LITTLE ROCK, AR June 20, 2017 - The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has allocated $300,000 to assist with the implementation of woodland management practices in Arkansas. The Keeping it in the Family (KIITF) project is designed to provide assistance to socially disadvantaged forest landowners in seven counties by helping them install woodland management practices leading to economically productive and sustainable forest lands.

The project is offered in Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Nevada, Ouachita and Union counties.

“This funding will enhance the assistance NRCS is providing socially disadvantaged forest landowners,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist in Arkansas. “The health of our forests and our rural communities very often go hand in hand. NRCS works with private landowners to increase economic and other opportunities for families and businesses that make their homes near woodlands. This assistance also helps decrease the threat of wildfire and restore forest habitat.”

Forest landowners can apply for financial assistance through NRCS at their local USDA Field Service Center. The deadline to apply is July 20, 2017. This is a voluntary program to assist with the installation of forest land conservation practices to help restore, maintain and enhance woodlands.

“As with all NRCS programs, participation is completely voluntary,” Sullivan said. “This project incorporates the same practices that landowners have been voluntarily implementing for years, boosting soil and air quality, cleaning and conserving water and enhancing wildlife habitat.”

For additional information on the KIITF project, contact University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff professor Dr. Henry English at 870-575-7246 or, or USDA StrikeForce Coordinator Charlie Williams at 870-633-3055 or

To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or your local USDA Service Center.