Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Security Program, 6250-6263 [06-1108]

Download as PDF 6250 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Security Program Natural Resources Conservation Service and Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The administrative actions announced in the notice are effective on February 7, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Derickson, Branch Chief— Stewardship Programs, Financial Assistance Programs Division, NRCS, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013– 2890, telephone: (202) 720–1845; fax: (202) 720–4265. Submit e-mail to: craig.derickson@wdc.usda.gov, Attention: Conservation Security Program. SUMMARY: This document announces the sign-up CSP–06–01 for the Conservation Security Program (CSP). This sign-up will be open from February 13, 2006, through March 31, 2006, in selected 8digit watersheds in all 50 States, Guam, and the Caribbean. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In an amendment to the Interim Final Rule published March 25, 2005, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) established the implementing regulations for Conservation Security Program (CSP). The CSP is a voluntary program administered by NRCS using authorities and funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, that provides financial and technical assistance to producers who advance the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life, and other conservation purposes on Tribal and private working lands. This document announces the CSP– 06–01 sign-up that will be open from February 13, 2006, through March 31, 2006, in selected 8-digit watersheds in all 50 States, Guam, and the Caribbean, which can be viewed at http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/ 2006_CSP_WS/index.html. These watersheds were selected using the process set forth in the Interim Final Rule. In addition to other data sources, this process used National Resources Inventory data to assess land use, agricultural input intensity, and historic conservation stewardship in watersheds nationwide. NRCS State Conservationists recommended a list of potential watersheds after gaining advice from the State Technical Committees. The Secretary of erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 Agriculture announced on August 25, 2005, the preliminary list of FY 2006 watersheds based on the President’s budget. Of those 110 watersheds, CSP will be offered in 60 watersheds nationwide based on available funding. The sign-up will only include those producers who are not participants in an existing CSP contract. Applicants can submit only one application for this sign-up. To be eligible for CSP, a majority of the agricultural operation must be within the limits of one of the selected watersheds. Applications which meet the minimum requirements as set forth in the Interim Final Rule (listed below) will be placed in enrollment categories for funding consideration. Categories will be funded in alphabetical order until funds are exhausted. If funds are not available to fund an entire category, then the applications will fall into subcategories and funded in order until funds are exhausted. If a subcategory cannot be fully funded, applicants will be offered the FY 2006 CSP contract payment on a prorated basis. Producers should begin the application process by filling out a selfassessment to determine if they meet the basic qualification for CSP. Selfassessment workbooks are available in hard copy at USDA Service Centers within the watersheds, and electronically for download or an interactive Web site linked from http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ csp/2006_CSP_WS/index.html. The selfassessment workbook includes a benchmark inventory where the applicant documents the conservation practices and activities that are ongoing on their operation. This benchmark inventory serves as the basis for the conservation stewardship plan. Once the producer concludes that they meet the CSP requirements as outlined in the workbook, they should make an appointment for an interview to discuss their application with the NRCS local staff to determine if they meet specific CSP eligibility requirements. In order to apply, applicants must submit: (1) A completed self-assessment workbook, including the benchmark inventory. (2) A minimum of two years of documentation to show any stewardship completed including fertilizer, nutrient, and pesticide application schedules, tillage, and grazing schedules if applicable. (3) Completed CCC–1200 available through the self-assessment online guide, Web site, and any USDA Service Center. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Applicants are encouraged to attend preliminary workshops, which will be announced locally. There, the basic qualifications will be explained, and assistance provided on the selfassessment workbook and benchmark inventory. CSP is offered at three tiers of participation. Some payments are adjusted based on the tier, and some payments are tier-neutral. See payment information below. Minimum Tier Eligibility and Contract Requirements The following are the minimum tier eligibility and contract requirements: CSP Tier I—the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed the nationally significant resource concerns of water quality and soil quality to the minimum level of treatment for any eligible landuse on part of the agricultural operation. Only the acreage meeting such requirements is eligible for stewardship and existing practice payments in CSP. CSP Tier II—the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed the nationally significant resource concerns of water quality and soil quality to the minimum level of treatment for all eligible land uses on the entire agricultural operation. Additionally, the applicant must agree to address another significant resource concern applicable to their watershed