Category Archives: News

News about Kentucky Woodlands and their owners

Applications are currently being accepted for soil and water quality cost share programs

The Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program and the Kentucky Soil Stewardship Program helps landowners address existing soil erosion, water quality and other environmental problems associated with their farming or woodland operation. Funds are administered by local conservation districts and the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission with priority given to animal waste-related problems, agricultural district participants and to producers who have their Agriculture Water Quality plans on file with their local conservation districts.

If a landowner wants to apply for either State Cost Share or EQIP funding, the first step is to make a request to their local Conservation District office.

Practices eligible for cost share are:

agriculture and animal waste control facilities;

streambank stabilization;

animal waste utilization;

vegetative filter strips;

integrated crop management;

pesticide containment;

sinkhole protection;

pasture and hay land forage quality;

heavy use area protection;

rotational grazing system establishment;

water well protection;

forest land and cropland erosion control systems;

closure of agriculture waste impoundment;

on-farm fallen animal composting;

soil health management;

precision nutrient management;

strip intercropping system;

livestock stream crossing; and

riparian area protection.

For more information and applications for these programs…

See the Kentucky Soil & Water Quality State Cost Share Program Manual – pp. 35-41 for Forestland BMP.

Producers can complete their Agriculture Water Quality Plan at the UK College of Agriculture web page below using the “Producer’s Workbook” tab.  This webpage is linked from the Division of Conservation’s AWQA web page.

Kentucky Division of Forestry seeks woodland owner input on state Forest Action Plan

Kentucky’s 2020 Forest Action Plan is in development. Your input will contribute to the plan update that spans public and private forestlands, in both urban and rural areas.

Please make time to complete the survey before March 1, 2020.  You may also submit questions and/or comments to

See documents pertaining to the 2010 Kentucky Forest Action Plan (2010 Kentucky Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources and Strategy).



Next Steps Webinar Series

Forestry webinars are again coming to various county extension offices beginning Friday evening, February 6. Check here to see if there is one in a county near you.

Please contact the Extension office you plan to attend so they can have materials for you.

February 6, 2020    7 – 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Woodland Management:
What is Right for You and Your Woodland?

February 13, 2020
Understanding the Financial Aspects of Woodland Management

February 20, 2020
More than Timber: Income Opportunities from
Non-timber Forest Products

February 27, 2020
Launching your Woodland Legacy: Intact, In Forest and In Family Ownership

March 5, 2020
Kentucky Forestry and Wildlife Assistance: Finding the Help You Need

Keynote Speaker Jacob Muller will share expertise in woodland management

Jacob Muller will be joining the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky in theg spring semester 2020. He will serve as the Assistant Extension Professor of Hardwood Silviculture and Forest Operations. His research focuses on long-term forest dynamics and testing the efficacy of classical and novel silvicultural approaches aimed at forest adaptation. His extension and teaching interests include the development of continuing education programs for woodland owners and natural resource professionals. He is also interested in helping to develop and advance educational tools to better inform landowners of current and future management challenges.

Muller received his B.S. in Forest Resource Management and M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana, and Ph.D. in Natural Resource Science and Management from the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to the University of Kentucky, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service – Rocky Mountain Research Station as a researcher, and with the Idaho Department of Lands as a forestry technician.  Most recently, he worked as an instructor in the Master of Natural Resource Stewardship Program at Colorado State University where he developed and taught courses in forestry and silviculture.

Donate an item for the annual meeting silent auction

It’s time to find a new home for those holiday gifts that were never given! Donate that item to the KWOA annual meeting silent auction. Donations can be anything with a monetary value. Event tickets, gift baskets, gift cards, books, artwork and crafts are welcome.

Email a description of  your item and a suggested minimum bid to Harry Pelle, board member – Please put Silent Auction in the subject line of your email. Please let Harry know whether you can bring it to the meeting or need it delivered. And thanks!

USDA Invites Input on Environmental Quality Incentives Program Rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA’s flagship program that helps producers plan and implement 150-plus conservation practices on working lands. The rule – now available on the Federal Register takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Submit comments on or before February 17, 2020.

Changes to EQIP include creating incentive contracts and payments for incentive practices to better support locally led conservation needs.

Ranking criteria for the Kentucky program are available at

Editor’s note:  Below are excerpts from the federal notice of interest to woodland owners and watershed areas.

Nonindustrial private forest land (NIPF) means rural land, as determined by NRCS, that has existing tree cover or is suitable for growing trees; and is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian Tribe, or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land.

The statutory changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill include introducing new EQIP Incentive Contracts, which can address up to three priority resource concerns for each of the relevant land uses within state-identified watersheds or other areas of high priority. NRCS may also enter into EQIP contracts under a streamlined contracting process with “water management entities” to implement water conservation or irrigation practices under a watershed-wide project that will effectively conserve water, provide fish and wildlife habitat, or provide for drought-related environmental mitigation.

NRCS received comments focusing on increased payments for high-priority practices, most of which underlined the inclusion of practices that address the goals of state wildlife action plans and other state and local plans involving watershed rehabilitation and drought management.

Sections in new Subpart D – EQIP Incentive Contracts

Subpart D is a new subpart and addresses the new enrollment option, EQIP incentive contracts, as created by section 2304 of the 2018 Farm Bill. This new subpart has the following sections:

  •  1466.41 Incentive Contract Selection

Incentive practices that qualify will depend on future determinations by a state conservationist with input from the state technical committees as to what the high priority areas are and what the (up to) three priority resource concerns are for each land use within each high priority area.

Eligible land means land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced, and specifically includes nonindustrial private forest land and cropped woodland.