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Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Participates in the Formation of a Group for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in New Mexico, August 23, 2006
Southwest Region, August 23, 2006
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The Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program staff in the New Mexico Ecological Services Field  Office, joined numerous other State and Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties in the inaugural New Mexico workshop for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). CREP is a joint, State-Federal land retirement conservation program targeted to address State and nationally significant agriculture-related environmental effects.  This voluntary program uses financial incentives to encourage farmers and ranchers to enroll in contracts of 10-15 years duration to remove lands from agricultural production.  The program is a community-based, results-oriented partnership among producers; State, Tribal and Federal government; and in some cases, private groups.  It is authorized under the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (Farm Bill).

New Mexico is one of 21 States that do not have any CREPs.  The workshop was arranged by the USDA Farm Service Agency (CREP administering agency) and the World Wildlife Fund to introduce the audience to the program, explore opportunities in New Mexico for CREP, and to discuss ways to move forward and decide on priority conservation issues (such as water conservation, wildlife habitat), specific geographic areas, technical assistance needs, and other related topics.  The group endorsed the formation of a CREP State Committee.  Future meetings of the State Committee will be coordinated by the Farm Service Agency and the World Wildlife Fund.  

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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