The Arkansas Forestry Commission has teamed up with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law, Arkansas Land and Farm Development Commission and Silas H. Hunt Community Development Corporation to offer “Keep it in the Family,” a sustainable forestry African American land retention grant program.
“The purpose of the this program is to help African American landowners better manage their property,” said Justin Mallett of AFC, “which can be done using an array of techniques.”
Mallett added that landowners with heir property issues can also get professional help from the Bowen School of Law.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities awarded UAPB Small Farm Program the three-year grant program to help forestland owners manage their forestland for maximum production. As part of the process, a forester helps enrollees develop forestry management plans and then recommends USDA conservation programs to help pay for installation of recommended practices.
There is financial assistance through the local NRCS offices for Keeping it in the Family through the EQIP program.
The program is limited to African American landowners in Howard, Hempstead, Little River, Columbia, Nevada, Ouachita and Union counties.
The sign-up deadline is July 20. The project is on funded for three years.
Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact the Howard County Forestry Commission, (870) 286-2137; the Little River FC, (870) 898-2304; the Howard County NRCS office (EQIP), (870) 845-4121; or the Little River NRCS, (870) 898-3611.