Funding Forest Stewardship – Enhance Forest Health

For the third installment in the Funding Your Forest series, we’re focusing on ways to improve the diversity and productivity of your forest. Stewarding a forest that is diverse in species, age and size classes, with appropriate stocking densities is beneficial to the entire ecosystem – supporting resilience to diseases and pests, and boosts overall productivity. So to speak – it diversifies your forest’s investment portfolio.

The objective of enhancing forest health can be accomplished in a variety of ways and typically includes:

  • pre-commercial thinning,
  • planting native trees and shrubs, and
  • removing invasive species – mechanically or chemically.

For example, forest stand improvement (EQIP code 666), or pre-commercial thinning, entails removing individual trees that are declining (being out competed by neighboring trees) thereby freeing up resources (light, water and space) for the remaining trees to grow more robust. This not only increases the production of wood volume, it also reduces susceptibility to disease and pests, and in some applications can reduce the risk of wildfire. Tree and shrub establishment (EQIP code 612), or planting, can enhance wildlife habitat and overall species diversity in the forest. Removing invasive species and controlling understory vegetation (EQIP code 490) gives seedlings and young trees the resources to establish and grow.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) can be an resource for woodland owners, providing  financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices that will strengthen the ecological resilience and diversity of their forests. If you are interested in applying any of the above practices to your forest and would like to obtain funding through EQIP, contact your local NRCS office to discuss the projects you have in mind. NRCS has also provided a handy quick guide for basic information on slash treatment options, eligibility and more. For more information about EQIP, check out our EQIP page.

The deadling for 2018 EQIP funding in Washington State is November 17, 2017. The Oregon deadline has not yet been announced, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

We realize EQIP may not be the right fit for everyone’s needs, so we’ve included additional resources. We’ve identified cost-share programs, funding, and other resources, as well as information on how to do-it-yourself – all centered around improving forest health by enhancing its diversity. Scroll down to check out the links!

Funding Forest Stewarship

Programs in Oregon

Cost-share/Grants

  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

    The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants in the program will receive payments for conservation performance.

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

    The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) targets high-priority conservation issues – in Oregon, the purpose of the program is to restore, maintain, and enhance streamside areas along agricultural lands to benefit fish, wildlife, and water quality. Landowners enrolled in CREP receive annual rental payments, incentive payments, and cost share payments to install conservation measures such as planting trees and shrubs, installing fencing, livestock watering facilities, and other approved conservation measures.  Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility in Oregon. For further information about the program, including rental payment information, eligibility and maintenance criteria, and land requirements, visit your local FSA office.

  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Grant Programs  

    The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) is a state agency that provides grants to help Oregonians take care of local streams, rivers, wetlands and natural areas. Projects can range from monitoring to restoration to outreach.

  • Oregon State Weed Board Grant Program

    This grant program allows the Oregon State Weed Board (OSWB) to fund and administer noxious weed control projects in partnership with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB). Tristen Berg can be contacted at tberg@oda.state.or.us or 503-986-4622, or you can visit the grant website for more information.

    • There may also be County-wide weed programs. Visit this website to find the contact for your county.
  • Access & Habitat Grant Program

    To qualify for A&H funding, a project must improve wildlife habitat, increase public hunting access to private land or solve a wildlife damage issue. Some examples of projects that have been approved and implemented to date include development of wetland habitat, noxious weed control, and improving wildlife forage on private lands. Projects may be on private or public lands, through preference is given to projects on private lands. Before filling out an Access & Habitat grant application, project applicants are asked to contact the ODFW Regional Coordinator in the vicinity of the proposed project. The Regional Coordinator will give applicants advice on planning their projects and help maximize their chance of being awarded a grant. The next deadline is August 21, 2015!

  • Benton Soil & Water Conservation Incentive Program

    Benton Conservation District’s Conservation Incentive Program, funded through local property taxes, is available to help Benton County landowners implement conservation practices on their land. The program’s primary goals are to protect and maintain water and soil quality. View the application and apply now!

    • Other conservation districts: Please call your local conservation district and ask them about possible cost-share programs and technical assistance for landowners. There are many smaller programs offered within the county or conservation district that aren’t well-advertised. Call today and see what opportunities are available to you! Visit the Conservation District Directory to find out who to call.

