INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 25, 2014 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Indiana Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Julia A. Wickard, today announced that additional acres in Indiana are now available for wildlife habitat improvement incentives.

USDA Approves 9,600 More Acres in Indiana for Wildlife Habitat

Contact:
Donna Ferguson (317) 290-3315
donna.ferguson@in.usda.gov

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 25, 2014 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Indiana Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Julia A. Wickard, today announced that additional acres in Indiana are now available for wildlife habitat improvement incentives.

“We can accept offers to enroll more acres in Indiana for farmers interested in protecting local threatened species,” said Wickard. “In exchange for creating habitat for these species, USDA will provide participants with rental payments and help with expenses.”

This opportunity comes from the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) whereby Farm Service Agency enters into contracts with participants so that environmentally sensitive land is not farmed, but instead used for wildlife habitat.

Indiana conservation partners have specifically identified habitat concerns for the following species: Indiana Bat, Northern Bobwhite Quail, Sedge Wren Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow Sparrow, Ringneck Pheasant, and the American Woodcock.

Program participants establish long-term plant species to control soil erosion, improve water quality, or strengthen declining wildlife populations. In return, participants receive annual rental payments between 10 and 15 years.

The SAFE program allows state fish and wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations and other conservation partners to target the Conservation Reserve Program within distinct geographic areas to help wildlife. SAFE is limited to 1.35 million acres nationally, with 97 projects in 36 states and Puerto Rico.

Statewide farmers and landowners have committed to establish 13,900 acres of valuable habitat since 2008. This announcement brings the total available acres for additional enrollment to 9,600 acres. Statewide acres are allotted to specific wildlife and areas in the state. For information regarding available acres in your area, contact your local FSA office at offices.usda.gov or visit the website at www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.

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