USDA Awards $4.1 to Fund Invasive Species Control

Twenty-seven projects in 20 states receiving month to manage and control invasive plants, animals or insects that affect grazing lands.

Friday USDA Under Secretary Mark Rey awarded $4.1 million to fund 27 projects in 20 states to manage and control invasive plants, animals or insects that adversely affect private and tribal grazing lands.

"These grants will develop and strengthen partnerships among private landowners, organizations and state and local governments to prevent the spread of invasive species on our nation's valuable grazing lands," Rey says. "Farmers and ranchers take great care of the land and by working together we can maintain this national treasure."

Rey announced the grants in Powell County, Mont. The Powell County Weed Board, a grant recipient, received more than $120,000 to help about 300 producers combat 18 invasive weeds in that county and parts of Missoula and Lewis and Clark counties within the Blackfoot Watershed.

Funding for the 27 grants was provided from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Technical Assistance Program through the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. GLCI is a partnership of individuals and organizations whose objective is to maintain and improve the management, productivity and health of the nation's privately owned grazing land.

This is the first year USDA has offered these grants. USDA received 89 applications from 25 states totaling more than $20 million in requests. Twenty-seven grants, ranging from $50,000 to $300,000, were awarded to fund projects in 20 states.

Selected through national competition, the approved grants will fund one to three-year projects to control and manage invasive species. The grantees - state and local governments, tribes and non-governmental organizations - must provide at least 50% of the project cost with non-federal funds and/or in-kind contributions.

Approved projects will inventory, map, contain or eradicate invasive species affecting grazing lands on a local, watershed, state or regional basis. In another example, the Stillwater County Weed District in Montana will use integrated pest management - including biological, chemical and cultural techniques - to combat invasive weeds on 9,000 acres of grazing lands. Ninety-five landowners will benefit from this project.

Limited resource farmers and ranchers and federally-recognized Native American tribes also benefit from the grants. USDA will fund projects in eight states - Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Washington - totaling $1.4 million to help limited resource farmers and ranchers and tribes control and manage invasive species. For example, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation in Washington will develop and implement an Integrated Weed Management Plan for the reservation's entire 1.2 million acres. The Seminole Tribe in Florida plans to track invasive species through a database linked to a geographic information system. The West Virginia State Conservation Agency and other partners will help 400 farmers, including many limited resource farmers, control multiflora rose and autumn olive, noxious weeds that infest their grazing lands.

A state listing of the GLCI grants can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci/GLCI-tom.pdf. Additional information about the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish