DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is partnering with California's tribal nations, for a second year in a row, to make $1 million available to help tribal farmers and ranchers put additional conservation on the ground.
Applications will be accepted through November 16, 2012, for consideration pending Congressional approval of Farm Bill conservation funding. Funding is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through two statewide and three landscape tribal resource priority areas.
The three Landscape Resource Priorities are aimed at improving and managing forest health and reducing wildfire threats, as well as rangeland health and water quality. The three priorities areas are:
- Northern Coastal Tribes Forests and Rangeland in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Western Siskiyou, Lake and Sonoma counties.
- Intermountain and Central Sierra Tribal Forests and Rangeland in Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Mariposa, Modoc, Eastern Siskiyou, Western Shasta, Kings, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Tuolumne counties.
- South Coast and Desert Tribal Forests and Rangeland in Inyo, Mono, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
The two Statewide Resource Priorities are aimed at reducing soil erosion, improving irrigation water efficiency, water quality, restoring and managing native plants for traditional Native American food and fiber production. The two statewide priorities are:
- Statewide Tribal Poly-farms: small biologically diverse farms and medium size agricultural operations for subsistence, intra-tribal and external commerce.
- Native Plants Restoration: culturally important tribal plants for food and fiber.
The EQIP Tribal Initiative provides financial and technical assistance to Tribes and tribal producers who voluntarily agree to NRCS guidelines for installation of approved conservation practices that address program priorities related to addressing soil, water, air quality, domestic livestock, wildlife habitat, surface and groundwater conservation, energy conservation, and related natural resource concerns.
There are 109 Federally Recognized American Indian Tribes in California. There are at least 69 Non-Federally Recognized Tribes in California petitioning for federal recognition. The Federally-recognized tribes have jurisdiction over 635,739 acres of Tribal Trust Land in California.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOURCE USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service