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Loren Birdrattler, Blackfeet ARMP Program Manager

The Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP) within the Blackfeet Natural Resources Conservation District announced that it was awarded funding through a 2019 NACD technical assistance (TA) grant, made possible through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to build and strengthen technical capacity nationwide.

Loren Birdrattler, Blackfeet ARMP Program Manger, said, “The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) funding will assist us in moving Blackfeet farmers and ranchers into NRCS and other USDA program resources to prevent over grazing, protect Native grass species integral to the development of young heifers, as well as aligning eligibility requirements for USDA programs with Indian Trust Land policy.  This is the second year that we have received the grant.  During the first year, we concentrated on comprehensive planning and data collection.  This year we will be focusing on implementation of the conservation objectives defined in the community developed Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan.”

NACD and NRCS established the Technical Assistance Grant Initiative in 2018 through a cooperative agreement to help conservation districts hire staff where additional technical capacity was needed to improve customer service and reduce workload pressure. 

In 2018, NACD and NRCS awarded $9 million in funding to further enhance conservation district technical assistance across the nation. To date in 2019, NACD and NRCS have awarded grants totaling $9.9 million in 47 states and two territories, funding nearly 210 positions, including 10  tribe-related positions.    

“Building and strengthening technical capacity on a grassroots level is crucial when it comes to local natural resources management,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Every acre and every district employee counts when it comes to the conservation puzzle, whether it’s a soil conservation technician, forester or program support specialist.”

“NACD is proud to help put more boots on the ground and offer support to bolster the important work conservation districts accomplish on America’s landscapes every day,” Palmer said. 

Learn more about the technical assistance grants program on NACD’s website. 

And for more information regarding the Blackfeet ARMP and its projects and plans, contact Loren Birdrattler at 406.338.7521 ext. 2370 or via email: lbirdrattler@blackfeetnation.com and visit the ARMP website for exciting news on upcoming events and projects at www.BlackfeetARMP.com.

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