Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Wednesday, June 21

USDA Postpones Sign-Up for Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program

USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator (FSA) Teresa Lasseter today announced that USDA is postponing the Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program (EFCRP) sign-up, originally scheduled to begin June 19, 2006.

“The supplemental appropriations bill passed yesterday changes the terms of the Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program,” said Lasseter. “USDA will postpone the originally scheduled sign-up in order to provide further information to applicants on how these changes may impact their applications. New sign-up dates will be announced in the near future.”

The measure passed yesterday, H.R. 4939, alters EFCRP, which will help landowners and operators restore and replant forestland damaged by the 2005 calendar year hurricanes. Trees planted through EFCRP will help reduce flood effects, protect water sources, decrease soil erosion and improve wildlife habitat. EFCRP funding was authorized by the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-148), and signed by President Bush on Dec. 30, 2005.

To be eligible for EFCRP assistance, an owner or operator must have experienced at least a 35 percent loss to merchantable timber on private non-industrial forestland due to one of the calendar year 2005 hurricanes.

The tree loss must have occurred in one of the 261 counties receiving presidential or secretarial primary disaster designations caused by 2005 Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita or Wilma. Loss assistance is unavailable in contiguous counties. A complete list of eligible counties in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas is available online at:

After incorporating the changes from the new legislation, a sign-up will be announced and producers may be able to submit offers of land for enrollment in the EFCRP to local FSA offices. FSA intends to rank offers based on potential contribution for preventing soil erosion, improving water quality, restoring wildlife habitat and mitigating economic loss.

More information on EFCRP is available at local FSA offices and online at:


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