to be started no later than two years prior to contract expiration, and completed by the end of the contract period. If the applicable resource concern is already addressed or does not pertain to the operation, then this requirement is waived. CSP Tier III—the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed all of the existing resource concerns listed in Section III of the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) with a resource management system that meets the minimum level of treatment for all eligible land uses on the entire agricultural operation. Delineation of the Agriculture Operation Delineating an agricultural operation for CSP is an important part in determining the Tier of the contract, stewardship payments, and the required level of conservation treatment needed for participation. The applicant will delineate the agricultural operation to include all agricultural lands, and other lands such as farmstead, feedlots, and headquarters and incidental forestlands, E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices under the control of the participant and constituting a cohesive management unit that is operated with equipment, labor, accounting system, and management that is substantially separate from any other. In delineating the agriculture operation, Farm Service Agency farm boundaries may be used. If farm boundaries are used in the application, the entire farm area must be included within the delineation. An applicant may offer one farm or aggregate farms into one agricultural operation. erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES Minimum Eligibility Requirements To be eligible to participate in CSP, the applicants must meet the requirements for eligible applicants, the land offered for contract must meet the definition of eligible land, and the application must meet the conservation standards for that land as described below. Eligible Applicants To be eligible to participate, an applicant must: (1) Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions; (2) Meet the Adjusted Gross Income requirements; (3) Show control of the land for the life of the proposed contract period. If the applicant is a tenant, the applicant must provide NRCS with either written evidence or assurance of control from the landowner, but a lease is not required. In the case of land allotted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or Tribal land, there is considered to be sufficient assurance of control; (4) Share in risk of producing any crop or livestock and be entitled to share in the crop or livestock available for marketing from the agriculture operation. Landlords and owners are ineligible to submit an application for exclusively cash rented agriculture operations; (5) Complete a benchmark condition inventory for the entire agricultural operation or the portion being enrolled in accordance with § 1469.7(a) in the Interim Final Rule; and (6) Supply information, as required by NRCS, to determine eligibility for the program; including but not limited to, information related to eligibility criteria in this sign-up announcement; and information to verify the applicant’s status as a beginning or limited resource farmer or rancher if applicable. Eligible Land To be eligible for enrollment in CSP, land must be: (1) Private agricultural land; VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 (2) Private non-industrial forested land that is an incidental part of the agriculture operation; (3) Agricultural land that is Tribal, allotted, or Indian trust land; (4) Other incidental parcels, as determined by NRCS, which may include, but are not limited to, land within the bounds of working agricultural land or small adjacent areas (including center pivot corners, linear practices, field borders, turn rows, intermingled small wet areas, or riparian areas); or (5) Other land on which NRCS determines that conservation treatment will contribute to an improvement in an identified natural resource concern, including areas outside the boundary of the agricultural land or enrolled parcel such as farmsteads, ranch sites, barnyards, feedlots, equipment storage areas, material handling facilities, and other such developed areas. Other land must be treated in Tier III contracts. Land Not Eligible for Enrollment in CSP The following lands are ineligible for enrollment in CSP: (1) Land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program, or the Grassland Reserve Program; and (2) Public land including land owned by a Federal, State, or local unit of government. Land referred to above may not receive CSP payments, but the conservation work on this land may be used to determine if an applicant meets eligibility criteria for the agricultural operation and may be described in the Conservation Stewardship Plan. Land Not Eligible for Any Payment Component in CSP Land that is used for crop production after May 13, 2002, that had not been planted, considered to be planted, or devoted to crop production, as determined by NRCS, for at least 4 of the 6 years preceding May 13, 2002, is not eligible for any payment component in CSP. Conservation Standards for Tier I and Tier II The following conservation standards apply for Tier I and Tier II: (1) The minimum level of treatment on cropland: a. Soil Quality—the minimum level of treatment is considered achieved when the Soil Conditioning Index is positive; and b. Water Quality—the minimum level of treatment is considered achieved when the CSP Water Quality Eligibility Tool minimum thresholds are met for PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6251 the specific resource concerns of nutrients, pesticides, sediment and salinity for surface water and nutrients, pesticides and salinity for ground water, if applicable. (2) The minimum level of treatment on pastureland and rangelands: a. Soil Quality—the minimum level of treatment is considered achieved by following a grazing management