Alabama Announces Signup for EQIP WLFW Eastern Hellbender Initiative

Dan Alabama, Conservation, Environment, USDA-NRCS


USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama has announced signup is underway for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) Eastern Hellbender Initiative.

Alabama is joining Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina in this initiative which will include practices to improve water quality within streams. The Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is the largest salamander in the U.S. with some reaching a weight of 2 pounds and 24 inches in length. Once common in the eastern part of the country, the species has faced population decline due to inadequate habitat and water quality degradation.

Eligible watersheds are located within Lauderdale and Limestone counties. Those targeted include Bluewater Creek, Cypress Creek, Shoal Creek and Sugar Creek.


Eligible conservation practices include those that extend or create Streamside Management Zones (SMZs), reduce erosion, and lessen nutrient runoff. That includes Forest Riparian Buffers, cover crops, reduced tillage, and livestock exclusion fencing and watering systems.

NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round, but applications for this initiative need to be submitted by March 25, 2022 to be evaluated for the first 2022 batching period.

For more information, visit Alabama NRCS Website, or contact your local USDA Service Center.