Erosion Stabilization         Streambank Stabilization
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USDA Programs   SWCD & Conservation Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)  
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program
   (Kane only) (FRPP)
Forestry Incentive Program (FIP)  
Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP)  
Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)  
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)
Conservation Practices Program (CPP)  
Tax Incentive Program for Filter Strips  
Streambank Stabilization & Restoration Program (SSRP)
USDA Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)   
The Conservation Reserve Program reduces soil erosion, protects the Nation's ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian buffers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is a joint program between the state of Illinois and the USDA to address environmental problems within the Illinois River watershed. The goals of the program are to reduce sedimentation and nutrients in the Illinois River and increase populations of waterfowl and native fish and mussels. The program provides additional incentives for farmers to enroll environmentally sensitive land in the Conservation Reserve program (CRP)

To be eligible for the CREP program, you must be eligible to be enrolled in the continuous CRP Program. It must be cropland that has been cropped 2 out of the last 5 years. For Kane and DuPage Counties, land must be located in the Lower Fox River Watershed which includes Blackberry, Big Rock-Welch, Ferson-Otter, Indian, Little Rock, Mill, and Waubonsee Creeks. Land must meet eligibility requirements as either Highly Erodible Land or Riparian Buffer. Land eligible as Highly Erodible Land must be adjacent to a stream and may be devoted to permanent native grasses, tree planting, or permanent wildlife habitat.

Land eligible as frequently flooded land, farmed wetlands, and prior converted wetlands may be devoted to shallow water areas for wildlife, wildlife food plots, filter strips, riparian buffers, or wetland restoration. Most of the area to be enrolled will be limited to the land within the 100 year floodplain and associated buffer zone.

Participants in the Illinois CREP program will receive a 30% increase above the annual per acre rental rate for enrollment of riparian buffers, filter strips, and wetland restoration or a 20% increase for erodible areas. The Federal Government will pay 50% of the cost of establishing the new vegetative cover and provide $5 an acre for annual maintenance costs.

In addition, landowners who wish to extend their CREP contracts beyond the 15 year federal contract will be offered additional incentives by the State Government. Participants will be offered 15 year, 35 year, or permanent easement options. Those opting for a permanent easement will receive reimbursement of the remaining 50% of costs to establish vegetative practices and a lump sum payment equal to the CRP maximum annual payment times 15 times 30% per acre. Landowners choosing 15 or 35 year easements will receive reimbursement of 40% of the remaining costs to establish practices and 50% or 75% respectively of the lump sum payment for the permanent easement. In addition, those installing filter strips may be eligible for a reduction in property taxes.

The landowners must agree to keep the conservation practices in place for the duration of the easement. There will be no development allowed on the property. The easement does not allow for the right of public access to the property and the landowner retains rights to use the property for undeveloped recreational uses, including hunting and fishing. 
Conservation Stewardship Program
The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.

To qualify, farmland must: be part of a pending offer from a State, tribe, or local farmland protection program; be privately owned; have a conservation plan for highly erodible land; be large enough to sustain agricultural production; be accessible to markets for what the land produces; have adequate infrastructure and agricultural support services; and have surrounding parcels of land that can support long-term agricultural production. Depending on funding availability, proposals must be submitted by the eligible entities to the appropriate NRCS State Office during the application window.   More information
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State, and tribal environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement. The program is funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation. The purposes of the program are achieved through the implementation of a conservation plan which includes structural, vegetative, and land management practices on eligible land. Five- to ten-year contracts are made with eligible producers. Cost-share payments may be made to implement one or more eligible structural or vegetative practices, such as animal waste management facilities, terraces, filter strips, tree planting, and permanent wildlife habitat. Incentive payments can be made to implement one or more land management practices, such as nutrient management, pest management, and grazing land management.

