The Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) is a voluntary program that provides eligible landowners of non-industrial private forest land with cost-share assistance for restoring land affected by a natural disaster. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers this program.
Wildlife Mississippi conceptualized this program and worked with the American Forest Foundation and the U.S. Congress to make it law. This program is available for restoration and does not assist in the loss of forest products. It is strictly for the restoration of the land.
Type of lands that qualify: Forestland
Type of program: Natural disaster restoration
Monetary benefit: Direct payment
How it Works
The EFRP is a cost-share program at the rate of 75% of the cost of implementation of practices. County committees can approve payments up to $50,000, and state committees can approve $50,000 to $100,000. Anything over $100,000 would require national approval, and no payment over $500,000 will be approved per landowner for each natural disaster.
Restoration practices eligible for cost-share assistance may include
- site preparation, planting materials, and labor for reestablishing forest systems,
- debris removal for re-establishment or regeneration,
- restoration of forestland roads and fire breaks,
- fencing or exclusion structures for the protection of trees from wildlife damage, and
- wildlife enhancements to provide openings and improve wildlife habitat.
To be eligible, land must be owned by any non-industrial private individual, corporation, group, association, or other entity. As this program focuses solely on restoration, eligible lands must have previously had tree cover and remain suitable for tree growth.
How To Apply For the Emergency Forest Restoration Program
Since this program is available for emergency assistance, sign-up periods are not continual, and only certain counties may be eligible for assistance through the EFRP. Landowners with significant damage should contact their local USDA service center and the FSA to determine if their county is eligible for participation in the EFRP.
A landowner has 100 acres of eligible bottomland hardwoods they are reforesting after a EF-3 tornado hit their stand of bottomland hardwoods along the Leaf River in central Mississippi. The EFRP can be utilized to pay for 75% of the restoration cost.
The average clean-up, site preparation, and restoration cost for bottomland hardwoods is $655/acre.
Clean-up, Site Preparation, Tree Seedlings, and Tree Planting: $655/Acre = $65,500
EFRP (Pays 75% of costs) = $49,125
Landowner (Pays 25% of costs) = $16,375
How are EFRP Payments Taxed?
EFRP payments are taxed at the ordinary income rate; however, if the expenses equal or exceed the revenue from the program, no tax is paid.