plan that provides for vegetation and animal management achieved through a forageanimal balance, proper livestock distribution, and timing of use; and. b. Water Quality—the minimum level of treatment is considered achieved when the access of livestock to water courses is properly managed according to the grazing plan and the CSP Water Quality Eligibility Tool minimum thresholds are met for the specific resource concerns of nutrients, pesticides, sediment and salinity for surface water and nutrients, pesticides and salinity for ground water, if applicable. Conservation Standards for Tier III The minimum level of treatment for Tier III on any eligible landuse is met by achieving the required conservation standards specified for Tier I and Tier II requirements, plus meeting the quality criteria for the local NRCS FOTG for all existing resource concerns and the following specific criteria: (A) The minimum requirement for water quantity—irrigation water management on cropland or pastureland is considered achieved when the current level of treatment and management for the system results in a water use index value of at least 50; (B) The minimum requirement for wildlife is considered achieved when the current level of treatment and management for the system results in an index value of at least 0.5 of the habitat potential using either a general or species specific habitat assessment guide, as determined by the State Conservationist; (C) The minimum requirement for riparian corridors is considered achieved when the streams and natural drainages within the agricultural operation include natural vegetation, or a riparian forest or herbaceous buffer that extends at least 2.5 times the channel width on either side of the stream or 10 meters in width, whichever is less; and (D) For grazing lands, the minimum requirement is considered achieved when the applicant can demonstrates that the agricultural operation is implementing a monitoring plan with appropriate records to verify that the grazing management plan is meeting the E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6252 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES CSP soil and water quality standards. The required minimum components of a monitoring plan include: • Grazing use records outlining grazing periods and numbers of animals in each grazing unit. • Assessments, such as trend studies, similarity indices or rangeland health assessments, as well photographs of resource conditions, and documentation of the condition of stream-banks and other sensitive areas. • Target and actual utilization levels. CSP Contract Payments and Limits CSP contract payments include one or more of the following components subject to the described limits: • An annual per acre stewardship component for the benchmark conservation treatment. This component is calculated separately for each land use by multiplying the number of acres times the tier factor (0.05 for Tier I, 0.10 for Tier II, and 0.15 for Tier III) times the stewardship payment rate established for the watershed times the tier reduction factor (0.25 for Tier I and 0.50 for Tier II, and 0.75 for Tier III). • An annual existing practice component for maintaining existing conservation practices. Existing practice payments will be calculated as a flat rate of 25 percent of the stewardship payment. • A new practice component for additional practices on the watershed specific list. New practice payments for limited resource farmers, beginning farmers and producers who qualify in the NRCS small producer initiative will be made at not more than 65 percent cost-share rate. New practice payments for all other contracts will be made at not more than a 50 percent cost-share rate. All new practice payments are limited to a $10,000 cumulative total for the contract. • An annual enhancement component for exceptional conservation effort and additional conservation practices or activities that provide increased resource benefits beyond the required conservation standard noted above. This payment will be calculated at a variable payment rate for enhancement activities that are part of the benchmark inventory. The annual enhancement payment for the first contract year for the enhancements documented in the benchmark inventory will be calculated at a rate initiating at 120 percent for the 2006 contract year and then at a declining rate for the remainder of the contract of 100 percent for 2007, 80 percent for 2008, 60 percent for 2009, 30 percent for 2010, 10 percent for 2011, and 0 percent for 2012. This is intended to provide VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 contract capacity to add additional enhancements in the out-years and to encourage participants to make continuous improvements to their operation. In order to maintain the same level of payment over the life of the contract, the participant may add additional enhancement activities of their choice in later years. The additional enhancements will be paid at a flat rate of 100 percent. The total of all enhancement payments in any one year will not exceed $13,750 for Tier I, $21,875 for Tier II, and $28,125 for Tier III annually. The NRCS Chief may allow for special enhancements for producerbased studies, watershed scale projects and evaluation and assessment activities on a case-by-case basis. • An advance enhancement payment is available in the FY 2006 sign-up. The advance enhancement payment is available to contracts with an initial enhancement payment as determined in the benchmark inventory and interview. The advance enhancement payment would shift a portion of that annual enhancement payment amount into the first-year payment and deduct it from the following years’ payments. Tier I contracts are for a five-year duration. Tier II and Tier III contracts are for a five-to 10-year duration at the option of the participant. Participants who move from Tier I to Tier II or III may increase their contract