The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expanding its partnership to support the voluntary conservation of private working lands and migratory big game populations from the state of Wyoming to include Idaho and Montana.
USDA’s Migratory Big Game Initiative also provides a new package of investments in key conservation programs for fiscal year 2024, which includes funding to support increased staffing capacity and the deployment of streamlined program application processes for agricultural producers and landowners.
“We’re pleased to announce the expansion of this initiative,” said Jackie Byam, NRCS State Conservationist in Wyoming. “It will help create new and enhanced opportunities through USDA’s conservation programs to keep working lands working and give farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners new opportunities to conserve wildlife and migration corridors.”
“Using lessons learned from a partnership pilot with the state of Wyoming, USDA is scaling up this model across the West as part of President Biden’s commitment to support voluntary, locally led, producer-driven conservation efforts,” said William Bunce, FSA State Executive Director in Wyoming.
USDA will offer producers a package of opportunities they can choose from to meet their operations’ unique needs. Programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (Grassland CRP) and will be available across a wide range of lands including grasslands, shrublands, and forested habitats located on tribal and privately owned working lands.
For fiscal year 2024, NRCS has provided Wyoming, Montana and Idaho with $21.4 million in dedicated funding to kickstart the new Migratory Big Game Initiative. In Wyoming, this includes $4 million for perpetual conservation easements through ACEP, and $5.2 million for on-the-ground restoration and enhancement practices through EQIP.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”