The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services is allocated more than $200 million in emergency funding to restore flood-prone lands.
Arkansas is one of 11 states receiving funding through the movement, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) spokesman Reginald Jackson said.
NRCS has reserved $217.5 million to fund conservation easements on certain lands damaged by flooding and other natural disasters. As of Friday, $98.3 million had been allocated.
Arkansas will receive more than $2.8 million to purchase and restore easements. Jackson said landowners interested in applying for assistance must do so by Sept. 27.
The funding was provided through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP-FPE). The 11 states identified for assistance include:Arkansas. Illinois. Iowa. Louisiana. Minnesota. Missouri. Nebraska. North Carolina. South Dakota. Texas. Wisconsin.
NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said officials hope the funds will help aid those who have endured challenging times with recent flooding and other disasters.
“Landowners across the United States have faced — and continue to face — significant challenges from flooding and natural disasters,” he said. “To provide relief and assist agricultural landowners during this difficult time, this easement program offers an option that alleviates the stress of operating in a floodplain while still retaining ownership of their property.”
President Donald Trump signed an emergency supplemental appropriations bill on June 6, which provides relief and support to farmers and ranchers across the nation. The bill provides $4.5 billion to the USDA for agricultural-related loses, emergency timer restoration, farmland repair and watershed recovery work to help America’s farmers and ranchers.