length to up to ten years from the original contract date. Future contract improvements such as advancing tiers, adding land, and adding enhancements may be made to funded contracts during any announced contract modification period based on annual available funding and other constraints determined to be necessary to manage the CSP program. Total annual maximum contract payment limits are $20,000 for Tier I, $35,000 for Tier II, and $45,000 for Tier III, including any advance enhancement payment. The payment components are tailored for the selected watersheds. For more details, call or visit the local USDA Service Center, or view on the Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ csp/2006_CSP_WS/index.html. Enhancement Components Available in This Sign-Up The following are the enhancement components available this sign-up: (1) Additional conservation treatment above the quality criteria for soil quality, nutrient management, pest management, irrigation water management, grazing, air and energy management; and (2) Conservation measures that address locally identified conservation PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 needs shown on the watershed specific enhancement lists. The payment components are tailored for the selected watersheds. For more details, call or visit the local USDA Service Center, or view on the Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ csp/2006_CSP_WS/index.html. CSP Enrollment Categories and Subcategories Technical adjustments to the enrollment categories were made based on field testing of the criteria published in a previous notice. This notice provides updated enrollment category criteria. An application will be placed in an enrollment category as follows: • A single land use application will be placed in the highest category level that all conservation management units being offered meet. • A multiple land use application will be placed in the category of the land use with the largest number of acres. Category placement for a land use will follow the direction for single land use application category placement (see above). The CSP will fund the enrollment categories in alphabetical order (Attachment #1). If an enrollment category cannot be completely funded, then subcategories will be funded in the following order: (1) Applicant is a limited resource producer, according to criteria specified in the USDA Limited Resource Farmers/ Ranchers guidelines or a Tribal member producing on Tribal or historically tribal lands; (2) Applicant is a participant in an ongoing monitoring program that is sponsored by an organization or unit of government that analyzes the data and has authority to take action to achieve improvements; (3) Agricultural operation in a water conservation area or aquifer zone designated by a unit of government; (4) Agricultural operation in a drought area designated by a unit of government in the past three years before the signup dates; (5) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority on pesticides designated by a unit of government; (6) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority on nutrients designated by a unit of government; (7) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority on sediment designated by a unit of government; (8) Agricultural operation in a nonattainment area for air quality or other local or regionally designated air quality zones designated by a unit of government; E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES (9) Agricultural operation in an area selected for the conservation of imperiled plants and animals, including threatened and endangered species, as designated by a unit of government; or (10) Other applications. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 Designated means ‘‘officially assigned a priority by a Federal, State, or local unit of government’’ prior to this notice. If a subcategory cannot be fully funded, applicants will be offered the FY 2006 CSP contract payment on a prorated basis. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6253 Signed in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2006. Dana D. York, Deputy Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, Associate Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. BILLING CODE 3410–16–P E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 EN07FE06.000</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES 6254 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6255 EN07FE06.001</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 EN07FE06.002</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES 6256 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6257 EN07FE06.003</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 EN07FE06.004</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES 6258 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6259 EN07FE06.005</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 EN07FE06.006</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES 6260 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6261 EN07FE06.007</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices 15:23 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 EN07FE06.008</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES 6262 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 25 / Tuesday, February 7, 2006 / Notices BILLING CODE 3410–16–C DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Siskiyou County Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Siskiyou County Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Yreka, California, February 20, 2006. The meeting will include routine business, presentations on a large project and a completed project, and discussion of five previously submitted project proposals. DATES: The meeting will be held February 20, 2006, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Yreka High School Library, Preece Way, Yreka, California. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Talley, RAC Coordinator, Klamath National Forest, (530) 841–4423 or electronically at rtalley@fs.fed.us. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting is open to the public. Public comment opportunity will be provided and individuals will have the opportunity to address the Committee at that time. Dated: January 31, 2006. Margaret J. Boland, Designated Federal Official. [FR Doc. 06–1095 Filed 2–06–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–M DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Sierra County, CA, Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: erjones on PROD1PC68 with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: The Sierra County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet on February 28, 2006, in Sierraville, California. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues relating to implementing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Payments to States) and the expenditure of Title II funds benefiting National Forest System lands on the Humboldt-Toiyabe, Plumas and Tahoe National Forests in Sierra County. DATES: The meeting will be held Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 10 a.m. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:20 Feb 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Ranger Station, Sierraville, CA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Westling, Committee Coordinator, USDA, Tahoe National Forest, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959, (530) 478–6205, e-mail: awestling@fs.fed.usl. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda items to be covered include: (1) Welcome and announcements; (2) Status of previously approved projects; and (3) Review of and decisions on new projects proposals for current year. The meeting is open to the public and the public will have an opportunity to comment at the meeting. The meeting will be rescheduled if weather conditions warrant. ADDRESSES: [FR Doc. 06–1108 Filed 2–6–06; 8:45 am] Dated: February 1, 2006. Steven T. Eubanks, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 06–1096 Filed 2–6–06; 8:45 am] 6263 from Iran - HTS 5701.01) from FTZ 89 to U.S. Customs territory is approved, subject to the Act and the Board’s regulations. The merchandise shall be treated as foreign merchandise and is subject to all entry requirements based on its original country of origin, including the payment of duties and applicable taxes. Signed at Washington, DC, this 26th day of January 2006. David M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary of Commercefor Import Administration, Alternate Chairman, Foreign–Trade Zones Board. Attest: Dennis Puccinelli, Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–1631 Filed 2–6–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security BILLING CODE 3410–11–M DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign–Trade Zones Board [Order No.1434] Removal of Zone–Restricted Merchandise, Foreign–Trade Zone 89, Las Vegas, Nevada Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign–Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a–81u), the Foreign– Trade Zones Board adopts the following Order: Whereas, the Nevada Development Authority, grantee of Foreign–Trade Zone 89, submitted an application to the Board for authority to remove certain zone–restricted merchandise (carpets from Iran - HTS 5701.01) from FTZ 89, Las Vegas, Nevada, to the United States Customs territory (FTZ Docket 39–2005; filed 08/05/05); Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (70 FR 48534, 8/18/05), and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board’s regulations; and, Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner’s report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and Board’s regulations are satisfied, and that the proposal is in the public interest; Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders: The application to remove certain zone–restricted merchandise (carpets PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Action Affecting Export Privileges; Pakland PMD Corp., Humayun Khan; Order Renewing Order Temporarily Denying Export Privileges In the Matters of: Pakland PME Corporation Unit 7&8, 2nd Floor, Mohammadi Plaza Jinnnah Avenue, Blue Area, F–6/4 Islamabad-44000, Pakistan and, Humayun Khan, Unit 7&8, 2nd Floor, Mohammadi Plaza Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, F–6/4, Islamabad-44000, Pakistan, Respondents. Pursuant to Section 766.24 of the Export Administration Regulations (‘‘EAR’’),1 the Bureau of Industry and Security (‘‘BIS’’), U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Office of Export Enforcement (‘‘OEE’’), has requested that I renew for 180 days an Order temporarily denying export privileges of Pakland PME Corporation, (‘‘Pakland’’), Unit 7&8, 2nd Floor, Mohammadi Plaza, Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, F–6/4, Islamabad-44000, Pakistan and, Humayun Kahn, (‘‘Khan’’), Unit 7&8, 2nd Floor, Mohammadi Plaza, Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, F–6/4, Islamabad44000, Pakistan (hereinafter collectively referred to as the ‘‘Respondents’’). On January 31, 2005, Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Wendy Wysong found that evidence 1 The EAR are at 15 CFR Parts 730–774 (2005). The EAR are issued under the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. app. sections 2401–2420 (2000)) (‘‘EAA’’). The EAA lapsed on August 21, 2001. However, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), as extended by the Notice of August 2, 2005, (70 FR 45273 (August 5, 2005), has continued the EAR in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701–1706 (2000)). E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 7, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6250-6263]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-1108]