Fifty percent of the funding available for the program will be targeted at natural resource concerns relating to livestock production. The program is carried-out primarily in priority areas that may be watersheds, regions, or multi-state areas, and for significant statewide natural resource concerns that are outside of geographic priority areas.
More information
Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program (Kane only) (FRPP)
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by: Undertaking additional conservation activities; and Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.   More information
Forestry Incentives Program (FIP)  
The Forestry Incentives Program (FIP) supports good forest management practices on privately owned, non-industrial forest lands nationwide. FIP is designed to benefit the environment while meeting future demands for wood products. Eligible practices are tree planting, timber stand improvement, site preparation for natural regeneration, and other related activities. FIP is available in counties designated by a Forest Service survey of eligible private timber acreage. 
More information 
Stewardship Incentives Program (SIP)  
The Stewardship Incentive Program provides technical and financial assistance to encourage non-industrial private forest landowners to keep their lands and natural resources productive and healthy. Qualifying land includes rural lands with existing tree cover or land suitable for growing trees and which is owned by a private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or other legal private entity. Eligible landowners must have an approved Forest Stewardship Plan and own 1,000 or fewer acres of qualifying land. Authorizations may be obtained for exceptions of up to 5,000 acres.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)  
The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program to restore wetlands. Participating landowners can establish conservation easements of either permanent or 30-year duration, or can enter into restoration cost-share agreements where no easement is involved. In exchange for establishing a permanent easement, the landowner receives payment up to the agricultural value of the land and 100 percent of the restoration costs for restoring the wetlands. The 30-year easement payment is 75 percent of what would be provided for a permanent easement on the same site and 75 percent of the restoration cost. The voluntary agreements are for a minimum 10-year duration and provide for 75 percent of the cost of restoring the involved wetlands. Easements and restoration cost-share agreements establish wetland protection and restoration as the primary land use for the duration of the easement or agreement. In all instances, landowners continue to control access to their land.   More information
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)  
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program provides financial incentives to develop habitat for fish and wildlife on private lands. Participants agree to implement a wildlife habitat development plan and USDA agrees to provide cost-share assistance for the initial implementation of wildlife habitat development practices. USDA and program participants enter into a cost-share agreement for wildlife habitat development. This agreement generally lasts a minimum of 10 years from the date that the contract is signed.   More information
SWCD and Conservation Programs
Conservation Practices Program (CPP)
Each fiscal year the SWCD has cost-share funds available for various conservation practices. Practices included in the program are Filter Strips, Field Border Strips, Grassed Waterways, Critical Area Plantings, No-Till, Terraces, and Grade Stabilization Structures. A new CPP-Special Project cost share program is now available for practices not on the state-wide docket in order to meet local natural resource priorities. Examples of potential pilot projects include, but are not limited to: stream crossings, shelterbelts, windbreaks, ecologically sensitive area protection - karst, urban gully restoration, retention pond buffers, rain gardens, shoreline stabilization, and heavy livestock use area protection. The applications needed for this type of project include the CPP ESC-1 form and also SP1 and 2.

Contract sign-up is typically in July at the beginning of the SWCD fiscal year, although notification of your interest in the program can be discussed at any time of year. The SWCD board of directors will prioritize the applications received based on tons of soil saved, acres benefited, cost per acre of practice, and cost per ton of soil saved. Practices must be installed in the Fall or Spring of that Fiscal year.

To be eligible, landowners need to have a conservation plan approved by the SWCD. To receive cost share, the land upon which the landuser intends to install the practice must be experiencing sheet and rill erosion exceeding T (tolerable levels) or ephemeral/gully erosion.

CPP funds are available through the Conservation 2000 legislation to help landowners achieve the T by 2000 goals set by the state of Illinois. Achieving tolerable soil loss levels on cropland will assure productive agricultural lands for the future as well as help improve water quality.

Application Forms:    Please contact the SWCD for assistance in obtaining and filling out the application.
Streambank Stabilization & Restoration Program (SSRP)  
Streambank erosion is a natural wearing away of soil and rock that forms streambanks. This natural process has been accelerated by activities that increase drainage water flow and water velocity, including stream channelization and straightening, removal of streamside vegetation, and construction of impervious surfaces. Streambank erosion, a major source of sediment buildup in bodies of water, threatens soil, water, plant and animal resources. It decreases the depth and holding capacity of lakes and reservoirs and reduces stream channel capacity, which increases the likelihood of flooding and additional streambank erosion. Excessive flooding degrades water quality and damages fish and wildlife habitat.

The streambank stabilization and restoration program is designed to demonstrate effective, inexpensive vegetative and bio-engineering techniques for limiting streambank erosion. Program monies fund demonstration projects at suitable locations statewide and provide cost-share assistance to landowners with severely eroding streambanks.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois' Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (NRCS) serve as partners in implementing the program.

Both cost-share assistance and demonstration project funding require sites meet assessment and selection criteria established for successful streambank stabilization using vegetative or other bio-engineering techniques. Program funds may be used for labor, equipment and materials. Proposals must be sponsored by the local SWCD. An independent committee selects grant recipients in the fall of the year. Recipients of cost-share and demonstration project funding must agree to maintain streambank stabilization practices for at least 10 years.

Application Forms:    Please contact the SWCD for assistance in obtaining and filling out the application.
Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District
2315 Dean Street, Suite 100, St. Charles, Illinois 60175
630/584-7960, Ext. 3