Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) Available for Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties

Flooding that occurred between January 6 and January 11 caused severe damage in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. Farms and ranches suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Lower Columbia Area Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office if the damage:

• Will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use

• Is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area

• Affect the productive capacity of the farmland

• Will impair or endanger the land

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrences. The following types of measures may be eligible:

• Removing debris from farmland
• Grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland
• Restoring permanent fences
• Restoring conservation structures and other similar installations

Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA County Office and request assistance from April 6 to May 8, 2009.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:

• An application for cost-share assistance has been filed

• The local FSA Area Committee (ARC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area

• The Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc., required for rehabilitation.

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