A Local Working Group that provides advice on the priorities for many U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs will meet May 7, 2014 at the Little Blue NRD office beginning at 9:30 A.M. The Little Blue NRD office is located at 100 East 5th Street in Davenport. The public is encouraged to attend and express their natural resource concerns. Ideas generated from the public will help the U.S. Department of Agriculture tailor their natural resource programs to meet the needs identified locally.
There is a Local Working Group in each Natural Resources District (NRD). Membership on the Local Working Group includes Federal, State, county, Tribal or local government representatives according to Janet Valasek, district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) whose agency guides the Local Working Group.
“The Local Working Group recommends to the NRCS State Conservationist how conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), or Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) would be used most effectively in their area. This recommendation can include special target areas, cost share rates on conservation programs, which conservation practices should have cost assistance, or how many dollars could be needed,” said Miss Valasek.
This work group allows local input into how Federal dollars are spent, she said. For example, in 2012, over $75 million dollars were committed to farmers and ranchers statewide through NRCS conservation programs. These programs helped landowners and operators make natural resource improvements to their land, water, or wildlife. This funding was allocated according to the priorities set by the Local Working Group.
For more information about the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the programs and services they provide, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.