[[Page 6250]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Security 
Program

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service and Commodity Credit 
Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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DATES: The administrative actions announced in the notice are effective 
on February 7, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Derickson, Branch Chief--
Stewardship Programs, Financial Assistance Programs Division, NRCS, 
P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013-2890, telephone: (202) 720-1845; 
fax: (202) 720-4265. Submit e-mail to: craig.derickson@wdc.usda.gov, 
Attention: Conservation Security Program.
SUMMARY: This document announces the sign-up CSP-06-01 for the 
Conservation Security Program (CSP). This sign-up will be open from 
February 13, 2006, through March 31, 2006, in selected 8-digit 
watersheds in all 50 States, Guam, and the Caribbean.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In an amendment to the Interim Final Rule 
published March 25, 2005, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service 
(NRCS) established the implementing regulations for Conservation 
Security Program (CSP). The CSP is a voluntary program administered by 
NRCS using authorities and funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, 
that provides financial and technical assistance to producers who 
advance the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, 
plant and animal life, and other conservation purposes on Tribal and 
private working lands.
    This document announces the CSP-06-01 sign-up that will be open 
from February 13, 2006, through March 31, 2006, in selected 8-digit 
watersheds in all 50 States, Guam, and the Caribbean, which can be 
viewed at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2006_CSP_WS/
index.html. These watersheds were selected using the process set forth 
in the Interim Final Rule. In addition to other data sources, this 
process used National Resources Inventory data to assess land use, 
agricultural input intensity, and historic conservation stewardship in 
watersheds nationwide. NRCS State Conservationists recommended a list 
of potential watersheds after gaining advice from the State Technical 
Committees. The Secretary of Agriculture announced on August 25, 2005, 
the preliminary list of FY 2006 watersheds based on the President's 
budget. Of those 110 watersheds, CSP will be offered in 60 watersheds 
nationwide based on available funding. The sign-up will only include 
those producers who are not participants in an existing CSP contract. 
Applicants can submit only one application for this sign-up.
    To be eligible for CSP, a majority of the agricultural operation 
must be within the limits of one of the selected watersheds. 
Applications which meet the minimum requirements as set forth in the 
Interim Final Rule (listed below) will be placed in enrollment 
categories for funding consideration. Categories will be funded in 
alphabetical order until funds are exhausted. If funds are not 
available to fund an entire category, then the applications will fall 
into subcategories and funded in order until funds are exhausted. If a 
subcategory cannot be fully funded, applicants will be offered the FY 
2006 CSP contract payment on a prorated basis.
    Producers should begin the application process by filling out a 
self-assessment to determine if they meet the basic qualification for 
CSP. Self-assessment workbooks are available in hard copy at USDA 
Service Centers within the watersheds, and electronically for download 
or an interactive Web site linked from http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
programs/csp/2006_CSP_WS/index.html. The self-assessment workbook 
includes a benchmark inventory where the applicant documents the 
conservation practices and activities that are ongoing on their 
operation. This benchmark inventory serves as the basis for the 
conservation stewardship plan. Once the producer concludes that they 
meet the CSP requirements as outlined in the workbook, they should make 
an appointment for an interview to discuss their application with the 
NRCS local staff to determine if they meet specific CSP eligibility 
requirements.
    In order to apply, applicants must submit:
    (1) A completed self-assessment workbook, including the benchmark 
inventory.
    (2) A minimum of two years of documentation to show any stewardship 
completed including fertilizer, nutrient, and pesticide application 
schedules, tillage, and grazing schedules if applicable.
    (3) Completed CCC-1200 available through the self-assessment online 
guide, Web site, and any USDA Service Center.
    Applicants are encouraged to attend preliminary workshops, which 
will be announced locally. There, the basic qualifications will be 
explained, and assistance provided on the self-assessment workbook and 
benchmark inventory.
    CSP is offered at three tiers of participation. Some payments are 
adjusted based on the tier, and some payments are tier-neutral. See 
payment information below.

