USDA accepting applications from Alabama landowners for resource conservation
“North Alabama landowners will be able to help the ecosystem make a rebound by supporting the shortleaf pine on their land,” Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) State Conservationist Ben Malone said. “Our hope is that this first round of the Shortleaf Pine Initiative (SPI) in Alabama will lead to more support for the effort. This partnership has been a success and we believe these investments help strengthen rural communities one landowner at a time. Land returned to healthy forests will have beneficial conservation and environmental impacts for years to come.”
The SPI, created in 2013 to address a 50 percent decline in shortleaf pine acreage over the last three decades, is open to farmers based in 22 counties in north Alabama. Another funding opportunity, the Conservation Innovation Grant, is open to landowners in 11 counties in west Alabama.
“Landowners should take advantage of these great opportunities provided by federal agencies to help ensure the sustainability of our forests,” Alabama Farmers Federation Forestry Division Director Rick Oates said. “They will help landowners better manage their land and provide forests for future generations.”
The USDA is accepting applications for both programs until Jan. 15.