Farmers and landowners in numerous counties in Arkansas have until Jan. 18, 2013, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through 19 Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) projects. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.
"USDA is working aggressively to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The funding will help producers implement a system of conservation practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat."
“The MRBI projects in Arkansas are being implemented working with our conservation partners to accelerate conservation treatment to improve water quality, maintain productivity and enhance wildlife habitat,” said NRCS State Conservationist Michael Sullivan.
The main focus for all projects is to improve water quality; however, for 2012 water quantity was added as a secondary concern.
The projects open for sign-up are:
·L’Anguille River Watershed Coalition -- portions of Cross and Poinsett counties.
·Point Remove Wetlands Reclamation and Irrigation District -- portions of Conway, Pope, Van Buren and Yell counties.
·St. Francis County and Lee County Conservation Districts, Outlet Larkin Creek -- portions of St. Francis and Lee counties.
·Northeast Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, Lower St. Francis -- portions of Crittenden, Cross, Mississippi and Poinsett counties.
·Northeast Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, Little River Ditches -- portions of Craighead, Mississippi and Poinsett counties.
·Cache River Nutrient Loss Reduction, Arkansas Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc. -- portions of Monroe, St. Francis and Woodruff counties.
·Middle Bayou Macon, Desha County Conservation District -- portions of Desha and Chicot counties.
·Lower St. Francis River Nutrient Loss Reduction, Crittenden County Conservation District -- portions of Crittenden, Cross and St. Francis counties.
·Bayou Boeuf, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts -- portions of Ashley and Chicot counties in Arkansas and Morehouse and West Carroll parishes in Louisiana.
·Lower Bayou Macon, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts -- portions of Chicot County in Arkansas and East Carroll and West Carroll parishes in Louisiana.
·Middle Cache River Project -- portions of Craighead, Jackson, Poinsett and Woodruff counties.
·Lower Arkansas (Upper) -- portions of Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties.
·Grand Prairie Watershed -- portions of Arkansas, Lonoke, Prairie and Monroe counties.
·East Arkansas Enterprise Community, Inc., L’Anguille River -- portions of Cross and St. Francis counties.
·Big Watershed -- a portion of Phillips County.
·Bayou Meto (Middle) -- portions of Arkansas, Lonoke, Prairie and Jefferson counties.
·Bayou Meto (Arkansas County) -- portions of Arkansas, Jefferson and Lonoke counties.
·Tyronza River Watershed -- portions of Mississippi and Poinsett counties.
·Wapanocca Lake Watershed -- portion of Crittenden County.
Additional information about the MRBI projects, area maps and conservation practices, are available here.
To locate the local field office, see here.