Jul 20, 2021NRCS assistance available for those affected by drought
Many operators and producers across Washington state have been significantly impacted by drought and wildfires this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has technical and financial assistance available to help them recover.
As producers move into recovery mode and assess damages, they should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, forestland, rangeland, shellfish or livestock losses and damages.
The NRCS offers programs to help with the drought recovery process. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP) Drought Recovery fund pool provides assistance to help recover from drought related issues and resource protection for areas burned by catastrophic fires. Benefits include preventing soil erosion protection, minimizing spread of noxious and invasive plants, protecting water quality and resting livestock grazing areas. Applications will be ranked according to the severity of the drought, or have property burnt or destroyed. Completed EQIP applications need to be received by NRCS, and eligibility requirements need to be established with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by Aug. 19, 2021.
Due to the emergency nature of this fund pool, limited conservation practices will be allowed. Please click here to visit the NRCS Drought Recovery website for additional information. NRCS encourages operators and producers affected by drought or wildfire to contact their local USDA Service Center for the documents to help the local office expedite assistance, such as farm records, and pictures of damages or losses.
Assistance for communities
Where NRCS doesn’t have the ability to assist through this emergency signup, there are additional USDA programs available, depending on the need. The FSA also has a number of disaster assistance programs to help offset eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Emergency Conservation Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and Tree Assistance Program. Please contact your local FSA office located in a USDA Service Center to determine what program may exist for your specific circumstance.
When a watershed impairment occurs due to a natural disaster event, the district conservationist serves as the local facilitator for Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) activities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the lead federal agency for Presidentially declared natural disasters. All NRCS emergency work is coordinated with FEMA or its designee. Sponsors must submit a formal request (via mail or email) to the State Conservationist for assistance within 60 days of the natural disaster occurrence or 60 days from the date when access to the sites become available.
For more information, please contact Larry Johnson, EWP program manager, at [email protected] or (509) 323-2955.