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Drought and Fire Assistance for Natural Resources
USDA conservation programs help protect resources damaged or at-risk as a result of severe drought and wildfires. USDA provides farmers with opportunities to plant alternative cover and utilize conservation tillage, protecting valuable soil resources from erosion. USDA’s Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program also funds emergency efforts to restore wildlife habitat damaged or destroyed by drought or fire. This allowed farmers and ranchers to plant native seeds, leave food plots in existing fields, establish buffers, and stabilize steep slopes. USDA’s Emergency Watershed Protection program also made $94 million in assistance available to protect natural resources by assisting with replanting fire-damaged areas to ensure that valuable soil resources are protected from erosion. Also, $10 million in additional Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds were released by USDA in September 2002 to assist with drought related resource impacts.
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