Virginia receives added funds for Chesapeake Bay/wildlife programs

John A. Bricker, State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced today that Virginia farmers can now access nearly $1.5 million in additional funding to implement conservation practices to protect and restore the Bay and state wildlife habitat.

“This has been a record-breaking year for Virginia with the state’s largest program signup to date. We have already obligated $14.3 million in Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI) funds and have now received an additional $1.2 million plus $250,000 for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP),” says Bricker.

“Signup is continuous with the first evaluation period ending on July 15 and the second on July 29. Interested landowners should move quickly as all funds must be obligated in contracts with landowners by August 15, 2011.”

Under CBWI, NRCS works with agricultural producers looking to minimize excess nutrients and sediment to help restore, preserve, and protect the Chesapeake Bay. CBWI addresses animal waste, cropland and pastureland. Eligible producers operating in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed can
sign up for specific practices under the CBWI and receive additional consideration in the
ranking process.

Landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on their land can apply for funding through WHIP to restore grassland habitat or riparian areas, create decreasing habitats for amphibians and reptiles and other declining species, or initiate prescribed burning to maintain early successional habitats.

For more information, contact Charles Ivins at your local NRCS office at 540.248.6218 x3; or visit the Virginia NRCS website at www.va.nrcs.usda.gov.

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