McLean County Program Offerings
There are many programs available to help you achieve the conservation goals of your property. Below is a summary of a few of the enhancements available to you in McLean County, IL.
Partners For Conservation (PFC)
The Partners For Conservation Program is a long-term, state-supported initiative to protect natural resources and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities in Illinois. The program implements strategies for maintaining the viability of Illinois’ soil and water resources into the 21st century and beyond. Several state agencies share responsibility for administering The Partners For Conservation Program funds. The Illinois Department of Agriculture oversees the program’s agriculture-related components. This pool of funds is directed towards the installation of many conservation practices, such as cover crops, grassed waterways, and terraces. Click here to find out more about PFC in Illinois
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
CRP is a land conservation program administered by FSA. In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Click here to find out more about CRP in Illinois.
Reduced Property Tax Assessment (CRP)
Reduced property tax assessments under the state of IL Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment Law. Contact the office for application. Through the efforts of soil and water conservation districts, legislation was approved and signed into law effective on January 1, 1997, which provides for tax incentives for the development of vegetative filter strips. Vegetative filter strips are a proven conservation practice which can aid in reducing soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide significant habitat for grassland wildlife. Soil and water conservation districts play a primary role in working with local landowners to access this tax incentive. The Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment Law provides for a reduction in the assessed value of cropland certified as meeting the requirements of the law to 1/6th of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland.
Reduced Property Tax Assessment (FDA & IDNR CSP)
With the passage of the FDA, the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/10-150) was amended to provide a tax incentive for the Illinois timber grower. The amendment to the Property Tax Code states in counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, any land being managed under a forestry management plan approved by the Department under the guidelines of the FDA shall be considered as “other farmland”. The land shall be valued at 1/6 of its equalized assessed value based on cropland. If the forest landowner requests such consideration, the Department works with the Department of Revenue to inform each county tax assessor of each parcel of land which is covered by an approved FDA forest management plan, and subject to the reduced tax assessment. To learn more about the Illinois Forestry Development Act Click Here.
Among the many challenges the state of Illinois faces in its effort to manage its natural resources is preserving and enhancing biological resources in a landscape that is more than 90% privately owned. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is designed to encourage landowners to manage their land in order to protect Illinois’ limited environmental resources. Landowners who have at least five acres of unimproved land and are willing to commit to developing and implementing a habitat management plan for their property may apply for CSP in exchange for reduced valuation of property taxes. CSP priorities are to: promote the restoration of native species; reduce the impacts of invasive species; protect, restore, and enhance species in greatest need of conservation; and reduce forest fragmentation in Illinois.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat. Click here for more information about EQIP in Illinois.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment. Click here for more information about CSP in Illinois.
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements. Click here for more information about ACEP in Illinois.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and RCPP conservation program contracts. Click here for more information about RCPP in Illinois.
Streambank Stabilization Restoration Program (SSRP)
SSRP will provide assistance to Illinois landowners to stabilize or restore severely eroding streambanks that qualify. SSRP is a cost-share program that has many possible control methods. Willow Posts, Bendway Wiers, Stream Barbs, Pool and Riffle and Stone Toe Protection are examples of SSRP methods. Methods and design are determined and designed by our Regional Streambank Specialist.
Forestry Management and Timber Stand Improvement
Financial assistance for forest landowners implementing approved forestry practices is provided by the state and federal governments. The State of Illinois provides its assistance through the IDNR Division of Forestry with funds coming from the 4% timber harvest fee. The federal government provides its assistance through the USDA NRCS offices and staff in two programs – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program CSP. The Conservation Reserve Program also has specific practices for CRP enrollment.