Farmers and landowners in portions of Arkansas’ Ashley, Chicot, Cross and Poinsett counties have until June 8, 2012, to submit Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) applications to receive cost-share assistance to implement conservation practices through three Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) projects.

More than $170,000 of funding is available to assist landowners with installing conservation practices through WHIP. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.

“The MRBI projects in Arkansas are being implemented working with our conservation partners to accelerate conservation treatment to improve water quality, water quantity, maintain productivity and enhance wildlife habitat,” said NRCS State Conservationist Michael Sullivan.

The projects open for sign-ups are:

  • L’Anguille River Watershed Coalition.

The L’Anguille River has been designated as an impaired watershed by the Environmental Protection Agency due to excessive siltation and turbidity from agricultural sources. The project will use practices ranging from conservation cover and nutrient management to filter strips and riparian forest buffers to mitigate the amount of nutrients currently reaching the water course through soil erosion. Funding is available for landowners in portions of Cross and Poinsett counties.

  • Bayou Boeuf, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts.

The goals of the project are to improve nutrient management in the watershed, especially the application and utilization of nitrogen and phosphorus, reduce nutrient loads entering the watershed, maintain agricultural productivity, enhance wetlands, improve fish and wildlife habitat benefits, and improve water quality and biological health in streams. This funding is available for landowners in portions of Ashley and Chicot counties.

  • Lower Bayou Macon, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts.

The goals of the project are to improve nutrient management in the watershed, especially the application and utilization of nitrogen and phosphorus, reduce nutrient loads entering the watershed, maintain agricultural productivity, enhance wetlands, improve fish and wildlife habitat benefits, and improve water quality and biological health in streams. This funding is available for landowners in portions of Chicot.

Additional information about the MRBI projects, area maps and conservation practices, are available www.ar. nrcs.usda.gov/programs/mrbi.html.