From the Missouri Department of Conservation
-- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service recently unveiled the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative to maximize migratory bird habitat and food resources on up to 150,000 acres of private land. The acreage will provide critical wintering habitat for a significant number of waterfowl, wading birds, sparrows and other birds.
Missouri landowners have until Aug. 1 to join a federal initiative to help migratory birds whose winter habitat has been damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Participating landowners receive payments through the Wetlands Reserve, Wildlife Habitat Incentives and Environmental Quality Incentives programs. The three programs are part of the federal farm bill. The MBHI is expected to make $1.9 million available to Missouri landowners for wetland-friendly practices.
Agricultural land in parts of eight Gulf Coast and Lower Mississippi Valley states are eligible for MBHI enrollment. Eligible counties in Missouri are: Bates, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Cooper, Dunklin, Johnson, Lafayette, Mississippi, Moniteau, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Saline, Scott, Stoddard and Vernon.
Landowners can contact the nearest NRCS office for more information about the MBCI or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/. The sign-up period ends Aug. 1.