NRCS will be taking applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Wildfire Special Initiative for qualified landowners. The signup period ends Friday, August 31, 2012.
To be eligible for the EQIP Wildfire Special Initiative, producers must have private grazing land that has been damaged by the Taylor Bridge wildfire and be engaged in agricultural production.
Participants can receive payment on an entire grazing unit even if only a portion was damaged, as long as the damaged portion is at least 20 percent of the unit. NRCS will make a payment of $4/ac/yr on the contracted acres. In return, the participant must agree not to graze the burned acreage to allow recovery time for one or two years. The maximum amount paid is $25,000 and producers may only have one contract. Contracts must be in place by September 7, 2012.
USDA has also approved emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Yakima counties for 30 days. Signup ends August 31, 2012. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will not deduct CRP annual rental payments from contract holders volunteering their land. Contact the county FSA office for more information.
Farmers and ranchers who have suffered agricultural property damage and loss due to the Taylor Bridge wildfire in Kittitas County are encouraged to contact the USDA Service Center at 607 E. Mountain View Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926 or call (509) 925-8585 to report it.