Tennessee Department of Agriculture Offers Cost Share to Landowners Through the Duck and Elk Watershed Initiative

As trees begin to bud and flowers start to bloom, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture said it’s “time for landowners to consider improving riparian buffers, planting trees, and improving forest stands.”

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry (TDF) can help landowners near the Duck and Elk Rivers increase land value, enhance water quality, and maintain healthy woods through the Duck and Elk Watershed Initiative, according to a press release by the department.

The Duck and Elk Watershed Initiative “provides cost share assistance and free technical support that will increase land value, enhance water quality, and maintain healthy woods,” according to the department.

Applications are accepted from May 1st to May 31st. Landowners should contact their Area Forester to determine eligibility and to schedule an onsite evaluation. The program is for landowners in the 13-county watershed of Bedford, Coffee, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, and Williamson counties, the department notes.

TDF conducts free site visits and consults on an action plan for improving the watershed. The visit includes site evaluation, planning, and mapping, after which practices will be scheduled between July 2022 and May 2023, according to the department. Eligible activities include tree planting, forest improvement, invasive plant management, and prescribed burning.

“The Duck and Elk Rivers are aquatic conservation priorities in Tennessee and the Southeast,” State Forester David Arnold said in a statement. “Working with woodland owners to maintain healthy forests and improve wildlife habitat for aquatic and upland hardwood wildlife species through this initiative helps us protect Tennessee forests.”

Funding for the watershed initiative is provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is in cooperation with the Tennessee Forestry Association and the American Forest Foundation, according to the department.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Trees” by TN Dept. of Ag. 


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