LEWISTON – Forest landowners may be eligible to receive funding in 2007 through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a prescribed forestry plan. The service in Maine has made funds available through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Deadline for applications is March 15.

A landowner would be eligible if they have a minimum of 10 acres in forestland, no current plans exists or the existing plan is more than 10 years old, and if the applicant meets all other eligibility criteria. After the plan has been developed and the incentive payment made, the landowner would be eligible to apply for the eligible practice implementation contained in the plan.

Payment rates allow for a flat rate of $20/acre for forestland 10 to 50 acres, and a $12/acre flat rate for forestland greater than 50 acres, with total payments not to exceed $4,000.

“A conservation plan is the first step to receiving cost share assistance with many of our programs” said Autumn Birt, District conservationalist for service in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties. “This is a great opportunity to receive assistance from a certified forester to develop a conservation plan that suits your needs and may lead to more cost share practices in the future.”

Applications must be received in the local NRCS office, located at the USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, by March 15. For more information, contact Birt at 753-9400, ext. 3.

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