$100,000 available in Kansas for 2006
MANHATTAN -- Landowners in eastern Kansas have the opportunity to receive federal funds to improve or manage woodlands on their property through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The program is funded federally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered locally by the Kansas Forest Service. Approximately $100,000 will be available in Kansas for 2006. The deadline for applications is Jan. 20, 2006.

Landowners in the following counties are eligible: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, Woodson or Wyandotte.
“Managing woodlands properly can be expensive, but the private and public benefits of a healthy forest can be huge, which is why EQIP provides the financial assistance,” said Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service.

Those benefits may include the following

  • cleaner water supplies;
  • stable stream banks;
  • lumber, nuts, firewood, and other forest products;
  • wildlife habitat; and
  • areas for outdoor recreation, bird watching, fee hunting, and other activities.

Kansas currently has 2.1 million acres of woodlands, the vast majority privately-owned. Most receive little or no management.

To qualify for EQIP funding, landowners must contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office, then fill out an application and a Kansas EQIP Self-Assessment Tool. Forms are available at local USDA Service Centers and Kansas Conservation District offices, or they may be downloaded from the internet .

Once the forms are submitted, the NRCS will refer landowners to the Kansas Forest Service, which puts the landowner in contact with a district forester. The district forester then develops a forest management plan based on the property’s specific characteristics, sound management practices, and the landowner's goals.
After that, NRCS will rank the Kansas applications and start writing contracts, which can last as long as 10 years.

Kansas landowners may receive financial assistance for the following practices:

  • thinning woodlands, $55 per acre;
  • heavy preparation of site, $400;
  • medium preparation of site, $200;
  • seedling tree planting, 70 cents per tree (seedling purchase, further site preparation, planting);
  • herbicide application for weed control, $22.50 per acre;
  • wire fencing, 70 cents per linear foot; and
  • electric fencing, 7 cents per linear foot.

For more information, phone Bob Atchison at 785-532-3310.