RICHMOND, VA, May 18, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting new or modified proposals from state governments for its State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) Initiative. Through SAFE, vital habitat is restored to meet high-priority state wildlife conservation goals.The deadline to submit proposals is June 19. 

“Conservation is a major priority for FSA, and this program empowers landowners to create critical wildlife habitat through the establishment of wetlands, grasses and trees,” said Nivin A. Elgohary, FSA State Executive Director in Virginia. “We’re proud to offer the opportunity, through SAFE, for producers, state and federal wildlife experts and those with nonprofit organizations to work together to develop and maintain high-value wildlife habitats.”

SAFE practices must be used to restore animal habitats for the following categories:

  • rare, threatened and endangered species
  • species that have suffered a significant population decline
  • species that provide significant social or economic value to the community.  

SAFE grass and tree practices were moved to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup in 2019 and competed against other offers, while buffer and wetland practices remain under continuous CRP signup.  

When submitted, proposals must include an overview of the project accomplishments, a list of all practices planned, the commitment of the state and participants and the planned outreach efforts.  

For more information about SAFE and submitting a proposal, contact Emily Horsley, at emily.horsley@usda.gov or at 804-287-1546.