USDA-NRCS To Conduct Public Forum on
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is conducting a public forum to receive input from farmers, ranchers, and others on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). “The EQIP Final Rule requires the NRCS to periodically review and update the priorities, utilizing input from the public and affected stakeholders to ensure the program continues to address natural resource needs,” stated Darrel Dominick, State Conservationist for Oklahoma. NRCS is requesting a review of these priorities so that EQIP can be responsive to any emerging resource issues. Updating the national priorities will help to prepare NRCS for the 2006 program year and for the next Farm Bill reauthorization.
This listening session does not have to be exclusive to EQIP and can be used to gather information on other programs such as the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program or Wetlands Reserve Program. NRCS is interested in determining the following relative to EQIP:
1 What emerging natural resource issues are not addressed by the current national EQIP priorities?
2 What modifications, if any, are needed to the four existing national priorities: (1) Reduction of non-point source pollution, (2) Reduction of emissions, (3) Reduction of soil erosion and sedimentation, and (4) Promotion of at risk species habitat conservation?
Oklahoma will have a meeting that is open to the public. Agriculture producers, other USDA program participants, and interested parties are invited to participate in this meeting which will be held on March 8, 2005, from 1–3 pm in the Alpine/Calypso Room at Metro Tech, 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The meeting facility is handicap accessible. If you require special arrangements, please call
405-742-1238 prior to the meeting.
To allow for as many speakers as possible, each speaker will be limited to three minutes. Written or oral comments will be officially received as part of the public record. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by mail or facsimile. Written comments must be postmarked or faxed by March 8, 2005, and addressed to: M. Darrel Dominick, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS, Attention: Kevin Norton, Assistant State Conservationist (Programs), 100 USDA, Suite 206, Stillwater, OK, 74074-2655, Fax (405) 742-1288.
Please call this office at 580-544-2812 or 580-544-3048, if you have questions or need more information.
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