(NRCS/FL) — Florida forest landowners in parts of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties can apply for financial assistance to manage invasive Cogongrass until March 26 from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $60,000 this fiscal year to remove the highly invasive Cogongrass in Florida. One of the world’s top-ten worst weeds, Cogongrass is threatening longleaf pine landscapes with its high-density growth, high burning intensity, poor value as wildlife habitat, and its difficulty to control.
Landowners will work with local NRCS staff and partners to apply targeted management practices on their land to meet the unique challenges in their areas. The following practices will be available for funding: brush management, herbaceous weed treatment, conservation cover, critical area planting, mulching, and pasture and hay planting.
Project partners are NRCS, USDA Forest Service, Florida Forest Service, and Florida Department of Transportation. The partners will ensure treatment control is implemented across boundaries of public and private land, rights-of-way, and state lines.
The funding is through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, which allows NRCS and the Forest Service to collaborate with agricultural producers and forest landowners to invest in conservation and restoration at a large enough scale to make a difference. Working in partnership, and at this scale helps mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, and restore healthy forest ecosystems on public and private lands.