Forestry

Protecting Arkansas’s forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans

Forest Management Programs

Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program

The Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program (SPBPP) offer landowners and loggers an incentive to accomplish thinning in overly dense pine forests. Often, these incentives can offset any undesirably low pulpwood prices. Any private landowner with at least 10 acres of dense pine forest (determined according to a pine basal area greater than 120 basal area) is eligible for the program. A single landowner may not receive more than $10,000 in a single application year. First commercial thinnings, non-commercial thinnings, in-woods chipping, and prescribed burning are eligible practices. Practices for site preparation and seedling establishment of shortleaf pine are now eligible for 50 percent cost share through the program.

Contact your local Forestry Division county forester to apply.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help landowners achieve healthy forests, riparian areas, and farmland. This is done through prescribed burnings and fire breaks, tree planting and site preparation for tree plantings, stream crossings, timber stand improvement projects, and riparian forest covering. These programs have an average cost assistance of 90 percent for the historically underserved (women landowners, minorities, and first-time farmers) and 60 percent for other landowners.

Owners of eligible lands may apply at their local USDA-NRCS office.

Continuous Reserve Program

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Under the CRP, the Forestry Division helps landowners reallocate their property from cropland and pastures into pine or hardwood forests, a mix between hardwood forested land and moist soil grasses, riparian buffers, or wetland and bottomland hardwood restoration projects. CRP practices earn annual rental payments on a per acre basis for 10-or 15-year contracts and are eligible for cost share for establishment. Although different CRP sub-programs have varying requirements, most lands must have been owned for at least 12 months by the landowner and have a six-year cropping or pasture use history.

Owners of eligible lands apply for enrollment at their local USDA-FSA office by declaring their intent to participate during the specified enrollment periods.

Conservation Stewardship Program

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by the USDA-NRCS and encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. CSP is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. CSP provides opportunities to recognize excellent stewards and deliver valuable new conservation.

For more information about CSP, visit the USDA-NRCS page at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs-initiatives/csp-conservation-stewardship-program.

Wetland Reserve Easement

Wetland Reserve Easement/Program (WRE/WRP) is designed to revert pasture and croplands back into wetlands for the function of groundwater filtration and to re-establish wetland wildlife habitats. This program may pay landowners up to 100 percent of the value of their easement, and up to 100 percent of the establishment costs, if enrolled in a permanent easement, or 50-75 percent of the value of their land and up to 75 percent of the establishment costs for a 30-year easement. Participants will retain ownership of their land. As with the Conservation Reserve Program, the land must have been owned for at least 12 months and have a six-year cropping or pasture use history.

Owners of eligible lands apply for enrollment at their local USDA-NRCS office by declaring their intent to participate during the specified enrollment periods.