? Reminder: NRCS Taking Public Comments on Revision
of EQIP National Priorities
NRCS is public comments on the EQIP National Priorities
which must be submitted by June 5, 2005 to David Webster,
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 5231, Washington,
DC 20250 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, (Attention:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program Comments).
Comments also can be submitted on the web at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip.
The current EQIP national priorities (natural resource
concerns), which NRCS staff have indicated will most
likely be retained, are:
>Reduce non-point source pollutants; reduce groundwater
conservation of ground and surface water resources;
>Reduce emissions that contribute to air quality
>Reduce soil erosion and sediment from unacceptable
high rates on highly erodible
> Promote the recovery of at-risk wildlife habitat
Martha Noble is preparing comments for SAC which will
be available the week of May 9. SAC is recommending
four new EQIP National Priorities:
> Increase the acreage of the nation’s grazing
land managed for sustainable grazing and pasture-based
livestock and poultry systems – over 30 states
have already adopted grazing as a state EQIP priority
and and managed grazing and pasture-based systems are
one of the specific focuses of the EQIP statute and
the Conference Report language of the 2002 Farm Bill.
SAC took the lead in ensuring that these system had
a statutory priority.
> Increase agricultural water conservation in order
to achieve increased in-stream flows and lake and reservoir
levels and water quality for aquatic wildlife habitat
and drinking water supplies. Currently, NRCS gives priority
and funding to increased irrigation efficiency but has
not taken steps to ensure that the water conserved is
used to improve the nation’s streams, rivers,
> Increase agricultural land managed to meet organic
production certification standards by using EQIP funding
and technical assistance to assist farmers in the transition
of their land for organic production and to implement
additional conservation improvements.
> Increase habitat for native pollinators, a recommendation
that has the advantage of also increasing production
of agricultural crops that require animal pollinators
and that can also be linked to preservation and restoration
of native plant habitat which native pollinators and
other wildlife can use.
SAC will also recommend that in implementing the EQIP
National Priorities, NRCS develop EQIP application ranking
systems that give priority to applicants using production
systems that can simultaneously achieve improvements
in numerous resource concerns. Contact Martha Noble
by phone at 202-547-5754 or by e-mail at email@example.com
if you would like a copy of the SAC comments.