Conservation security program sign-up for Upper Beaver Watershed, Feb. 13- March 31

The Upper Beaver Watershed is one of 60 selected for funding this year under the Conservation Security Program. The budget for CSP in fiscal year 2006 is $259 million. Focusing on selected watersheds reduces the administrative burden on applicants and reduces the costs of processing a large number of applications that cannot be funded. This makes sense economically, practically, and administratively. In fiscal year 2006, CSP will touch 60 watersheds (one or more in every State, the Caribbean area and Guam ), 380 counties, and about 380 local conservation districts. Combined, these watersheds include more than 62 million acres, an area about the size of Oregon . More than 75,000 farms and ranches are within these watershed boundaries and they cover more than 25 million acres, an area about the size of Kentucky . About half of this working agricultural land is cropland and half is grazing land. A map showing the locations of the watersheds is online at:

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/

The Conservation Security Program is a unique program focusing on stewardship of the land that goes beyond the past approach of addressing on-farm conservation problems. CSP is a voluntary program, which, “Rewards the best and encourages the rest”, providing payments for those who have been applying good stewardship of soil and water resources on working agricultural lands. In addition, CSP creates powerful incentives for other producers wishing to exceed the minimum levels of resource protection and enhance the natural resources on the land to meet those same standards of conservation stewardship performance.

How to Participate

1. Access the CSP self-assessment workbook either online at the address below, or by getting a hard copy at the local USDA Service Centers within the watersheds. Cimarron Co. producers may pick one up at the Boise City NRCS Office at 210 S. Cimarron.

2. Using the workbook, producers (1) determine whether they meet basic eligibility requirements, (2) document their stewardship work to date, and

(3) prepare a benchmark inventory documenting conservation they have undertaken so far.

3. Make an appointment to attend a self-assessment workbook meeting if you have questions. Attend other CSP public meetings.

4. Make an appointment to submit the completed self-assessment workbook to the local NRCS office during the sign-up period. The interview between you and NRCS personnel will determine if further documentation is needed. Due to an anticipated heavy workload, it is advised to make your appointment now.

5. NRCS determines the enrollment category for which the producer qualifies.

6. Finally, NRCS will select the categories to be funded for CSP contracts.

All CSP applications that meet sign-up criteria will be placed in an enrollment category regardless of available funding. In addition to legal contract requirements, the categories will consider the applicants' current

stewardship (soil condition, tillage intensity, existing practices, and activities) and will sort producers based on these factors. Categories also will examine producers' willingness to perform additional conservation activities during their CSP contract.

WORKSHOP DATES

NRCS-Boise City Field Office will be holding Self Assessment Workbook workshops on Thursdays, Feb. 23, March 2,9,16, and 23 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Boise City Field Office. If you have questions regarding the program or workbook, please call 580-544-2812, EXT 3 to reserve a spot in one of the workshops. Please bring your workbooks or lists of questions.

MAPS

Please call the NRCS-Boise City Field Office,580-544-2812, EXT 3 or Cimarron Co. Conservation District, 580-544-3048 to request maps for delineation of agricultural lands. If planning to attend workshops, call for maps 2 days in advance of the workshop.

For More Information

For additional information about CSP, contact the NRCS-Boise City Field Office at 580-544-2812, EXT 3 or Cimarron County Conservation District at 580-544-3048. Producers with operations in other states in the watershed may contact the respective NRCS Field Offices and District Conservationists for information.

Texas County , TX at (580) 338-7379, Alan Messenger, DC

Dallam County , TX , at (806) 244-2782; David Guest, DC

Sherman County , TX , at (806) 396-2211; Richie Brotherton, DC

Union County , NM , at (505) 374-9461; Ernest Romero, DC

Information also is available on the Internet at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp

Producers may also attend the following public meetings to review eligibility requirements and the self-assessment process:

February 23, 2006 —Texhoma, Texhoma Community Center March 2, 2006 — Guymon Texas County Activity Center 9:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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