Thomas A. Merrill | 4/22/2005 1:17:28 AM
Four listening sessions will be conducted at various locations in the state to give Louisiana citizens a chance to comment on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Known as EQIP, for short, the program is aimed at providing a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
The Louisiana sessions, which are sponsored by the Louisiana Farm Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in conjunction with Louisiana’s 44 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the LSU Ag Center, will be held March 14, March 16 and March 23.
The listening sessions will focus primarily on asking for input concerning whether there are emerging natural resource issues in Louisiana that are not being addressed by current EQIP priorities and practices – as well as what modifications in existing priorities might need to be made to address such issues.
The current national priorities for the program are reduction in nonpoint source pollution, reduction of groundwater contamination, conservation of ground and surface water, reduction of emissions (air quality), reduction of soil erosion promotion of "at-risk" species habitat conservation (wildlife).
The Louisiana listening session dates, times and locations are:
–March 14, 10 a.m., at the Louisiana Farm Bureau State Office, 9516 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, La.
–March 14, 3 p.m., LSU AgCenter’s Acadia Parish Office, 157 Cherokee Drive, Crowley, La. (next to the Acadia Rice Arena).
–March 16, 10 a.m., Holiday Inn Holidome, 1051 US Highway 165, Monroe, La.
–March 23, 10 a.m., Best Western Inn and Suites, 2720 North MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, La.
Written comments not submitted during a listening session also may be sent to Donald W. Gohmert, NRCS State Conservationist, 3737 Government St., Alexandria, La., 71302, or email@example.com. All comments must be received by March 24, 2005.
For more information regarding any of the listening sessions, or if you have any questions, please call (318) 473-7751.
Writer: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or firstname.lastname@example.org