7 CFR § 625.10 - Cost-share payments.

§ 625.10 Cost-share payments.

(a) NRCS may share the cost with landowners of restoring land enrolled in HFRP as provided in the HFRP restoration plan. The HFRP restoration plan may include periodic manipulation to maximize fish and wildlife habitat and preserve forest ecosystem functions and values, and measures that are needed to provide the Landowner Protections under section 7(b)(4) or section 10(a)(1) of the ESA, including the cost of any permit.

(b) Landowner Protections may be made available to landowners enrolled in the HFRP who agree, for a specified period, to restore, protect, enhance, maintain, and manage the habitat conditions on their land in a manner that is reasonably expected to result in a net conservation benefit that contributes to the recovery of listed species under the ESA, candidate, or other species covered by this regulation. These protections operate with lands enrolled in the HFRP and are valid for as long as the landowner is in compliance with the terms and conditions of such assurances, any associated permit, the easement, contract, or the restoration agreement.

(c) If the Landowner Protections, or any associated permit, require the adoption of a conservation practice or measure in addition to the conservation practices and measures identified in the applicable HFRP restoration plan, NRCS and the landowner will incorporate the conservation practice or measure into the HFRP restoration plan as an item eligible for cost-share assistance.

(d) Failure to perform planned management activities can result in violation of the easement, 30-year contract, 10-year cost-share agreement, or the agreement under which Landowner Protections have been provided. NRCS will work with landowners to plan appropriate management activities.

(e) The amount and terms and conditions of the cost-share assistance will be subject to the following restrictions on the costs of establishing or installing NRCS approved conservation practices or implementing measures specified in the HFRP restoration plan:

(1) On enrolled land subject to a permanent easement or an easement for the maximum duration allowed under State law, NRCS will offer to pay not less than 75 percent nor more than 100 percent of the average cost, and;

(2) On enrolled land subject to a 30-year easement or 30-year contract, NRCS will offer to pay not more than 75 percent of the average cost.

(f) On enrolled land subject to a 10-year cost-share agreement without an associated easement, NRCS will offer to pay not more than 50 percent of the average costs.

(g) Cost-share payments may be made only upon a determination by NRCS that an eligible conservation practice or measure has been established in compliance with appropriate standards and specifications. Identified conservation practices and measures may be implemented by the landowner or other designee.

(h) Cost-share payments may be made for the establishment and installation of additional eligible conservation practices and measures, or the maintenance or replacement of an eligible conservation practice or measure, but only if NRCS determines the practice or measure is needed to meet the objectives of HFRP, and the failure of the original conservation practices or measures was due to reasons beyond the control of the landowner.

[75 FR 6546, Feb. 10, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 19703, May 6, 2019]