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					Chesapeake USDA-Forestry Team –2012 Forest Buffer Action Plan [DRAFT]


The responses provided by state teams in September 2011 outline a combination of actions for 2012
(some completed, some planned) as well as various ideas, recommendations, and issues related to
accelerating forest buffer implementation. This draft action plan attempts to summarize the main
actions distilled from the state responses. Please provide suggested edits to your state’s actions listed
here by October 21 (using track changes; send to Julie jmawhorter@fs.fed.us).

1. Accelerate application of CREP to achieve state goals
(note actions listed in #2-4 will also help accelerate CREP implementation)
     DE: address barriers to CREP forest buffer implementation along drainage ditches
     MD: develop and distribute forest buffer outreach materials to FSA county offices (FSA); support
        “grass roots” outreach efforts (fairs and other producer events, local newsletters, etc)
     NY: pursue expansion of CREP acreage to cover entire Chesapeake Bay portion (2,265,445 new
        eligible acreage); FSA follow up for landowners who applied for EQIP but were routed to CREP
        program; pursue grant funding for a forest buffer specialist to work with Upper Susquehanna
        Coalition and partners (possible PA-NY grant through USFS or NFWF)
     PA: transferred CREP acreage from Ohio basin to Chesapeake; DEP now requires minimum 30%
        canopy riparian cover (or buffer planting) to qualify for DEP cost-share for other practices;
        compliance monitors will deliver CREP brochures when visiting farms
     VA: engage local field offices/working groups in setting local goals and plans for CREP/forest
        buffer goals (FSA/NRCS); CREP outreach signs and postcards
     WV: work with agency leadership and field offices to promote and streamline CREP delivery;
        provide trainings to staff and educational outreach to producers
     ALL: Develop and deliver trainings for agency staff and partners as needed (USFS, WV, NY, other
        states?); incorporate successful training methods of Stroud Water Resource Center/Chesapeake
        Bay Foundation

2. Restore forest buffers in priority watersheds

       DE: work with restoration partners to target forest buffers in Nanticoke watershed
       MD: apply forest buffer targeting tools and conduct targeted outreach in Monocacy-Catoctin-
        Antietem and Patuxent watersheds; and through Baltimore County stewardship project
       NY: review NRCS/CBWI priority watersheds and work with Upper Susquehanna Coalition to
        decide if and how to target forest buffer implementation
       PA: target NRCS/CBWI and Growing Greener priority watersheds
       VA: apply forest buffer targeting tools and conduct targeted outreach in Shenandoah Valley
        (Shenandoah, Warren, Page and Rockingham counties), Rappahannock and York river basins
       WV: target Jefferson and Berkeley counties and other NRCS/CBWI priority watersheds; work
        with NRCS/USFS to apply targeting tools

3. Enhance technical capacity for forest buffer restoration

       DE: none at this time
       MD: Maintain 2 new grant-funded positions for CREP outreach in targeted watersheds
        DNR/MDA); pursue program guidance/collaboration on deer control and invasive species to
        enhance forest buffer survival




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Chesapeake USDA-Forestry Team –2012 Forest Buffer Action Plan [DRAFT]


       NY: Pursue Reimbursable Agreements and Contribution Agreements with Soil and Water
        Districts and Upper Susquehanna Coalition staff to meet CREP conservation planning obligations
        (NRCS); coordinate CREP technical assistance with DEC local foresters
       PA: Maintain 7 CBF forest buffer field staff positions; maintain 2 new CREP assistant positions
        funded through NRCS-Pheasants Forever partnership; explore options for increasing staff
        capacity to process backlog of CREP applications
       VA: Maintain RC&D Forester in Shenandoah Valley for forest buffer outreach/technical
        assistance (DOF/USFS)
       WV: Continue/expand innovative CREP partnership with USFWS, Trout Unlimited, and other
        partners to deliver technical assistance for forest buffers; Continue DOF Chesapeake Forester
        position and fill vacant Chesapeake NRCS forester position; FSA will explore contracting with a
        technical service provider


4. Explore funding or other incentives for installation of forest buffers in targeted areas
        Consider additional incentives for landowners in priority areas, incentives for staff/partners to
        increase sign-ups, etc.

       DE: Implement forest buffers in urban areas using GIS analysis and urban forestry grant funding
       MD: Pursue partnerships with organizations such as the Maryland or Chesapeake Conservation
        Corps to provide assistance with tree shelter maintenance and removal.
       NY: None at this time – outreach/training is the priority
       PA: Pursue forest buffer requirements on preserved farms through Ag Preservation Fund
       VA: Increase forest buffer implementation in York & Rappahannock Rivers through Cooperative
        Conservation Partnership Initiative grant over next five years (DOF); support forest buffer
        projects through partner organizations using Potomac watershed grant funds (USFS);
       WV: Pursue incentives to CED’s and NRCS employees for encouraging signups; work with
        partners to explore monetary incentives that go above and beyond the 100% for producers to
        establish buffers
       ALL: Pursue development of awards/incentives for staff who excel in forest buffer
        implementation


Proposed Next Steps for Team in 2012:
    State teams will continue to plan and coordinate efforts with partners to achieve actions
       identified (provide edits to this draft by Oct. 21, to jmawhorter@fs.fed.us)
    Full team will meet on quarterly basis to share updates and continue developing strategies; next
       team meeting will focus on learning from the PA CREP Partnership model (proposed for mid-
       January)
    USFS will work with interested team members from states to address training needs identified




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