This is a relatively modest program in terms of payments, and not the same as the more generous EQIP program that we're participating in, but perhaps CSP is a good introduction to NRCS for family forest owners.
You must have your application in before the cut-off date for the upcoming year's funding -- January 7, 2011. There's a fact sheet/FAQ at http://www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov/
Dear private forest landowner:
If you’re a private, non-industrial forest landowner who would like to address natural resource management concerns by implementing additional conservation practices on your land and if you’d like to improve or maintain existing stewardship practices, you may be eligible for financial and technical assistance to do so.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) which provides financial and technical assistance to help identify, plan and implement stewardship practices that will help conserve and enhance soil, water, air, plant, wildlife habitat and related natural resources on your land.
Private forest landowners may be eligible to receive average payments of approximately $10 per acre for five-years depending on enhancements implemented and (or) stewardship practices maintained.
In short, CSP encourages non-industrial private forest landowners to improve conservation systems by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities and the program will pay you for these stewardship activities.
I have attached a Question and Answer fact sheet regarding CSP for your information. I encourage you to consider this opportunity to help keep your forest healthy. Please contact your local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service office today for more information.
The application ranking cut-off date for this year’s funding is January 7, 2011 so don’t delay.
We look forward to serving you in the future.
CARRI GAINES, NRCS State Forester
Carri.gaines at wa.usda dot gov