Times Staff Report
January 22, 2013
FRANKFORT - The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Wildlife Initiative. Land users may apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) at any time. However, the second application evaluation cutoff date for 2013 has been set at April 19.
This program provides land users an opportunity to improve wildlife habitat by providing financial incentives for installing eligible practices on land they own or control.
In Kentucky, the primary focus of the program is to improve early successional and forestland habitats for declining species and other wildlife. Restoring remnant prairies, planting native grasses, shrubs and trees are some of the eligible practices for the program. Other eligible practices include bush honeysuckle removal, creating patch clear cuts in forestland and creating shallow water areas.
Excluding livestock from sensitive streams and woodlands is also an important focus under Kentucky’s 2013 EQIP Wildlife Initiative. Clover plots with certain limitations are eligible in 2013, but must be completed along with other practices such as native warm season grasses, tree or shrub plantings, edge feathering or patch clear cuts.
Program applications are evaluated and ranked to determine which provide the most beneficial habitats. For more information about application requirements, visit your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. Interested land users may also go online to http://fw.ky.gov/kfwis/viewable/privatelands_biologists.pdf or call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 1-800-858-1549 to learn the name and telephone number of the private lands biologist serving the area.