USDA Approves 11,200 More Acres in Idaho for Wildlife Habitat
BOISE — U.S. Department of Agriculture Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Mark Samson, today announced that an additional 11,200 acres are now available for wildlife habitat improvement incentives.
“The additional acres have been eagerly anticipated,” said Samson. “Idaho producers are excellent stewards of their lands and work hard to ensure natural areas on their highly erodible acres. Idaho has the largest allocation of enrolled SAFE acres in the United States. The partnership of Idaho FSA and Idaho Fish and Game has increased the number of productive leks (nesting areas) for sharp-tailed grouse in each of the eligible counties.” For more information about the success of Idaho’s SAFE program click here.
This opportunity comes from the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) whereby Farm Service Agency contracts with landowners so that environmentally sensitive land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation.
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.