Wildfires have caused severe damage in throughout Butte County.

Farms and ranches suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Butte County Farm Service Agency (FSA)

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would:

* be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return theland to productive agricultural use

* is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area

* affect the productive capacity of the farmland

* impair or endanger the land

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed

75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. No producer is eligible for more than

$200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. The following types of measures may be eligible:

* removing debris from farmland

* grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland

* restoring permanent fences

* restoring conservation structures and other similar installations

Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA County

Office and request assistance from January 15th to February 15th.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:

* an application for cost-share assistance has been filed

* the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsiteinspection of the damaged area

* the Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc., required for rehabilitation

For more information about ECP, please contact the Butte County FSA Office at530-534-0112 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.