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Grassland reserve program application deadline April 19

PORTLAND — Continuous sign-up for the 2013 Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) will close April 19 for batching.

The objective of the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is to support grazing operations, maintain and improve plant and animal biodiversity and protect grasslands that are under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development, and other non-grazing uses.

For fiscal year 2013, NRCS Oregon will give high priority to applications, particularly easements, that enroll grazing lands within and adjacent to sage-grouse core area habitats. Applicants enrolled in the program retain the right to conduct common grazing practices while providing high-quality habitat for sage-grouse. Core area habitat primarily occurs in Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Lake and Malheur counties.

Landowners or operators interested in using GRP to help maintain working grazing lands for livestock and wildlife can apply at their local USDA Service Center: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=OR.

GRP is a continuous sign-up, this year applications will be batched on April 19. Pending funding, selections will then be made.

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