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Forestry & Wildlife Cost Share Programs Available to Alabama Landowners




Cost Share Programs and Providers

Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) Programs

(For more information contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission Office)
  • Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention and Restoration Thinning Program
    • The southern pine beetle (SPB) is the number one killer of pines in Alabama. Unmanaged and overcrowded stands of loblolly and shortleaf pines are susceptible to attack. Epidemic populations of this bark beetle occur virtually every year in Alabama. Expanding populations, if not controlled, may devastate entire forests causing millions of dollars in damage. One long-term goal of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to reduce the susceptibility of Alabama forests to future SPB outbreaks. Thinning of dense, slow-growing pine stands will help accomplish this goal by stimulating growth and vigor in young stands thereby reducing the SPB hazard.
Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) Programs
  • Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)
    • The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is a Federal grant program made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The primary objective of this program is to provide technical and/or financial assistance to private landowners for the direct benefit of conserving, managing or enhancing the habitats of species in greatest conservation need.
    • LIP is focusing its restoration efforts in Painted Rock, Cahaba, Choctawhatchee, Coosa River Basin, and the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem.

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Programs
(Contact the local Service Center for further guidelines and details of the program)

  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
    • The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. CSP is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. CSP provides opportunities to both recognize excellent stewards and deliver valuable new conservation. To apply for the CSP, potential participants are encouraged to use a self-screening checklist to determine whether the new program is suitable for them or their operation.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
    • EQIP practices target improving forest health, wildlife habitat, and declining T&E species on agricultural lands.
    • Applications are ranked and selected for funding in order to optimize environmental benefits. Batching dates may be announced as needed to rank and prioritize any new or unfunded application.
    • Focus on Longleaf Pine (LLP) restoration and Gopher Tortoise habitat restoration.
  • Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACER)
    • The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.
    • Wetland Reserve Easements: NRCS also provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland reserve easement. For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of 30-year contract.
  • Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)
    • EWP was set up by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters and assists in relieving hazards to life and property from floods and the products of erosion created by natural disasters that cause a sudden impairment of a watershed.

Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) Programs
(Contact the local SWCC for further guidelines and details of the program)

  • Alabama Agricultural & Conservation Development Commission Program (AACDCP)
    • This program is funded through the State of Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committees (SWCC) budget. Program emphasis is established locally. Forestry practices can include firebreak establishment, prescribed burning, site preparation and tree planting.
    • Focus on Longleaf Pines (LLP) restoration. 

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Programs
(Contact the local FSA office for further guidelines and details of the program)

  • Regular Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
    • The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program for agricultural landowners. CRP was intended to take highly erodible cropland out of production and stabilize soil loss through planting permanent cover crops. Through CRP, you can receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland.

      To qualify for CRP enrollment, you must have had your land in crops 4 out of 6 years from 2002 through 2007.

      Producer Eligibility: To qualify for CRP enrollment, a farmer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to submitting an offer. Exceptions to this rule include:
      • Land acquired by the new owner due to the previous owner's death;
      • Change in ownership occurred due to foreclosure; or
      • Land that was purchased by the new owner without the sole intention of placing it in CRP

Tree planting practices under regular CRP include:

CP3 - Tree Planting - Pine or other Softwoods
This practice is to establish a stand of trees in a timber planting that will enhance environmental benefits

CP3 – Existing Pine or other Softwoods
This practice is to manage trees that have already been established under prior CRP signups

CP3A – Tree Planting - Longleaf Pine or Hardwoods
This practice is to establish a stand of predominately hardwood trees in a timber planting that will enhance environmental benefits

CP3A – Existing - Longleaf Pine or Hardwoods
This practice is to manage longleaf or hardwood trees that have already been established under prior CRP signups

  • Continuous CRP (Forestry and Wildlife Programs)
    • Environmentally desirable land devoted to certain conservation practices may be enrolled in CRP at any time under continuous sign-up. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements. Offers for continuous sign-up are not subject to competitive bidding.
    • Forestry and wildlife practices available under Continuous CRP include:
      • CP21 - Filter Strips
        The purpose of this practice is to remove nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and other pollutants for the surface runoff and subsurface flow by deposition, absorption, plant uptake, denitrification, and other processes, and thereby reduce pollution and protect surface water and subsurface water quality while enhancing the ecosystem of the water body
      • CP22 - Riparian Forest Buffer
        The purpose of this practice is to remove nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and other pollutants for the surface runoff and subsurface flow by deposition, absorption, plant uptake, denitrification, and other processes, and thereby reduce pollution and protect surface water and subsurface water quality while enhancing the ecosystem of the water body
      • CP31 - Bottomland Timber Establishment on Wetlands
        This initiative is a new effort under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that works to improve air and water quality as well as increase wildlife habitat along wetland areas. CP31 allows producers to enroll in a CRP practice on lands suitable for growing bottomland hardwood trees or adapted shrubs that will provide multipurpose forest and wildlife benefits.
      • CP33 - Field Borders
        Northern bobwhite quail habitats are disappearing due to urbanization, increased grassland cultivation, and a transitioning of once grassy fields into woods and forests -- a process called succession. The Northern Bobwhite Quail Habitat Initiative introduces a conservation practice intended to create 250,000 acres of early successional grass buffers along agricultural field borders.
      • CP36 - Longleaf Pine Initiative
        Longleaf pine was once the dominant tree species on an estimated 60 million acres and in the mix of species on another 30 million acres along the coastal plain from east Texas, the mountains of Alabama, northwest Georgia and the Virginia piedmont. Longleaf pine stands declined over the past 100 years and today occupy fewer than four million acres of the historic range. Longleaf pine forests provide numerous environmental benefits including wildlife habitat.
  • Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)
    • The Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) helps the owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health damaged by natural disasters. The EFRP does this by authorizing payments to owners of private forests to restore disaster damaged forests.
    • The local FSA County Committee implements ERFP for all disasters with the exceptions of drought and insect infestations. In the case of drought or an insect infestation, the national FSA office authorizes ERFP implementation.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programs
(Contact the local Fish & Wildlife Service for further guidelines and details of the program)

  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife
    • The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat on their property. The program focus is to restore vegetation and hydrology to historic conditions. Habitat is provided for migratory and resident waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds, aquatic species such as snails, mussels, and fish. Focal areas include both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Hundreds of projects have been completed with individual landowners including restoration of wetlands, longleaf pine, caves, and stream habitats.
  • Safe Harbor Program
    • The RCW Safe Harbor Program provides guarantees for landowners who manage their pine forests in a manner beneficial to the red-cockaded woodpecker. If woodpeckers increase on a property enrolled in the program as a result of beneficial management practices, obligations under state and federal endangered species laws are not increased. Landowners retain all property rights, and management flexibility is often increased by enrolling in Safe Harbor.
  • Private Individual Grants
    • Various grants that promote wetlands conservation and associated habitats for migratory birds and support efforts to restore natural resources and establish or expand wildlife habitat

The Longleaf Alliance Programs
(Contact the Longleaf Alliance further guidelines and details of the program)

  • Longleaf Pine Restoration Program
    • Program designed to restore longleaf pine on cutover sites. Funding through the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
  • Longleaf Legacy Program
    • Program designed to restore longleaf pine on cutover site. Funding through the American Forest Foundation grants.

 

For more information on available cost-share programs please contact  Ryan Peek, 334.240.9326.