FSA allocates an additional 400,000 acres for SAFE
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-- The USDA Farm Service Agency in Illinois has announced
that FSA has allocated an additional 400,000 acres nationwide to the
State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement program, or SAFE, which
improves habitat for high-priority wildlife species.
"SAFE is a voluntary conservation initiative that provides an
opportunity for grass-roots conservation partners to develop
related projects to address high-priority wildlife needs through
habitat restoration," said Scherrie V. Giamanco, FSA state
SAFE project area proposals are being
accepted for the purpose of improving habitats for the
designated wildlife species in new areas as well as possibly
expanding current project areas by requesting additional
acreage. Project sponsors must submit all proposals as soon as
possible, but no later than the May 15, as the State Technical
Committee is scheduled to complete the proposal review process
The Illinois FSA State Committee will complete the final
review and submit recommended proposals to the national FSA
office for final evaluation no later than June 1.
Various conservation practices currently offered under the
Conservation Reserve Program are fine-tuned through the SAFE
proposal to improve, connect or create higher-quality wildlife
habitats by promoting healthier ecosystems in the project areas
identified as essential to the effective management of
high-priority wildlife species.
Giamanco added, "Once a project proposal is approved and
acreage allocated, the SAFE program is implemented through a
continuous CRP signup, allowing USDA to accept producer acreage
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As with other Conservation Reserve Program initiatives, the land and
producer must meet certain eligibility requirements. Once approval
of the SAFE project is announced, interested landowners can submit
offers to voluntarily enroll qualifying acres in a SAFE project and
CRP contract for a term of 10 to 15 years. In exchange, SAFE-CRP
program participants receive annual rental payments, project
incentives and cost-share assistance to establish habitat-enhancing
natural covers on eligible land.
According to Giamanco, Illinois currently has 12,600 acres across
the state enrolled in existing SAFE program project areas.
For additional details on SAFE project areas, including the
format to submit proposals, visit
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ and click on "Conservation Programs" or
email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
at the Illinois FSA office.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Service Agency]