2016-05-17 / Front Page

Two NRCS Target Projects To Help Oak Restoration, Monarch Butterfly Habitat

by Andrea Oeding
Executive Director, Owen County SWCD

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding for two landscape conservation projects that highlight oak restoration and monarch butterfly habitat until June 17, 2016.

“Both of these conservation projects are vital for conserving and protecting our natural resources here in Indiana,” said Jane Hardisty, Indiana NRCS State Conservationist. “They enhance the locally driven process to better address regionally important conservation goals that go beyond localities.”

Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership – Hoosier Hills and Highlands Oak Community Restoration Project: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are working together to improve oak regeneration and oak community restoration within 18 southern Indiana counties, including Owen County, which are home to the most heavily forested and biologically diverse forest systems. Financial incentive will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to forest land projects that help young oak trees thrive and establish proper conditions for oak seedlings. Several key practices will be considered including, but not limited to: Herbaceous Weed Control, Brush Management, Forest Stand Improvement, and Prescribed Burning.

Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project: The monarch butterfly has suffered from significant population declines over the past two decades. This project will allow NRCS to work with partners and clients to increase monarch habitat on private agriculture lands. This effort is focused on planting milkweed and other nectar rich forbs and reducing pesticide use in proximity to monarch habitat through the EQIP program.

Applications must be received by June 17, 2016 to be considered for current funding. To learn more about either of these two landscape projects, contact District Conservationist Kristi Kennedy, 765-653- 5716, extension 3 (Kristi. kennedy@in.usda.gov) or Andrea Oeding at your local Owen County SWCD office, 812-829-2605 (andrea-oeding@iaswcd.org).

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