DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 24, 2013 /PR Newswire/ -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the California Tribal Initiative, a partnership effort with Tribal Nations in California to help tribal farmers and ranchers put additional conservation on the ground.
This initiative is funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and is being made in two statewide and three landscape tribal resource priority areas. The funding provides financial and technical assistance to Tribes and tribal producers who voluntarily agree to NRCS guidelines to install approved conservation practices that address program priorities related to soil, water, air quality, domestic livestock, wildlife habitat, surface and groundwater conservation, energy conservation, and related natural resource concerns. Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2013.
The three landscape resource priorities are aimed at improving water quality, rangeland health, forest health, and reducing the threat of wildfire. The three priority areas are:
- Northern Coastal Tribes Forests and Rangeland in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Western Siskiyou, Lake and Sonoma counties.
- Intermountain and Central Sierra Tribal Forests and Rangeland in Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Modoc, Eastern Siskiyou, Western Shasta, Kings, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Tuolumne counties.
- South Coast and Desert Tribal Forests and Rangeland in Inyo, Mono, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
The two statewide resource priorities are aimed at reducing soil erosion, improving irrigation water efficiency, water quality, and restoring and managing native plants for traditional Native American food and fiber production. The two statewide priorities are:
- Statewide Tribal Poly-farms: assistance forsmall biologically diverse farms and medium-sized agricultural operations
- Native Plants Restoration: culturally important tribal plants for food and fiber.
NRCS staff is available to help producers create conservation plans on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be submitted throughout the year. Applications received by Feb. 15 will be evaluated for funding priority for the pending 2013 funding. Applications received after Feb. 15 may be considered for future funding.
For additional information, eligible producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS Service Center. Service center locations and more information on the programs can be found at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service