The new Farm Bill will be finalized very soon. Hill Country Conservancy and its partners have played, and continue to play, a big role in ensuring passage of this important legislation. We frequently talk with elected officials on both sides of the aisle, to remind them of the important stewardship efforts of private landowners. Such efforts are even more critical here in Texas where 95% of land is privately owned. In short, our representatives and senators must understand, and be reminded frequently, that ALL Texans benefit greatly from rural landowners’ efforts to preserve water, wildlife, and agricultural viability on private lands.
Landowners are generally well aware of the importance of the Farm Bill, but they may not know of all of the programs in the Farm Bill that might help them to meet their goals. Following are a few in which some of our landowner partners have participated:
- The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance for stewardship activities related to improving water quality, reducing erosion and sedimentation, and enhancing or restoring wildlife habitat. Examples include brush management, overseeding of native species, etc. You can find your local NRCS agent here for more information, or contact HCC directly.
- The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) includes annual payments for a variety of land stewardship activities that may already take place on your property. You can find your local NRCS agent here for more information, or contact HCC directly.
- The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program provides compensation to landowners who choose to place conservation easements on their land in order to keep in intact for future generations. This program is extremely competitive, as funding is limited. Contact HCC directly for more information.