USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is continuing to offer assistance to landowners affected by recent catastrophic wildfires. The assistance, provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) covers erosion control and water quality practices on eligible cropland, rangeland, and nonindustrial private forestland. Typical practices include mulching, seeding, grade stabilization, tree planting and other measures to protect burned areas from eroding and/or minimizing transport of sediment and pollutants into waterways. NRCS will continue to accept applications and will periodically evaluate them for funding consideration.
Applicants may also request early-start waivers to enable recovery work to begin immediately. (The Agency’s standards and specifications will still need to be met and any needed permits must still be secured before work begins.)
NRCS is targeting $4 million to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in California recover from the recent wildfires. This is one of several disaster assistance programs available through USDA to support recovery efforts for individuals and communities.
NRCS is also offering technical and educational assistance to fire-impacted landowners faced with erosion and flooding in a damaged watershed. NRCS conservationists have expertise in erosion, hydrophobic soils, and the use of measures (such as sandbags, mulching, etc.) to mitigate damage to the landscape.
NRCS is also continuing to work with communities and partners to assess eligibility for its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program which assists communities with rebuilding efforts following imminent hazards to life and property caused by natural disasters. For more information on available NRCS, FSA or RMA assistance, contact a local field office, or visit www.usda.gov