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FSA assistance available for private forest damage

On July 1, straight line winds caused severe damage to forest land in areas of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties. Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance ...

On July 1, straight line winds caused severe damage to forest land in areas of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties. Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) that is administered by the Farmer Service Agency, if the damage is caused by a natural disaster on NIPF land that if left untreated would impair or endanger the natural resources on the land and materially affect the use of the land.

FSA is currently conducting an assessment of the extent of damage and eligibility in these areas. Contact your county FSA office by Sept. 30 to report possible eligible damage. The nearest FSA office is located in Ashland County. The phone number is (715) 682-9117. The county executive director, Carl Beckman, can also be contacted via e-mail at carl.beckman@wi.usda.gov .

A landowner qualifying for EFRP assistance may receive financial assistance levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. The emergency measures must restore forest health and forest-related resources. The following types of measures may be eligible: Removing debris from NIPF, site preparation on NIPF, tree planting on NIPF and restoring conservation structures and other similar installations.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met: An application for financial assistance (FSA-848) has been filed and approved by FSA, the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area and the DNR forester has made a needs determination to determine activities required for rehabilitation.

Landowners should contact their local FSA county offices with any questions about EFRP or to report damage. Landowners can also learn more about ERFP or find county office contact information by visiting www.fsa.usda.gov .

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENTWEATHER
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