Grants available from MDC for loggers and landowners

News from the region
Saint Louis
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Loggers and landowners can both benefit from a new Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) pilot cost-share incentive program called the Best Management Practices (BMPs) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG).

According to MDC Forest Program Supervisor Jason Jensen, the grants are focused on encouraging timber harvesters to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) on private-land timber sales in the 15-county area including: Reynolds, Iron, Shannon, Ripley, Carter, Wayne, Oregon, Howell, Texas, Madison, Bollinger, Dent, Crawford, Washington, and Butler counties.

The grants are designed to be a partnership between loggers and landowners as they do business together. If approved, the cost share would directly pay loggers $10 to $20 per acre to implement the BMPs. Landowners would receive $5 per acre.

“The concept behind splitting the incentive is that the logger has the responsibility for establishing erosion-prevention measures on timber sales and the equipment to implement the BMPs, and the landowner owns the property and is responsible for maintenance of the BMPs for a reasonable period of time,” Jensen said.

Best Management Practices were developed as a guide for loggers and landowners to combine safe logging practices with steps that will avoid damage to water quality and soil erosion associated with timber harvesting. By taking steps to learn the BMPs and implement them, the MDC hopes the Conservation Innovation Grants will encourage loggers and landowners to work together in maintaining the best possible forest health and productivity.

To participate, loggers need to sign up for the cost-share program at their local MDC office. They must be a professional trained logger or attend a Best Management Practices training class through the MDC.