Do-It-Yourself

  • NRCS Tips for Planting Trees & Shrubs

  • Noxious Weed Control

    The Noxious Weed Control Program by the Oregon Department of Agriculture serves as a leader in protecting valued natural and agricultural resources from the introduction and spread of noxious weeds. Staff members can provide assistance to those implementing integrated weed management projects across the state. For more information, contact Noxious Weed Control at (503) 986-4621.

Other

  • Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management Program (WHCMP)

    The habitat program was created to offer an incentive for private landowners who want to provide wildlife habitat on their properties. Under the habitat program, land subject to an approved wildlife habitat conservation and management plan receives a wildlife habitat special assessment, where property taxes are assessed at the relatively low value that would apply if the land were being farmed or used for commercial forestry. For more information, call your local ODFW office or visit the ODFW website.

  • Tillamook Backyard Planting Program

    TEP’s Backyard Planting Program (BYPP) is a cost-free, voluntary assistance program for private landowners that want to remove invasive species from their streamsides and improve habitats for fish and wildlife. All of the work including planning, invasive species removal, and maintenance (2-3 years) are provided completely free of charge to the landowner.


Programs in Washington

Cost-share/Grants

  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

    The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants in the program will receive payments for conservation performance.

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

    The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) targets high-priority conservation issues – in Washington state, restoration efforts are centered around riparian restoration for salmon habitat, which includes planting around streams. Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility in Washington. For further information about the program, including rental payment information, eligibility and maintenance criteria, and land requirements, visit your local FSA office.

  • Eastern Washington Cost-Share Program

    Landowners located in Eastern Washington who are interested in improving forest health or reducing wildfire and bark beetle risk should apply to this cost-share program through DNR and the US Forest Service. Another version of the application is here. Deadline is September 30, 2015.

  • King Conservation District cost-share funding

    The District’s Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) provides landowners with cost-share assistance to support implementation of conservation practices on private property. Landowner expenses associated with pre-approved conservation practices are matched with KCD cost-share funding at a ratio of 50% to 90% of the total cost of projects – LIP funds 75% of forest management practices.

  • San Juans Cost-Share Program

    The San Juan Islands Conservation District has begun a voluntary, cost-share assistance program that helps land owners install conservation best management practices to conserve and protect water quality, improve irrigation, manage nutrient run-off and/or animal waste, improve the health of native plant communities and reduce soil loss. In general, half the costs are covered and landowners are paid for the work they are able to do or they can hire contractors. Please call the San Juan Islands Conservation District to ensure eligibility and to begin the application process. The number is 360.378.6621 or email @ info@sanjuanislandscd.org. Visit San Juan Islands CD website for more information.

  • Underwood Conservation District Cost-Share Program

    UCD is currently seeking landowners and occupiers with small conservation project ideas that will improve natural resource conditions and stewardship. Please write or call Carly McNeil at carly@ucdwa.org, or (509) 493-1936 to discuss your project idea. UCD has provided a Cost-Share Pre-Application for your convenience when planning your project.

  • Other conservation districts: Please call your local conservation district and ask them about possible cost-share programs for landowners. There are many smaller programs offered within the county or conservation district that aren’t well-advertised. Call today and see what opportunities are available to you! Visit the Conservation District Directory to find out who to call.

Do-It-Yourself

  • NRCS Tips for Planting Trees & Shrubs

  • WA DNR Forest Practices Guide

    Here’s where to find help if you’re interested in harvesting timber, building or repairing forest roads or culverts, thinning your forest, or want to know about other forest practices. You can apply for a forest practices permit and find forest practices forms, fees and technical requirements to follow when working in the woods here

  • WSU Extension Forest Stewardship University

    Forest Stewardship University offers a complete online education experience, featuring over 20 online mini-courses on a wide range of topics specific to Washington forests.

  • Family Forest Field Day

    Field days will be held throughout Western Washington this year in a variety of locations. The state’s top forestry specialists will be offering hands-on field sessions throughout the day on a variety of topics including forest health, thinning, pruning, tree planting, and invasive weed control. Below are each of the four field days – click on each of them to find out more information!

Other

  • Forest Stewardship Coached Planning

    WSU’s flagship course teaches landowners how to assess your trees and implement conservation practices that will benefit their forest. Courses start across the state at different times, so refer to the link to discover upcoming offerings for Spring 2018.


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