to implement conservation practices on working lands </li></ul><ul><li>Usually based on share of cost (50-75%) </li></ul><ul><li>$1.1 billion in 2009 </li></ul>E Q I P
  23. 24. Environmental Quality Incentives Program <ul><li>Fish & wildlife benefits are generally indirect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grazing management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irrigation management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pest management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contracts typically focus on single practice </li></ul>Jeff Vanuga, NRCS E Q I P
  24. 25. Conservation Stewardship Program <ul><li>Whole-farm approach on working lands </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple resources </li></ul><ul><li>Pays to install and maintain practices that benefit resources </li></ul><ul><li>Awaiting new rules </li></ul>C S P
  25. 26. Conservation Stewardship Program <ul><li>16 million acres enrolled 2002-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>12.8 million acres per year enrollment target </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed bag for wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>New focus on 3-5 resources per area </li></ul>C S P
  26. 27. Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program <ul><li>Cost-share to Restore or Install Fish & Wildlife Habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 75% of cost </li></ul><ul><li>$85 million per year </li></ul>W H I P
  27. 28. Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program <ul><li>Only major program focused primarily on wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Priority for projects addressing national/ regional/state conservation initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Ponds, food plots, rare habitat, restore prairie, remove dams </li></ul>W H I P
  28. 29. Open Fields <ul><li>Funds to pay farmers to allow access to private land </li></ul><ul><li>$50 million over four years 2009-2012 </li></ul>
  29. 30. Regional Programs <ul><li>Agricultural Management Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Chesapeake Bay Program </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado River Salinity Control </li></ul><ul><li>Dessert Terminal Lakes </li></ul><ul><li>Great Lakes Basin </li></ul>
  30. 31. Technical Assistance <ul><li>Funds to pay NRCS employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide program advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical Service Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified to provide advice in their expertise </li></ul></ul>Jeff Vanuga, NRCS
  31. 32. Duane Hovorka [email_address]

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