Two proposals for an additional $1.122 million inConservation Technical Assistance (CTA) funding in Arkansas were recently approved by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The additional CTA funding will further enhance conservation partnership opportunities to accomplish conservation objectives and priorities in the state.

One of the approved proposals will partner NRCS with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) through a contribution agreement to reimburse Arkansas conservation district employees for work performed providing assistance to NRCS Field Service Centers. The project will be a one year, 50/50 match agreement with both NRCS and ANRC contributing $200,000.

Through the agreement, Arkansas conservation district employees will provide administrative and clerical assistance, computer data entry, and basic map reading and slide review for wetland delineations. District employees will also provide customer service assistance, information and education program assistance, and conduct other daily field office duties. This will allow NRCS technical staff more time to provide conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers.

The second approved proposal was awarded $722,000 and will partner NRCS with 27 Arkansas Conservation Districts through a cooperative agreement to hire 21 full-time conservation district technicians and six part-time conservation district technicians for one year. The conservation district technicians will provide conservation assistance.

The 27 conservation districts are located in the following counties: Arkansas, Baxter, Carroll, Clark, Conway, Faulkner, Fulton, Greene, Hot Spring, Independence, Jackson, Lee, Miller, Monroe, Ouachita, Phillips, Poinsett, Polk, Randolph, Sebastian, Sevier, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, Woodruff and Yell.

“The additional CTA funding will help NRCS and our conservation partners direct additional resources to better serve producers in Arkansas,” said Arkansas State Conservationist Mike Sullivan. “This additional opportunity will allow more producers to get assistance in protecting the natural resources on their land and in putting more conservation on the ground.”