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Kansas Forest Service

Kansas Forest Service
2610 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66502

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Trees for Clean Water

Addressing water quality issues in Kansas through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) 
About the Programseedling

This initiative provides funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to reduce farmland lost to streambank erosion, and improve the health and productivity of woodlands in priority watersheds. The program seeks to improve water quality and reduce the sedimentation of federal reservoirs through tree planting and forest stand improvement. Forestland, cropland, and grassland all have the potential to qualify for the program if a resource concern is identified. Primary resource concerns for the program are water quality degradation from soil erosion and the health and condition of trees in woodlands and forests. Specific examples of resource concerns may include:

  • Streambank and/or surface runoff erosion where additional tree planting can provide reduction in sediment, pesticide and nutrient entry into Kansas streams.
  • Forest or woodlands that are over crowded (need thinning), are under-stocked and would benefit from additional tree planting; contain a high percentage of invasive or undesirable trees and shrubs.
Eligibility and Requirements tree
  • The program is available in targeted watersheds shown as cross-hatched areas on the state map below. If you are unsure if your land is in a targeted watershed call 785-532-3310 or e-mail
  • Applicants must be engaged in agricultural production, forest management or have interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land offered for enrollment in RCPP/EQIP.
  • Tenants may apply with written support from landowners.
  • Land must have a resource concern as determined by Kansas Forest Service district foresters or NRCS district conservationists.
How to Apply 

Applications are accepted anytime at county NRCS offices located in USDA Service Centers. Locations and contact information are available online at by clicking on “Find a Service Center” under “Kansas Links”. Additional program information is also located here.
NRCS will refer applicants to a Kansas Forest Service district forester who will visit the property and develop a management plan to guide the project. NRCS will prioritize and fund the application based on criteria developed for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)/Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Water Quality Improvement through the Implementation of Forestry Practices grant. Additional information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that RCPP is delivered through may be found online here.

Trees for Clean Water (RCPP) Informational Brochure
A Resource Concernmap

To the right is a photo of one of many Kansas streams that exhibit resource concerns and would be potentially eligible for EQIP funding to establish a tree planting. The red line that surrounds the stream in the aerial photo (far right) is the area recommended for additional tree planting.
Some assessments of Kansas watersheds suggest many Kansas streams in the eastern third of the state lack adequate forest cover to provide bank stabilization and other water quality benefits. Lack of adequate tree cover contributes to sedimentation of Kansas reservoirs that provide water
supplies to two-thirds of the people in our state.

Eligible Practices and Rates*

A partial listing of practices and payment rates are listed below. These are the actual rates qualifying applicants receive.

Mechanical Mowing$11.50 per acre
Herbicides (Banding) $32.19 per acre
Weed Barrier Fabric (Squares)$1.87 each
Tree/Shrub Site Prep (Medium)$211.94 per acre
Tree/Shrub Site Prep (Heavy)$238.82 per acre
Direct Seeding (Riparian Buffer)   $714.75 per acre
Tree Planting (Machine & Tubes) $7.16 each
Tree Planting (Hand/Browse Protection)$4.04 each
Tree Planting (Machine) $2.10 each
Riparian Forest Buffer Tree Planting,
Container & Machine
$1,767.20 per acre
Riparian Forest Buffer Tree Planting,
Container, Bare Root & Machine
$1,094.03 per acre
Barbed Wire Fence (Multi Strand) $1.30 per linear foot 
Forest Stand Improvement
(Single Stem Treatment) 
$260.51 per acre

*Payment rates are the actual figures landowners receive based upon regional average costs. They are subject to change on a yearly basis.
Additionally, up to 90% of the total project cost can be covered by local Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) groups. 

Kansas Forest Service rural districts and priority watersheds
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