Conservation assistance, funding for landowners

The Whidbey Island Conservation District will be hosting a workshop Thursday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Coupeville Library in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

NRCS staff will be discussing upcoming conservation assistance and funding programs available to qualified forest owners, farmers and ranchers. Some programs are:

• Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to qualified landowners who wish to plan and install measures to protect soil, water, air and other natural resources on their land. The application deadline for regular EQIP projects is Aug. 19. EQIP also includes a new organic program for farmers; the Organic EQIP provides additional opportunities for organic growers already certified organic as well as those transitioning to organic farming. The deadline for organic EQIP is expected to be early next year, although applications are accepted on an on-going basis.

• Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is available to landowners who wish to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural and forest lands.

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) offers landowners the opportunity to establish long-term conservation practices to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their property.

For further information contact Karen Bishop at or 678-4708; Jared Hamman at the Mt. Vernon NRCS office at 360-428-7684 or, or visit the Washington NRCS website at


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