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Watauga, Avery Approved to Accept Applications Related to July’s Wind Storm

Watauga/Avery County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is approved to accept applications for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) to address wind damage caused by the severe wind storm on July 8, 2016.

EFRP provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land to enable the owners to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. EFRP sign-up will begin on September 21, 2016, and end on October 20, 2016.

After applications are received the NC Forest Service will provide technical assistance by evaluating the damage and developing a plan to restore the NIPF land. The Watauga/Avery FSA county committee will determine land eligibility and approve applications.

In order to meet eligibility requirements, NIPF land must have existing tree cover or had tree cover immediately before the natural disaster occurred and be sustainable for growing trees. The land must also be owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land. The natural disaster must have resulted in damage that if untreated would impair or endanger the natural resources on the land and/or materially affect future use of the land.

Please contact the Watauga/Avery County FSA office at 828 264-3850, ext. 2 for more information or visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. The Watauga/Avery County FSA Office is located at 971 West King Street, Boone NC 28607.