Stillwater News Press

Local News

October 22, 2013

Work resumes in all 77 county conservation offices

STILLWATER, Okla. — All 77 Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in Oklahoma have resumed work with farmers and ranchers on conservation measures, Oklahoma State Conservationist Gary O’Neill said Tuesday.

The offices had been closed by the partial federal government shutdown.

“We recognize the hardship that the shutdown has placed on farmers and ranchers who are actively engaged in conservation programs on their land, and we are working to address the backlog of requests as expediently as possible,” he said.

NRCS is able to proceed with the implementation of several conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

However, authority to enroll acres in several other programs such as the Wetlands Reserve Program lapsed on Sept. 30 due to the expiration of the Farm Bill.

“During FY 2012, Oklahoma NRCS delivered $41.2 million in financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who are actively engaged in conserving the land,” O’Neill said.

 This assistance was provided through various Farm Bill programs.

For more information, producers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center or visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov.

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