CRP signup

Information to share from the Farm Service Agency regarding the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the new Voluntary Public Access and
Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP)

FSA has announced a general signup will be held from August 2-27. This is
the first general signup since 2006. Eligible producers include current CRP
participants with contracts expiring on September 30, 2010 (4.5 million
acres). A couple of fact sheets on the signup are attached, one of which
includes a summary of the Environmental Benefits Index that will be used to
rank offers. The CRP interim rule addressing changes made by the 2008 Farm
Bill is also attached. You can access the Final Supplemental EIS developed
for these changes to CRP at
FSA has also revised the CRP Handbook to reflect changes in the rule and
provide specifics as to how these changes will be implemented. To see the
revisions in 2-CRP (Revision 5) you can go to:

(See attached file: crp_ebi39_072010.pdf)(See attached file: 2010 CRP fact

Notices are attached on preparation for the signup (CRP-672) and how the new
exclusion from the 25% county cap for continuous CRP will work (CRP-672).
Links to all of the CRP notices referenced in CRP 672 can be found at
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/notices. Please note that according to CRP-672,
FSA State Conservation Program Specialists are required to work with FWS and
state fish and wildlife agency officials to develop job sheets by practice
for inclusion in the final conservation plan.


FSA is requesting assistance from all their conservation partners to get the
word out on the signup and to help target high priority areas for fish and

The Farm Bill provided $50 million through 2012 for a competitive grants
program available to states and tribes to encourage public access on private
lands for purposes of wildlife dependent recreation, including hunting and
fishing, and other compatible recreation activities, such as wildlife
observation, photography, and environmental education and interpretation.
FSA has published an interim rule and fact sheet for the program (attached).
States and tribes have until August 23 to submit grant applications for the
$16.7 million available in grants for FY 2010.
Another $16.7 million will be available for each of the next two fiscal
years. Additional information is available at:

(See attached file: vpa_hip_factsht.pdf)(See attached file:

Biomass Crop Assistance Program
FSA has published a Final Programmatic EIS on the program and a final rule
is expected soon which would allow implementation of the biomass crop
establishment portion of the program under the targeted implementation
alternative. The link to the EIS is the same as above for the CRP
Supplemental EIS

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Dave Walker
Farm Conservation Programs Coordinator
Division of Habitat and Resource Conservation U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 770
Arlington, VA 22203

Phone: 703-358-2310
Fax: 703-358-2232
E-mail: dave_walker@fws.gov