NRCS offers wildfire recovery assistance to Montana farmers and ranchers

Originally published in the 8/4/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

BOZEMAN — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering technical and financial assistance to agricultural landowners impacted by 2017 wildfires across Montana.

NRCS is accepting applications for its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to assist with livestock grazing deferment, damaged fence and post removal, livestock fencing, water facility development, critical area plantings, and cover crops. NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round; however, applications for 2017 wildfire recovery funding must be submitted by Aug. 15, 2017.

“NRCS in Montana is prepared to assist landowners in dealing with the effects of wildfires and dry weather conditions,” said Lisa Coverdale, NRCS state conservationist for Montana. “We want to work with landowners to help them address fire related resource concerns on their farm or ranch operations.”

High winds, low humidity, and prolonged dry conditions led to the summer wildfires in several Montana counties, and many landowners are faced with making plans for recovery after the wildfires.

Landowners impacted by recent wildfires are encouraged to contact their local NRCS office to seek assistance. NRCS can provide technical and financial assistance to install measures that address resource concerns caused by the wildfires.

“We want to provide assistance that will help landowners and livestock producers accelerate the recovery of affected agricultural land and rebuild their infrastructure,” Coverdale said.

Landowners should visit their local NRCS office to apply for EQIP. Applications will be ranked, and those approved for funding will be offered a contract. Additional fire-related information can be found on the Montana NRCS website at www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov.

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