The Environmental Quality Incentives Program
(EQIP) assists private landowners, helping them to address
natural resource problems which threaten environmental quality.
Cost share is a proven means of overcoming landowner reluctance
to make long term investments in public goods. First, EQIP
compensates landowners for the lack of market incentive to
invest in public goods, such as watershed and wildlife protection.
Second, it encourages landowners to make long term investments
in maintaining the natural resource base (particularly land
management practices capable of arresting or reversing damage
to environmentally sensitive areas).
The program targets watersheds, regions, and
areas of special environmental sensitivity or other areas
facing significant soil, water or related natural resources
concerns. By encouraging voluntary landowner participation
in these areas, EQIP supports the development and implementation
of conservation plans in critical areas. Developed in cooperation
with professional resource managers, the plans encompass both
scientific management principles, and landowner objectives.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
representatives in each state are responsible for establishing
the particular conservation practices which EQIP supports
on a state by state basis. However, EQIP generally supports
a wide variety of activities: the establishment of permanent
covers, windbreaks, grazing protection, and various water
quality protection systems. Forestry practices which are generally
supported include tree planting, forest stand improvement,
site preparation for natural regeneration and forest stand
analysis leading to better forest management.
Approval of EQIP assistance is based on the
potential environmental benefit which result from the protection.
Following plan approval by NRCS, and project implementation
by landowners, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will
reimburse landowners for a pre-arranged cost share amount.
The program is available to all non-federal landowners, including
native American tribes. On an annual basis, at least 50% of
the EQIP allocation will be assigned to livestock related
projects; the remaining 50% of the funding is designated for
multi-resource management opportunities.
and Informational Contacts
The NRCS and the Farm Service Administration
(FSA) administer the program. NRCS is responsible for establishing
program policies, procedures and priorities, including the
cost-share and incentive payment limits and the eligibility
of specific practices. FSA is responsible for the administrative
processes and procedures for applications, contracting and
financial matters, including program allocation and accounting.
Resources Conservation Service link
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