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Conserving Missouri Wildlife Through CSP Bill White Missouri Department of Conservation Private Land Programs Supervisor.

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Presentation on theme: "Conserving Missouri Wildlife Through CSP Bill White Missouri Department of Conservation Private Land Programs Supervisor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conserving Missouri Wildlife Through CSP Bill White Missouri Department of Conservation Private Land Programs Supervisor

2 Scott County: 1 st County in Nation to reach goals of the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative Convert 2400 acres of IAA to NWSG and 2100 acres of managed CRP Completed 7000 acres in 4 years

3 Scott County, Missouri

4 “The Perfect Storm” Farm Economics 2004 to 2006 –Low Commodity Prices –Rising Ag Input Costs –Marginal Crop Land

5 “The Perfect Storm” Emphasis on Northern Bobwhite Quail –Quail Friendly Conservation Programs EQIP, CSP and CP33 –NBCI Goals –State Quail Recovery Plan

6 Overview of Scott County Mississippi alluvial plain 95% Row crop –Beans, wheat, corn, some cotton –Progressive farmers –Large fields with little residue cover –Very little woody cover

7 Alluvial Sand Well Drained Marginal potential without irrigation Overview of Scott County Soils Oklahoma Scott County

8 Center Pivot Irrigation

9 Scott County Quail Focus Area 98,000 acres Remnant quail Objectives –Pivot Corners –Field Borders

10 Scott County Quail Focus Area Slow progress Few acres enrolled Mostly small isolated fields

11 Conservation Security Program-- CSP USDA program administered by NRCS Part of the 2002 Farm Bill CSP was an uncapped entitlement program to “reward the best and motivate the rest” Launched in 2004 in selected watersheds

12 Conservation Security Program-- CSP Available in 2005 and 2006 in two Scott County watersheds Covered most of the Scott County Focus Area

13 How CSP Works Three levels of participation called Tiers: –Tier 1: $20,000/yr payment cap –Tier 2: $35,000/yr payment cap –Tier 3: $45,000/yr payment cap Contract holders obviously want to include all their acres and maximize payment rates, by going to Tier 3.

14 CSP Wildlife Enhancements Wildlife included as a resource concern MDC Area Biologist’s worked with the CSP program coordinators to develop the wildlife aspects of CSP Define “minimum quality criteria” for wildlife –Wildlife Habitat Appraisal Guides Design wildlife enhancements

15 Wildlife Quality Criteria Determined based on the Wildlife Habitat Appraisal Guide (WHAG) score Points awarded for quail friendly practices such as: –Wildlife friendly field borders –Shrubby cover –No-till and diverse crop rotations –Unharvested grain

16 Wildlife Opportunity MDC/NRCS Relationship –Allowed to work within CSP to emphasize quail –Producers able to achieve Tier 3 by establishing quality quail habitat –Provided economically attractive incentives for wildlife practices

17 Wildlife Enhancements Up to $25/acre for maintaining wildlife habitat above the “minimum quality criteria” (WHAG score) $300/acre for leaving unharvested grain $15/acre for the whole field, when wildlife friendly field borders are in place These are annual payments and all enhancements combined can total $22,500 per year! Could use CP33 and EQIP to meet criteria

18 CSP Wildlife Enhancements USDA Staff aggressive about selling wildlife –Area Conservationist and local watershed committee supported wildlife practices –Allowed contract modifications in 2006 – Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District Handled seed Provided equipment

19 Results on Ag Landscape 115 CSP contracts 113 reached Tier 3 Over 7000 acres of field borders and pivot corners 2000 acres with no incentives

20 Converted 3.5% of the county’s cropland to quality quail habitat Created landscape scale change 10% of the acres enrolled were put into wildlife habitat Results on Ag Landscape

21 Most plantings were mix of NWSG and forbs Required all quail habitat elements

22 Effects on Quail Populations CP33 monitoring results –5 times more coveys than unbuffered areas –Better than any other survey sites in state

23 Effects on Quail Populations Conservation Agent Roadside counts up 200% Hunter Surveys –0.67 to 1.0 hour per covey –Larger coveys (from 8 birds to 15)

24 Effects on Quail Populations Ag producers –“When working fields we are seeing quail everywhere” –“I never knew I had so many friends and family”

25 Effect on Quail Populations Missy Marshall, Executive Director of Sikeston Chamber of Commerce –Commenting on seeing more hunters in restaurants and cafes, “it is amazing what increasing a bird species in an area can do for the human population that inhabits it.”

26 Keys to Success Attractive incentive payments thru CSP Available marginal lands Low commodity prices and high input cost USDA Staff NBCI Acreage Goals

27 Keys to Success Quail friendly conservation programs available –EQIP, CP 33, CSP etc. Landscape scale habitat changes Required quail friendly practices –NWSG and forb plantings –Shrubby Cover –Bundling of practices Quail Population

28 QU National Group Achievement Award Scott County Conservation Team First County in nation to reach its NBCI goals

29 Future? Technical Assistance –Target proper management of existing habitat –Workshops and Field Tours –Onsite visits

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