Forest land financial assistance is available

ESCANABA — Delta Conservation District has been monitoring financial opportunities for private landowners who own forest land. Now that the Farm Bill has passed, and project financial support has been identified, there are possible opportunities land owners may take advantage of. Financial incentives available, but not limited to are: forest management plans; forest stand improvement; tree and shrub planting; wildlife habitat management and projects; brush management; soil stabilization; stream crossing; stream bank and shoreline protection; invasive weed control; pest management; riparian forest buffer; sugar-bush management; pollinator habitat; and the revised Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages landowners to improve, maintain and/or continue existing activities on their forest lands. Most CSP applicants have already been applying conservation practices to their lands. Through CSP landowners will be provided financial and technical assistance. CSP contracts are for five years with the option to renew.

Contract payments to landowners are made annually based on forest ownership per acre: existing activity payment (payment to maintain existing activities) and additional activity payment (payment to implement additional activities). All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1,500 with additional per acre increase depending on level of activities. NRCS accepts applications for any of the above conservation practices and CSP on a continuous basis throughout the year with allocations based on sign-up periods. For CSP the deadline for the first sign-up period is Friday, May 24.

Contact the Delta Conservation District (906) 553-7700 or NRCS (906) 428-1060 ext. 3, for additional information, or sign-up directly at the NRCS office at 2003 Minneapolis Ave., Gladstone (USDA Service Center – by McDonalds and Subway).