6021 Development Drive, Suite 2, Charleston, IL 61920 info@colescountyswcd.org 217-345-3901 ext. 3

Programs

The Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District offers a wide variety of technical services to promote the responsible and sustainable use of our local soil and water resources. Through the following programs, landowners can request technical assistance or apply for financial cost-share assistance to help offset the cost of installing best management practices to address soil and water resource concerns on their land. The services and levels of funding in each program vary, and often have limited geographic ranges and signup periods. Landowners with a resource concern are encouraged to contact the office to discuss your specific needs.

State Programs

Partners for Conservation Program (Formerly known as CPP)

The Partners for Conservation Program (PFC) from the IL Department of Agriculture promotes the construction or adoption of practices that conserve soil and protect water quality. Cost-share assistance may be available for practices such as waterways, cover crops, and sealing of abandoned wells. The Partners for Conservation Program (PFC) was formerly known as the Conservation Practices Program (CPP).

Streambank Stabilization and Restoration Program (SSRP)

The SSRP program from the IL Department of Agriculture works to stabilize and restore high priority streambanks that are severely eroding. Cost-share assistance may be available for practices such as bendway weirs, rock riffles, stream barbs/rock vanes, gabion baskets and stone toe protection.

Federal Programs

Agricultural Conserveration Easement Program (ACEP)

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps American Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) provides financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The entire agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural land that will be under the applicant’s control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program. In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and to plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Some practices eligible for CRP are Field Borders, Filter Strips, Grassed Waterways, Pollinator Habitat and Shallow Water Areas for Wildlife, and Shelterbelts.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was developed to offer enhanced Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices in target drainage areas. The program is centered on taking land out of production that is in the 100-year floodplain and planting it to trees. Filter strips can be enrolled along drainage ditches and streams. The program has and acreage cap, so check and see if it is still being offered. The opportunity for additional payments from the state of Illinois for contract extensions and permanent easements exists.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources.

Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) was a voluntary program that offered landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. The goal of WRP was to purchase and restore easements that had the greatest potential wetland diversity. It was repealed in 2014, and components became part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) was a voluntary program for people to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. It was repealed in 2014, and components became part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).