INVASIVE PLANTS REMOVAL FUNDING AVAILABLE
The Blue Ridge PRISM, in conjunction with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), hereby announces the availability of Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funding to assist private landowners with controlling invasive plants. A $643,915 pool of funds has been reserved in the RCPP program solely for work on invasive plants within the PRISM’s 10-county area. The dollar amount available to an eligible landowner depends on many factors, but could be as high as $22,000 spread over a three-year period.
- Owners of nonindustrial private forestland, land used for agriculture or that could be used for agriculture are eligible to apply for this program. A few other eligibility requirements pertain, but only apply in rare instances.
- The land in question must be in the 10 counties served by the Blue Ridge PRISM (Albemarle, Augusta, Clarke, Greene, Madison, Nelson, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, and Warren) and be managed by the applicant.
- Invasive plants to be treated must include at least one of the following 10 high-priority invasive species: tree-of-heaven (paradise tree), autumn olive, Chinese privet, garlic mustard, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese stiltgrass, kudzu, mile-a-minute vine, multiflora rose, and Oriental bittersweet.
OTHER PROGRAM DETAILS
- Each landowner accepted into the RCPP program will sign a three-year Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contract with the NRCS.
- Other species on the Invasive Plant Species list published by the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Division may also be included in the application.
- Acceptance into the program is done through a monthly rolling application process.
HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY
- The program is open now for initial inquiries and commencement of the application process. If you want to have your contract signed over the winter in order to be ready to treat invasive plants when they first emerge in the spring, it is important to start the process now.
- The first contracts are expected to be completed and signed between January and March 2017.
- Your first step: Establish farm records with your USDA’s Farm Service Agency and verify compliance with the provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 or “Farm Bill.” This is a quick process you can do in person or by phone or email through your local FSA agency.
- Your second step: Contact your local NRCS District Conservationist (DC) and say you want to apply for the Blue Ridge PRISM/RCPP program.
- Your third step: Ask to have a DC or your local VA Department of Forestry Area Forester come to your land to develop a conservation plan that evaluates the specific invasive species and areas to be treated.
Your NRCS District Conservationist will walk you through all the required eligibility criteria and application steps.
WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION
Please visit the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program webpage for more details.
Please visit www.blueridgeprism.org or call (434) 218-9139 for resources on invasive species identification and treatment as well as other services available for landowners. The PRISM will be holding information sessions for landowners in its 10-county region. These will be announced on the website.
Or call your local NRCS District Conservationist:
Nelson and Albemarle Counties: Kory Kirkland: Louisa Service Center; firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-967-0091 x3204
Augusta County: Charlie Ivins: Verona Service Center; email@example.com; 540-248-6218 x122
Greene, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties: Rex Rexrode: Culpeper Service Center; firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-825-4200 x101
Rockingham and Page Counties: Cory Guilliams: Harrisonburg Service Center; email@example.com; 540-433-2901 x118
Warren and Clarke Counties: Jeff Barr: Strasburg Service Center; firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-465-2424 x108
As part of this program, the PRISM and the NRCS will provide landowners with a list of potential contractors who provide services related to invasive plant removal and control and restoration of native species. If you are a contractor who is qualified to do this work, have relevant experience and references, are properly certified as a pesticide applicator, and would like to be added to the list, please forward your information to email@example.com.
THE BLUE RIDGE PRISM
The Blue Ridge PRISM is a collaboration of private landowners, conservation organizations, federal agencies, state agencies, local government entities, and companies involved with treating invasive plants. Its mission is to reduce the impact of nonnative, invasive plants in our 2.8-million acre, 10-county region. The Blue Ridge PRISM is a project of the Shenandoah National Park Trust, which is a 501c3 nonprofit and the fiscal sponsor of the Blue Ridge PRISM.
Membership is free and participation is open to the public. We invite you to attend our quarterly meetings, which are usually held in January, April, July, and October. Locations vary. You are welcome to attend meetings to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the RCPP funding opportunity. See our website for exact dates and locations of our quarterly meetings and other pertinent information sessions.
For more information or to be added to our mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.blueridgeprism.org.