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#07-226 August 13, 2007

Landowners encouraged to apply for wildlife conservation programs

September 30, 2007 is the deadline to apply for assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for two of its Farm Bill programs in fiscal year 2008. NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help South Carolina landowners address natural resource concerns, promote environmental quality, and protect wildlife habitat on property they own or control. The cost-share funds are available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), both administered by NRCS.

Contact Small Game Project, SC Department of Natural Resources, at (803) 734-3609 regarding information on appropriate quail habitat management.
           
EQIP helps farmers improve production while protecting environmental quality by addressing such concerns as soil erosion and productivity, grazing management, water quality, animal waste, and forestry concerns. EQIP also assists eligible small-scale farmers who have historically not participated in or ranked high enough to be funded in previous program sign ups. WHIP assists landowners who want to improve wildlife habitat or restore natural ecosystems on their land.

Wildlife habitat is an important component in these two programs.  Landowners who participate receive financial and technical assistance to create, enhance and maintain critical habitat for bobwhite quail. These management practices (prescribed burning, field borders, warm season grass establishment) are also beneficial for wild turkey, songbirds, white-tailed deer and rabbit.

There is a continuous signup for these programs; however, to increase your chances of funding, apply by September 30. Producers interested in applying should visit their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible to prepare their applications.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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