Financial assistance available to implement conservation practices


Farmers and landowners in numerous counties in Arkansas have until Friday, Dec. 20, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through 19 Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative projects.

Applicants can sign up at their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.

“USDA is working aggressively to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding will help producers implement a system of conservation practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat.”

“The MRBI projects in Arkansas are being implemented working with our conservation partners to accelerate conservation treatment to improve water quality, maintain productivity and enhance wildlife habitat,” said NRCS State Conservationist Michael Sullivan.

The main focus for all projects is to improve water quality; however, in 2012 water quantity was added as a secondary concern.

The projects open for sign-up are:

• Middle Bayou Macon, Desha County Conservation District – portions of Desha and Chicot counties.

• Bayou Boeuf, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts – portions of Ashley and Chicot counties in Arkansas and Morehouse and West Carroll parishes in Louisiana.

• Lower Bayou Macon, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts – portions of Chicot County in Arkansas and East Carroll and West Carroll parishes in Louisiana.

• Lower Arkansas (Upper) – portions of Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties.

• Grand Prairie Watershed – portions of Arkansas, Lonoke, Prairie and Monroe counties.

• Bayou Meto (Middle) – portions of Arkansas, Lonoke, Prairie and Jefferson counties.

• Bayou Meto (Arkansas County) – portions of Arkansas, Jefferson and Lonoke counties.

Additional information about the MRBI projects, area maps and conservation practices, are available at www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov.

To locate the local field office, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/main/national/contact/local.