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ENVIRO-NEWS  June 2009

ENVIRO-NEWS June 2009

Subject:

Vilsack Announces Floodplain Easement Selections Through Recovery Act Funding

From:

"Makuch, Joseph" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Makuch, Joseph

Date:

Tue, 2 Jun 2009 14:10:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (138 lines)

USDA
Release No. 0191.09 
Contact: Chris Mather (202) 257-8446 
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623   

Vilsack Announces Floodplain Easement Selections Through Recovery Act
Funding 

Builds on USDA Efforts to Create Jobs, Help Rural Communities and
Conserve Natural Resources   

TERRE HAUTE, Ind., June 2, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
today selected 289 applications for the first national sign-up for
floodplain easements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA) of 2009. The easements will cover more the 36,000 acres of land
in 36 states. 

"The floodplain easements made possible through the Recovery Act
generated tremendous interest and response from across the country,
which underscores the need to restore flood-prone areas to their natural
state," said Vilsack. "We are working to create jobs and ensure the most
effective use of the funds by enrolling land with the greatest benefit
to protect against future floods, improve water quality, enhance
wildlife habitat and reduce the need for future disaster assistance." 

"For example, a 490-acre project area involving three easements along
the Wabash River in Indiana will convert cropland damaged by flooding
and erosion to permanent native vegetation," Vilsack said. "In addition
to reducing flood damage to the floodplain, these restoration activities
will protect the habitats of two state-listed threatened and endangered
species, increase available carbon sequestration, restore riparian
habitats and reduce commodity payments on 260 acres of cropland." 

USDA received $145 million in the ARRA to acquire floodplain easements
and restore the land to its natural state while helping maintain jobs in
rural America. 

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program's floodplain easement
component allows USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to
acquire permanent easements on private land, or certain land owned by
units of state and local governments, that have been damaged by flooding
at least once in the last 12 months or twice in the past 10 years. Once
the easements have been established, NRCS will fund conservation work
necessary to restore the land to its natural state. 

Restoring floodplains to a natural state ensures they function properly
- conserving and improving fish and wildlife habitat, water quality,
flood water retention, ground water recharge, and open space; reducing
long-term federal disaster assistance; and safeguarding lives and
property from floods, drought, and erosion. Landowners retain several
rights to the property, including quiet enjoyment, control of public
access, and undeveloped recreational use such as hunting and fishing. 

During this ARRA floodplain easement sign-up, USDA received more than
4,200 applications, totaling over $1.4 billion and representing 479,000
acres of flood-prone land in 47 states and territories. 

All applications were submitted voluntarily and were rigorously screened
to ensure they met specific criteria before selection, such as the
impact and connectivity of streams and floodplains, their proximity to
wetlands and wildlife habitat, and the likelihood of generating jobs
through restoration activities. These activities include, but are not
limited to, removal of structures that impede or alter water flow;
re-establishing natural vegetation; and restoring fish migration routes.


Floodplain Easement Applications - 5/19/09 

State	Number of Applications	Acres 	Funding
	
Alabama	3	1,152	$2,971,627	
Alaska	13	379	$3,120,424	
Arkansas	8	1,501	$2,237,586	
California	6	970	$7,970,784	
Colorado	3	629	$614,234	
Connecticut	1	65	$888,270	
Georgia	5	563	$3,647,268	
Illinois	10	1,403	$5,946,931	
Indiana	13	3,016	$8,150,472	
Iowa	42	4,240	$24,135,568	
Kansas	3	853	$2,294,232	
Kentucky	6	810	$3,585,541	
Louisiana	2	1,052	$1,798,528	
Maine	3	73	$469,665	
Maryland	1	166	$667,849	
Michigan	1	108	$515,574	
Minnesota	14	1,388	$2,421,541	
Mississippi	6	1,390	$2,596,164	
Missouri	10	1,507	$4,817,131	
Nebraska	1	139	$361,260	
New Hampshire	2	32	$569,403	
New Jersey	1	167	$841,164	
New York	14	409	$2,007,966	
North Carolina	3	62	$741,000	
North Dakota	27	4,504	$11,802,508	
Ohio	23	1,074	$4,533,426	
Oklahoma	4	1,766	$2,810,520	
Oregon	3	677	$3,035,826	
Pennsylvania	5	34	$1,340,340	
Rhode Island	4	137	$2,347,200	
South Carolina	1	435	$559,500	
South Dakota	3	768	$1,904,514	
Tennessee	3	498	$1,751,895	
Washington	4	284	$1,687,815	
West Virginia	18	17	$1,389,700	
Wisconsin	23	4,040	$19,718,769	
Total	289	36,308	$136,252,195	


Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009 is part of the Obama Administration's plans to modernize the
nation's infrastructure, jumpstart the economy, and create jobs. For
more information, visit www.recovery.gov . 

To learn more about your eligibility for USDA projects underway through
the Recovery Act, go to www.usda.gov . 


#
[USDA news releases are available in the "Newsroom" section at
http://www.usda.gov/. ]

***********************************************
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Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at
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The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
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nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
the item. See
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You can contact the list owner at
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