Socially disadvantaged forest landowners in seven southwest Arkansas counties can sign up for financial assistance to install forestry conservation practices.

Potential conservation practices offered through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) include forest stand improvement, prescribed burnings and the installment of trees and shrubs, firebreaks, stream crossings and structures for water control.

Counties eligible for the program include Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Nevada, Ouachita and Union counties.

To apply, producers should register for the EQIP Keeping it in the Family (KIITF) program at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office before June 15.

To be eligible for the program, producers should have a farm number on file at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and must have legal control of their land for the length of the contract. Applicants with heir property must have documentation that proves they have control of the land.

The FSA Power of Attorney Form 211 offers some assistance for cases concerning heir property, however, applicants should verify the status of their land with the local FSA office or an attorney.

For assistance with the application process, contact Kandi Williams, Extension associate for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, at 903-306-8663 or Joe Friend, UAPB forester, at 870-500-8554.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.