The Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County Natural Resources Conservation Districts in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking your ideas to focus our work and programming for the future in the Northwest Zone of Vermont via a Locally Led Conservation Survey and Public Local-Led Conservation Meetings!
Northwest Zone Local Led Funding Pool for 2024
Open for Applications until October 20, 2023
WHAT IS LOCALLY-LED CONSERVATION?
Locally led conservation is a collaborative approach where communities, organizations, and individuals at the local level take an active role in planning, implementing, and managing conservation efforts. It empowers local stakeholders to be the decision-makers and drivers of conservation initiatives.
Over the past year and a half, your Northwest Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) held three community meetings, surveyed their communities, and developed a conservation action plan to identify solution-based approaches to resource concerns.
THE OUTCOME A LOCAL FUNDING POOL
Although each county has its unique needs, a common theme emerged – supporting enhanced habitats through native plantings that encourage greater biodiversity, specifically for Vermont’s pollinators, and field- and forest-based practices to support plant and water quality.
These efforts will benefit our local wildlife while also ensuring essential resource protections for our working lands such as erosion control, water quality improvement, wetland restoration, and more. Funding for supporting practices is now available for eligible Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County landowners.
Funding will be available for the 2024 fiscal year to eligible Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County landowners through their local EQIP fund pool. NRCS will provide a total of $50,000 in financial assistance for approved conservation practices that address the resource concerns. Land and producer eligibility must be met to participate.
Resource concerns addressed:
Wind and water erosion
Field, sediment, nutrient, and pathogen loss
Producers, ranchers, and forest landowners who own, lease, or have an interest in operating agricultural land are eligible. Contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to register.
APPROVED PRACTICES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The following NRCS practices are approved for the local funding pool based on survey responses and community feedback in 2022-2023. These practices must address one of the resource concerns listed on the first page.
Waste facility closure
Windbreak / shelterbelt establishment and renovation
Riparian herbaceous cover
Riparian forest buffer
Wildlife habitat planting
Tree or shrub site preparation
Stream habitat improvement and management
Herbaceous wind barriers
Tree or shrub establishment
Wetland wildlife habitat management Upland wildlife habitat management
Early successional habitat development-management
Forest trails and landings
Amending soil properties with lime Soil carbon amendment
HOW TO APPLY
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation District or your local NRCS office.
For additional NRCS program information, application instructions, loan information, and more, visit: farmers.gov
Sign up for Fiscal Year 2024 funding by October 20, 2023.
Help us identify resource priorities for 2025 funding by taking a quick survey
The Northwest Zone of Vermont wants to hear from you! From the shorelines of our lakes and ponds, to the rolling fields dotting mountain roads, to your backyard, every space matters. We want to hear about your natural resource priorities and what we can do to help.
We hope to incorporate the goals and needs of residents into developing priorities for program direction and funding. To do this, we need your help in deciding which natural resource concerns, along with their appropriate solutions, are most important in each of our counties. The survey above is open to all residents, farmers, farm workers, forest owners, loggers, recreators, and resource professionals.
Your feedback will be considered by regional professionals in natural resources management and agriculture, and incorporated into the NRCS's ranking system for awarding financial assistance to producers.
If you have questions or comments, please contact your Conservation District:
Franklin County NRCD
Lauren Weston, District Manager
Lamoille County NRCD
Peter Danforth, District Manager
Grand Isle County NRCD
Molly Varner, District Manager