The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reopened sign-ups for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to Kentucky landowners. The deadline to sign up for general participation is Feb. 28, 2020, while sign-ups for more permanent structures within the program are ongoing. Participants receive an annual stipend for their contribution to conservation.

Landowners enrolled in the program contribute to improved water quality, reduced soil erosion, tourism and other economic development opportunities by removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural use and then incorporating native plant species. Landowners can select a 10- or 15-year partnership or elect to have a permanent easement established as part of the continuous Conservation Reserve Program.

Across the country, the conservation program boasts an enrollment of 22 million acres. However, the 2018 Farm Bill recently raised the cap to 27 million acres, giving even more landowners the opportunity to help restore local habitats.

For more information about the Conservation Reserve Program or to enroll in the program, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) liaison with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Contact information for the liaison serving your area may be found online at fw.ky.gov by searching under the keywords, "NRCS Liaison." Landowners may also contact their local Farm Service Agency county office or go online to fsa.usda.gov/crp.

For information about hunting and fishing regulations or for general inquiries, contact the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 during weekday working hours, or email the center at Info.Center@ky.gov.

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