Providing a habitat for birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, farm ponds are desirable in many situations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a comprehensive booklet titled Farm Pond Ecosystems (see Resources). There is technical and financial assistance available for eligible landowners. Looking at this booklet and contacting state or local NRCS offices will help anyone obtain the information needed about farm pond assistance. Local U.S. Department of Agriculture service centers have pertinent information for each county.
Focusing on water management issues will allow some agricultural producers to be eligible for cost-share assistance. Find more information at NRCS Agricultural Management Assistance (www.nrcs.usda.gov/Programs/AMA/).
The NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance program offers guidance with water quality, fish hatcheries and developing sustainable practices. Information about the program is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/Programs/cta.
Qualifying as a limited resource farmer/rancher, beginning farmer/rancher or socially disadvantaged producer may result in eligibility for payments up to 90 percent of the estimated incurred costs and income foregone. Look for more information about Environmental Quality Incentives Program at www.nrcs.usda.gov/PROGRAMS/EQIP.
Check out the pamphlet Optimize and Protect Your Natural Resources at ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/WA/news/pubs/EQIP_WA_brochure3-06.pdf.