WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input on Nonindustrial Private Forest Land (NIPF) related to technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“We want to ensure we continue program consistency across USDA agencies with how we are defining nonindustrial private forest lands,” said NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton. “It’s important that our conservation assistance reach all eligible lands in accordance with proper criteria to ensure we enroll eligible lands that hold meaningful opportunities.”
NRCS welcomes input from stakeholders to assist with the development of guidance about how to identify NIPF for program enrollment purposes. NRCS must ensure that such guidance is consistent with how other USDA agencies identify NIPF under identical or similar programmatic frameworks. This request for input is to improve transparency about how NRCS makes land eligibility determinations with respect to forest lands.
The nonindustrial private forest land criteria will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after consideration of all comments.
NRCS invites input on this technical guidance through January 19, 2021. Electronic comments must be submitted through regulations.gov under Docket no. NRCS–2020–0009. All written comments received will be publicly available on http://www.regulations.gov
Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) protected an additional 1,368 acres on Pine Mountain near Cumberland, Kentucky, establishing the Warbler Ridge Preserve. The preserve combines this newly acquired tract with land protected in 2017, creating its largest preserve totaling 2,456 acres. This is one of the most unique conservation projects in its history.
This project builds upon the Trust’s 25-year history of working to protect Pine Mountain, a biologically diverse and climate resilient landscape that is important to local, regional and global communities. Pine Mountain is a 180,000-acre wildlands corridor running from Tennessee through Kentucky to Virginia. Learn more about the KNLT
Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor project.
The preserve protects the headwaters of several tributaries to Kentucky and Cumberland rivers whose waters flow into the Ohio River forming the fourth-largest watershed on the planet.