7 CFR § 625.5 - Application procedures.
(a) Sign-up process. As funds are available, the Chief will solicit project proposals from the State Conservationist. The State Conservationist may consult with other agencies at the State, Federal, and local levels to develop proposals. The State Conservationist will submit the proposal(s) to the Chief for funding selection. Upon selection for funding, the State Conservationist will issue a public sign-up notice which will announce and explain the rationale for decisions based on the following information:
(1) The geographic scope of the sign-up;
(2) Any additional program eligibility criteria that are not specifically listed in this part;
(3) Any additional requirements that participants must include in their HFRP applications that are not specifically identified in this part;
(4) Information on the priority order of enrollment for funding;
(5) An estimate of the total funds NRCS expects to obligate during a given sign-up; and
(6) The schedule for the sign-up process, including the deadline(s) for applying.
(b) Application for participation. To apply for enrollment through an easement, 30-year contract, or 10-year cost-share agreement, a landowner must submit an application for participation in the HFRP during an announced period for such sign-up.
(c) Preliminary agency actions. By filing an application for participation, the applicant consents to an NRCS representative entering upon the land for purposes of determining land eligibility, and for other activities that are necessary or desirable for NRCS to make offers of enrollment. The applicant is entitled to accompany an NRCS representative on any site visits.
(d) Voluntary reduction in compensation. In order to enhance the probability of enrollment in HFRP, an applicant may voluntarily offer to accept a lesser payment than is being offered by NRCS. Such offer and subsequent payments may not be less than those rates set forth in § 625.8 and § 625.10 of this part.