Cost Share Programs

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Environmental Quality Incentive Program - EQIP

What is EQIP?

The Environmental Quality Incentive Program is a program authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill; otherwise known as the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. It was signed into law on 5/13/02. It is codified in Title II - Conservation, Subtitle D - Environmental Quality Incentives, sec. 2301.

What does it do?

EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Provides incentives in the form of cost share payments to implement conservation practices including forestry management practices on non-industrial private forestland. Program focus is geared towards livestock and agricultural production interests. The majority of practices will likely be funded at 50%. Limited resource producers and beginning farmers and ranchers may be eligible for cost-shares up to 90%.

Who administers the program?

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will administer the program.

How is it funded and at what level?

Funding will be available via the Commodity Credit Corporation to the tune of $1.6 billion from FFY 03 through FFY 07. Sixty percent of the funding will be earmarked for livestock production practices, including grazing. There isn't a set amount designated for forestry related practices.

Who is eligible to receive this funding?

Agricultural producers, individual or entities engaged in livestock, agricultural production or forestry management may participate in EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pasture and private non-industrial forestland.

What practices are eligible for financial assistance?

The State Conservationist, with advice of the State Technical Committee, identifies which conservation practices are eligible. Local work groups assist in identifying practices to treat the locally identified resource concerns. All practices must be implemented in conformance to NRCS standards and specifications. Examples of practices include nutrient management, manure management, integrated pest management, irrigation water management and wildlife habitat enhancement. The bill allows for cost share assistance for forestry management practices provided they are acceptable to the above mentioned committees and groups. This is where opportunities exist for forestry to make inroads.

What is the State Technical Committee?

It is an entity authorized under law to provide advice to NRCS State Conservationist on implementation of conservation programs. The membership of the Committee includes representatives of Federal, State and local government agencies, tribes, non-government organizations, conservation districts, business and agriculture producers.

Who serves on the local work groups?

These groups, convened by the conservation district, include representatives from the conservation district board, NRCS, FSA county committees and staff, the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. Other Federal, State, local agencies and agricultural producers are also represented on the local work groups. Forestry minded individuals should gain access to these groups promoting forestry to secure acceptance and funding of forestry conservation practices.

When are the funds expected to be available?

October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2007.

Where can I get additional information?

Visit web site:​​​​

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Woodland Incentive Program - WIP

Purpose: Provide cost sharing assistance for tree planting, site preparation and timber stand improvement practices.

Scope: The program pays up to 65% of eligible practices and is available to owners of at least 5 forest acres but not more than 1,000 acres that, when appropriate, has the potential to be harvested for products including logs, timbers, pulpwood, firewood, woodchips, poles, piles, posts and other primary forest products, has not been subject to federal cost-share assistance in any of the 5 years preceding application for the same practice and has not received Woodland Incentive Program assistance in any of the 15 years preceding application for the same practice.

Description: Eligible landowners can apply for specific practices through their local forester. If approved, landowners complete the practices and pay for the goods and/or services. The local forester will then inspect the practice to ensure proper implementation. Upon approval by the forester, copies of the invoices and checks used to pay the invoices are submitted to the forester for processing. The landowner will then receive a reimbursement check for up to 65% of their costs. Eligible practices include: thinning, pruning, prescribed burning, crop tree release, site preparation for natural or artificial reforestation, herbicide treatments and planting of seedlings.

Annual Accomplishments: Approximately $100,000 is distributed to 75-100 landowners for management practices on 1,500 - 2,000 acres.

Contact Person:
Your local DNR forester or Dan Rider

Maryland DNR Forest Service
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

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Glatfelter Pulpwood Company - GPC

Purpose: Provide cost-share assistance for reforestation, site preparation and timber stand improvement practices.

Scope: Program is available to private landowners who meet certain eligibility requirements. Glatfelter Pulpwood Company will pay for half of the seedlings used in reforestation efforts. Program varies by county for eligibility and number of seedlings available.

Contact Person:
Contact Person: your local DNR forester or Dan Rider

Maryland DNR Forest Service
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service wants to know if this service is helpful
for you or your company, please send comments and/or suggestions to Maryland DNR.​​​​