State's endangered species get 6,000 acres

Thursday, August 18, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Julia A. Wickard recently announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the reallocation of 6,000 acres to Indiana through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) initiative entitled State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE).

SAFE acres are devoted to four project areas for the purpose of benefiting specific threatened and endangered species in Indiana.

SAFE practices target the habitat rehabilitation for the Northern Bobwhite Quail, Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wren/Grasshopper Sparrow and Indiana Bat.

SAFE is a continuous CRP practice that provides the flexibility to meet specific needs of high value wildlife species in participating states. The conservation practices offered under CRP are fine tuned through SAFE to improve, connect and create higher quality habitat to promote healthier ecosystems in the areas identified as essential to the high priority species.

"Producers within a SAFE area can submit offers to voluntarily enroll acres in CRP contracts for 10-15 years. In exchange, producers receive annual CRP rental payments, incentives and cost-share assistance to establish habitat-enhancing natural covers on eligible land," Wickard said.

The additional 6,000 acres brings Indiana's allocation to 19,100 acres. Enrollment in SAFE is limited to 850,000 acres throughout the nation.

"Each of the four priority areas have state acreage enrollment limits," Wickard said. "Consequently, offers will be accepted by FSA until the acreage allocation is reached.

I encourage producers to contact their local office for availability."

For more information on SAFE, contact a local FSA officer or log on to

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