AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency said in a news release that it is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damage from recent wildfires starting on June 13 and through July 15, 2022.

The USDA states that the approved ECP practices under the current authorization include restoring permanent fences and removing debris in preparation for fence restoration.

Producers with damage from qualifying natural disaster events must apply for assistance before beginning reconstructive work. FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance review process is required to be completed before any actions are taken. Submitting an application after reconstructive work has been completed may not qualify for ECP said the USDA.

According to the news release, ECP assists producers with the recovery costs to restore farmland to pre-disaster conditions. Conservation concerns that were present on the land before the disaster are not eligible for the ECP assistance.

The news release states that applicants who are approved for ECP may receive up to 75% of the cost of approved restoration. The USDA said that farmers and ranchers with limited resources are socially disadvantaged, and who are beginning farmers or ranchers may receive up to 90% cost-share.

“Dealing with the impacts of natural disasters is never easy, especially when you have to consider the health and safety of livestock, so if you have an immediate need to begin restoring fences and want to receive ECP assistance, it’s imperative that you call our office for approval before you take any action,” said Adam Acker, USDA and FSA County Executive Director.

The news release continues to state that county committees will evaluate the applications based on an on-site inspection of the damages, and take into consideration the type and extent of the damage although an on-site inspection will not guarantee cost-share funding.

More information can be found here or by calling the Potter-Armstrong County FSA office at (806)-468-8600.