Forest Tree Mortality EQIP Fund Pool Grant

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of California


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Next deadline: Jun 22, 2018

Later deadlines: Jan 19, 2019, Apr 6, 2019

Applicant type: Working Professional Indigenous Group For-Profit Business College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Amador County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Kern County Expand all

Location of residency: California

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Overview:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary, conservation program administered by NRCS that can provide financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that address natural resource concerns. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals; to optimize environmental benefits; and to help farmers and ranchers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.

Forest Tree Mortality EQIP Fund Pool

The purpose of the Forest Tree Mortality EQIP Fund Pool is to provide immediate resource protection in drought-affected conifer forestlands where elevated levels of forest insect tree mortality has occurred or where forest insects are an imminent threat to forestlands. The Forest Tree Mortality EQIP pool is for nonindustrial private conifer forestlands in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Madera, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare, or Tuolumne counties.

The State Conservationist has determined that the geographic scope of a Forest Management Plan and nonindustrial private forest land does not include areas within 100 feet from a building or a greater distance if required by state law, or local ordinance, rule, or regulation. 

Priority resource concerns for the Forest Tree Mortality EQIP Fund Pool necessitating immediate management of dead and dying conifer trees include fire hazards resulting from dead tree debris fuel loads; pest control to reduce spread of insect mortality; and degraded, understocked forest conditions resulting from the insect damage and loss of forest trees.

The immediate consequence of tree mortality on California forestlands is the potential for increased wildfires, further spread of forest insect tree damage, threats to critical public safety infrastructure from falling trees, reduced forest carbon stocks, loss of commercial timber values to landowners, and diminished forestland benefits such as wildlife habitat and aesthetics.

Land Uses for the EQIP Fund Pool

Only applications that address resource concerns on at least one land use type listed below will be considered for financial assistance from this EQIP Fund Pool. The descriptions below are the general NRCS land use definitions - applications should fit within, but do not need to exactly match, these descriptions. 

  • Forest: Land on which the primary vegetation is tree cover (climax, natural or introduced plant community) and use is primarily for production of wood products or non-timber forest products. 
  • Associated Agricultural Lands: Land associated with forests that are not purposefully managed for food, forage, or fiber and are typically associated with nearby production or conservation lands. This could include incidental areas, such as watercourses, riparian areas, appurtenant roads, seasonal and permanent wetlands, meadows, and other similar areas. 

Resource Concerns for the EQIP Fund Pool

Only applications that address at least one resource concern listed below will be considered for financial assistance through this EQIP Fund Pool. The descriptions below are general NRCS natural resource definitions, applications should fit within, but do not need to exactly match, these descriptions. 

Degraded Plant Condition - Plant condition degradation can result in stress, disease, insect damage and result in changes to the structure and composition of plant communities. 

  • Inadequate Structure and Composition: Plant communities have insufficient diversity, density, distribution patterns, and three-dimensional structure necessary to achieve ecological functions and/or management objectives. 
  • Excessive Plant Pest Pressure: The term “pest” can be any animal, plant, insect, bacteria, or virus that results in plant damage or competes for space, nutrients, or water (e.g., weeds). Heat, drought, wind, sun, and cold create stress on plants that make them more susceptible to pests. 
  • Wildfire Hazard, Excess Biomass Accumulation: Accumulated plant residue (biomass) creates wildfire hazards that pose risks to human safety, structures, plants, animals, and air resources. While fire is an important and often beneficial part of the natural ecosystem, uncontrolled or “wild” fire poses a threat to life, health, and property.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • To be eligible to participate in EQIP, an applicant must meet all of the following producer eligibility criteria:
    • Be an agricultural producer.
    • Have control of the land for the term of the contract period.
    • Have landowner concurrence to implement structural or vegetative practices, if applicable.
    • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions.
    • Be in compliance with adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements.
    • Be within payment limitation requirements.
    • Be within annual payment limitation requirements, if applicable.
    • Have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), if applicable.
    • Be in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers.
    • See full details and definitions for Producer Eligibility here
  • To be eligible for EQIP, the land must meet all of the following criteria:
    • Be agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, Tribal land, or other land on which agricultural products, livestock, or forest-related products are produced.
    • Be privately owned land, eligible public land, or Tribal land.
    • Have landowner concurrence to implement structural or vegetative practices, if applicable.
    • Planned practices address an identified natural resource concern.
    • Have irrigated 2 out of the last 5 years to install an irrigation-related practice.
    • See full details and definitions for Land Eligibility here.