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Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program update


November 5, 2013
By Katie Burt OSCIA

Nov. 5, 2013 — The sixth year of the Species at Risk Farm Incentive
Program (SARFIP) is well underway, offering new cost-share opportunities
for farm-based stewardship projects such as improved stream crossings,
fencing, habitat restoration, tree planting, invasive species removal
and other Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Nov. 5, 2013 — The sixth year of the Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is well underway, offering new cost-share opportunities for farm-based stewardship projects such as improved stream crossings, fencing, habitat restoration, tree planting, invasive species removal and other Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Environment Canada and administered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), SARFIP has been reshaped for 2013, offering up to 80 per cent cost-share for almost all BMPs.

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TAILOR-MADE FOR ALL FARM SIZES

The unique three-level cost-share structure is tailored to its users, providing farm businesses with the ability to decide how willing they are to research and identify Species at Risk (SAR).

“What the funding levels do for this program is give the decision-making tools to the farmer, allowing them to figure out where their interests lie,” Christine Schmalz, senior environmental programs coordinator says.

“For OSCIA, categorizing projects this way means there are broad opportunities for farmers across the landscape, with the focus on those that directly support SAR.”

Level 1 funding is available to all farmers across the province, offering 30 per cent cost-share to a maximum of $2,500 to implement any one of the eligible SARFIP BMPs. Applicants are not in any way required to have SAR on their property to participate in the program at this level.

Level 2 funding at 50 per cent to a maximum of $5,000 connects more closely with SAR. Applicants can elevate their projects to this level by identifying if their farm is located in a federal SAR priority area using this map or determining if the farm is located in a key habitat area for provincial SAR. 

Level 3 offers opportunities for applicants who have SAR on their property and are directly addressing the species’ habitat needs.  Applicants can access 80 per cent cost-share to $15,000 through this Level.

EXAMPLES OF APPROVED PROJECTS

OSCIA has approved several level one, two and three projects so far this year.

• For example, a shelterbelt and windbreak plan was approved at Level 1, which will enhance the connection between existing woodlots and reduce soil loss due to wind erosion.

• A livestock fencing project that will keep livestock from entering a waterway, protecting the shoreline and reducing agricultural impacts on water quality, was approved at Level 2 because the farm is located in the federal SAR priority area.

• Lastly, a cash cropper in South Western Ontario was approved for Level 3 for a project aimed at combating invasive species located in an existing woodlot, where several types of SAR are known to exist.

There are ample opportunities offered through SARFIP for 2013 and funding remains available. All appropriate projects with invoices falling on or after April 1, 2013 may be eligible for cost-share through this program.

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED

Farm businesses interested in SARFIP are welcome to apply via e-mail or the mail. The program is a first-come first-serve program, meaning applications will be accepted until the existing budget is fully allocated for 2013. 

Any questions can be directed to project and claim reviewer Brad Carberry at 226-979-2465.

More information, including access to downloadable application forms, maps for federal priority areas and the necessary steps for participation, visit the SARFIP website.


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