Landowners and operators in the Coon-Pickerel Watershed that covers parts of 10 counties (Barton, Edwards, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Kiowa, Pawnee, Rice, Rush, and Stafford) in southcentral Kansas can take part in the 2008 Conservation Security Program sign-up April 18 through May 16 at local Natural Resources Conservation Service offices.
Counties in three other watersheds shared with Kansas and an adjoining state are also included in the sign-up: Upper Arkansas-John Martin in Greeley and Hamilton counties along the Colorado border; Lower Missouri-Crooked in Wyandotte, Johnson, and Miami counties along the Missouri border; and Middle Republican in Phillips, Smith, Jewell, and Republic counties along the Nebraska border.
The sign-up was announced March 19 by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer.
"Public meetings will be held in the four watersheds before the sign-up period begins," says Astor F. Boozer, Acting State Conservationist for the NRCS in Kansas. "Producers at their convenience are free to attend any informational meeting within their watershed."
April 14: 7 p.m., J A Haas Exhibit Building, 400 E 18th, Larned
April 15: 7 p.m., Kinsley City Hall, 721 Marsh, Kinsley
April 16:7 p.m., Blue Hereford Restaurant, 807 Main Street, Ford
April 17: 7 p.m., Front Door, 1615 10th Street, Great Bend
Middle Republican (Nebraska-Kansas)
April 1, 1 p.m., Elks Lodge, 230 N. Central Ave. Superior, NE;
7 p.m. Opera House, 411 N. Webster, Red Cloud, NE
April 2, 9 a.m., Fair Grounds, Franklin, NE;
2 p.m., Fair Grounds, Ag Building, Minden, NE
April 3, 9 a.m., Super 8, 420 Broadway Street, Holdrege, NE
2 p.m. Johnson Center, 509 Main Street, Alma, NE
April 15, 7 p.m., Opera House, 411 N. Webster, Red Cloud, NE
April 16, 1 p.m.,Western Plains Village, 501 W. 3rd, Smith Center
7 p.m. Rock Hills Jr. High Auditorium, Burr Oak, KS
April 17, 9:30 a.m., Rock Hills Jr. High Auditorium, Burr Oak;
1:30 p.m. Community Building, Republic
7 p.m. Community Building, Republic
7 p.m. Community Building, Hildreth, NE
Upper Arkansas-John Martin (Colorado-Kansas)
For meeting times, call Arthur Boltz, NRCS District Conservationist, Syracysem at 620-384-6955, or Kevin Nelson, NRCS District Conservationist, Tribune, at 620-376-4332
Lower Missouri-Crooked (Missouri-Kansas)
April 10, 6:30 p.m. Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th Street, Overland Park.
"Since the 2008 CSP: Self-Assessment Workbook needs to be completed to apply, I encourage producers to learn about the program early," said Boozer.
To apply for the CSP, potential participants need to complete the 2008 CSP: Self-Assessment Workbook —available on the Web or at the public informational meetings—to find out if their operation meets the requirements of the program and qualifies for program participation. The self-assessment process uses a self-screening questionnaire for each land use—cropland, grazing land, irrigated land and wildlife—to be enrolled. When completed, the producer submits the 2008 CSP: Self-Assessment Workbook to the local NRCS office during the sign-up period and meets with the NRCS personnel to go over any additional needed documentation.The NRCS will then determine if eligibility requirements are met and provide options for the producer's decision on enrollment category placement.
Information on the CSP, including eligible U.S. watersheds and the 2008 CSP: Self-Assessment Workbook is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.
Producers can determine if they are in or out of the watershed by viewing a detailed county map on the Kansas Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2008. Other information and the 2008 CSP: Self-Assessment Workbook are also available on the Kansas Web site.
Check with your local county NRCS office or conservation district staff in the eligible watershed to learn more about signing up for the CSP. The office is located at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the Internet at offices.usda.gov).