Conservation Programs and Practices for Forest Management The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with agricultural and forest producers to protect and conserve natural resources on our nation’s private lands.

Healthy forests provide clean air and water, flood protection, wildlife habitat, recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, jobs, and numerous other services and products that we enjoy every day.

With roughly two-thirds of West Virginia’s land area classified as nonindustrial private forestland, sustainably managing this valuable natural resource is one of the most environmentally, economically, and socially beneficial activities for citizens of the mountain state. Through the federal Farm Bill, NRCS and partners work together to help non-industrial private forestland owners manage healthy forests. We offer technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices that are part of a forest management plan through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). These are voluntary cost share programs where people can receive compensation for completing select work on their property.

Common forest-related conservation practices include: forest stand improvements, brush management, tree/shrub site preparation and establishment, wildlife structures, access control fencing, and early successional habitat management.

Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year. A selection period will occur approximately once per year and are evaluated in a competitive ranking process as funding becomes available.

Individuals interested in applying may contact their local NRCS office. A planning visit will be conducted to develop a conservation plan, which can be submitted for funding.

Jason Crislip USDA/NRCS District Conservationist Spencer Service Center 304-927-1022.

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