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Shimek State Forest

Cost-Share Programs Available for Private Landowners in Iowa

Several programs are available for cost-share reimbursement to private landowners engaged in forestry-related conservation work. Practices such as tree planting, forested riparian buffer installation, forest stand improvement, site preparation for natural regeneration, wildlife habitat improvement, and fencing may be eligible for cost-sharing on private lands. 

Please contact your district forester to determine which of the following program is best suited to your needs and goals.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), CRP provides cost-sharing for tree planting on highly erodible row crop and pasture land through general or continuous funding. All CRP programs pay landowners annual rental payments for up to 15 years.

For more information please contact your county FSA office.

Tree Planting (CP-3) and Hardwood Tree Planting (CP-3A) practices are great ways to increase tree cover in many different locations around the state. CP-3 allows a mixture of soft and hardwood trees while CP-3A focuses primarily on hardwood trees. The Bottomland Timber Establishment (CP31) practice allows landowners to enroll some or all of their bottomland fields in continuous CRP. Planting hardwood trees and shrubs on land prone to flooding is an excellent way to control sheet, rill, scour and other erosion, among other benefits. Bottomland hardwood plantings provide financial incentives over the life of the CRP contract through annual rental payments; they also acts as living retirement accounts that continually gain value, and which can ultimately be capitalized upon 50 or more years after planting.

Forested riparian buffer strips of perennial vegetation promote sustainable agriculture by reducing soil loss, improving water quality, stabilizing stream banks, increasing wildlife habitat and improving aesthetics. Known as CP22, the installation of such buffers allows landowners the maximum amount of land that can be enrolled in continuous CRP of any available program, up to one-third more than other options.

CRP Success Stories

The Conservation Reserve Program is the most successful tree planting and reforestation program in the history of conservation in Iowa, and that success is owed primarily to the people who participate in the program and the pride that they take in their conservation accomplishments. Below is a sample of the many success stories from the program's history:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The EQIP program, administered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), provides funding for many forestry-related activities on "private, non-industrial forest land," according to the farm bill.

For additional information:

Resource Enhancement And Protection Program (REAP)

REAP is a state cost share program administered through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) that provides cost share assistance for timber stand improvement, tree planting, site preparation for natural regeneration, and tree planting rescue treatments. Minimum project sizes are 5 acres for timber stand improvement and 3 acres for tree planting.

Please visit your nearest USDA service center or contact your district forester for more information.