ALABAMA LANDOWNERS TO GET SHARE OF FLOODPLAIN EASEMENT FUNDS
AUBURN, Ala. -- Landowners in Alabama will have a chance to tap into the $145 million set aside by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to restore an estimated 60,000 acres, nationwide, of frequently flooded land to its natural state, according to the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Auburn.
The funds are available through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the funds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aimed at revitalizing the economy by creating jobs as well as protecting and restoring the environment.
The EWP Program's floodplain easement component allows NRCS to purchase easements on lands damaged by flooding. The restored floodplain will generate benefits, such as increased flood protection, enhanced fish and wildlife habitat, improved water quality, and a reduced need for future public disaster assistance.
Gary Kobylski, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama, announced that eligible landowners can sign up for these easements at their local NRCS offices through March 27, 2009.
"We will be working with landowners who voluntarily agree to restore the floodplains to their natural condition by placing their land into easements," Kobylski said. "These easements will convert environmentally sensitive land into riparian corridors and wooded bottomlands that are so vital for fish and wildlife habitat and to mitigate downstream flooding." USDA has limited spending to $30 million per state.
Easements are a great way to preserve your land, establish a legacy, while maintaining ownership of the land.
For information about the EWP Floodplain Easements Program, contact your local NRCS office or visit the Web site at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ewp/Floodplain/index.html.