Help Available for Wildfire-Impacted Ranches and Private Forestland

Taylor Hillman General

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funds available through its Catastrophic Fire Recovery Initiative to address the immediate impacts of fire on natural resources on land that has suffered impacts from recent California wildfires. This assistance is available to agricultural operators or private non-industrial forest owners and applications will be accepted and considered for possible funding on a continuing basis.

The purpose of the Catastrophic Fire Recovery Initiative is to provide quick resource protection in areas burned by catastrophic fires in the past 18 months. Priority concerns include immediate soil erosion protection, minimizing encroachment by invasive plants, protecting water quality, protecting fish and wildlife habitat, bringing back forests, and restoring livestock infrastructure necessary for grazing management.

“The state has suffered thousands of devastating wildfires over the past year, and California farmers and ranchers have suffered substantial losses as a result,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “I encourage landowners who have private forestlands and rangelands that were damaged by recent catastrophic fires to visit with their local NRCS field office about how this initiative can provide assistance to protect their natural resources. Putting conservation on the ground can ultimately improve producers’ long-term resilience to droughts, fires and floods.”

Financial assistance for conservation under this initiative is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications for this initiative can be submitted to your local USDA Service Center.

Priority will be given to applicants implementing conservation practices within six months of funding to address erosion, adequate livestock water, and habitat protection. Participants interested in implementing practices beyond the scope of this special and limited initiative are encouraged to apply under the regular EQIP funding opportunities.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.