Minimum Tier Eligibility and Contract Requirements

    The following are the minimum tier eligibility and contract 
requirements:
    CSP Tier I--the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the 
satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed the nationally 
significant resource concerns of water quality and soil quality to the 
minimum level of treatment for any eligible landuse on part of the 
agricultural operation. Only the acreage meeting such requirements is 
eligible for stewardship and existing practice payments in CSP.
    CSP Tier II--the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the 
satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed the nationally 
significant resource concerns of water quality and soil quality to the 
minimum level of treatment for all eligible land uses on the entire 
agricultural operation. Additionally, the applicant must agree to 
address another significant resource concern applicable to their 
watershed to be started no later than two years prior to contract 
expiration, and completed by the end of the contract period. If the 
applicable resource concern is already addressed or does not pertain to 
the operation, then this requirement is waived.
    CSP Tier III--the benchmark condition inventory demonstrates to the 
satisfaction of NRCS that the applicant has addressed all of the 
existing resource concerns listed in Section III of the NRCS Field 
Office Technical Guide (FOTG) with a resource management system that 
meets the minimum level of treatment for all eligible land uses on the 
entire agricultural operation.

Delineation of the Agriculture Operation

    Delineating an agricultural operation for CSP is an important part 
in determining the Tier of the contract, stewardship payments, and the 
required level of conservation treatment needed for participation. The 
applicant will delineate the agricultural operation to include all 
agricultural lands, and other lands such as farmstead, feedlots, and 
headquarters and incidental forestlands,

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under the control of the participant and constituting a cohesive 
management unit that is operated with equipment, labor, accounting 
system, and management that is substantially separate from any other. 
In delineating the agriculture operation, Farm Service Agency farm 
boundaries may be used. If farm boundaries are used in the application, 
the entire farm area must be included within the delineation. An 
applicant may offer one farm or aggregate farms into one agricultural 
operation.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to participate in CSP, the applicants must meet the 
requirements for eligible applicants, the land offered for contract 
must meet the definition of eligible land, and the application must 
meet the conservation standards for that land as described below.

Eligible Applicants

    To be eligible to participate, an applicant must:
    (1) Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland 
conservation provisions;
    (2) Meet the Adjusted Gross Income requirements;
    (3) Show control of the land for the life of the proposed contract 
period. If the applicant is a tenant, the applicant must provide NRCS 
with either written evidence or assurance of control from the 
landowner, but a lease is not required. In the case of land allotted by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or Tribal land, there is considered 
to be sufficient assurance of control;
    (4) Share in risk of producing any crop or livestock and be 
entitled to share in the crop or livestock available for marketing from 
the agriculture operation. Landlords and owners are ineligible to 
submit an application for exclusively cash rented agriculture 
operations;
    (5) Complete a benchmark condition inventory for the entire 
agricultural operation or the portion being enrolled in accordance with 
Sec.  1469.7(a) in the Interim Final Rule; and
    (6) Supply information, as required by NRCS, to determine 
eligibility for the program; including but not limited to, information 
related to eligibility criteria in this sign-up announcement; and 
information to verify the applicant's status as a beginning or limited 
resource farmer or rancher if applicable.

Eligible Land

    To be eligible for enrollment in CSP, land must be:
    (1) Private agricultural land;
    (2) Private non-industrial forested land that is an incidental part 
of the agriculture operation;
    (3) Agricultural land that is Tribal, allotted, or Indian trust 
land;
    (4) Other incidental parcels, as determined by NRCS, which may 
include, but are not limited to, land within the bounds of working 
agricultural land or small adjacent areas (including center pivot 
corners, linear practices, field borders, turn rows, intermingled small 
wet areas, or riparian areas); or
    (5) Other land on which NRCS determines that conservation treatment 
will contribute to an improvement in an identified natural resource 
concern, including areas outside the boundary of the agricultural land 
or enrolled parcel such as farmsteads, ranch sites, barnyards, 
feedlots, equipment storage areas, material handling facilities, and 
other such developed areas. Other land must be treated in Tier III 
contracts.

Land Not Eligible for Enrollment in CSP

    The following lands are ineligible for enrollment in CSP:
    (1) Land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, the Wetlands 
Reserve Program, or the Grassland Reserve Program; and
    (2) Public land including land owned by a Federal, State, or local 
unit of government.
    Land referred to above may not receive CSP payments, but the 
conservation work on this land may be used to determine if an applicant 
meets eligibility criteria for the agricultural operation and may be 
described in the Conservation Stewardship Plan.

Land Not Eligible for Any Payment Component in CSP

    Land that is used for crop production after May 13, 2002, that had 
not been planted, considered to be planted, or devoted to crop 
production, as determined by NRCS, for at least 4 of the 6 years 
preceding May 13, 2002, is not eligible for any payment component in 
CSP.

Conservation Standards for Tier I and Tier II

    The following conservation standards apply for Tier I and Tier II:
    (1) The minimum level of treatment on cropland:
    a. Soil Quality--the minimum level of treatment is considered 
achieved when the Soil Conditioning Index is positive; and
    b. Water Quality--the minimum level of treatment is considered 
achieved when the CSP Water Quality Eligibility Tool minimum thresholds 
are met for the specific resource concerns of nutrients, pesticides, 
sediment and salinity for surface water and nutrients, pesticides and 
salinity for ground water, if applicable.
    (2) The minimum level of treatment on pastureland and rangelands:
    a. Soil Quality--the minimum level of treatment is considered 
achieved by following a grazing management plan that provides for 
vegetation and animal management achieved through a forage-animal 
balance, proper livestock distribution, and timing of use; and.
    b. Water Quality--the minimum level of treatment is considered 
achieved when the access of livestock to water courses is properly 
managed according to the grazing plan and the CSP Water Quality 
Eligibility Tool minimum thresholds are met for the specific resource 
concerns of nutrients, pesticides, sediment and salinity for surface 
water and nutrients, pesticides and salinity for ground water, if 
applicable.

Conservation Standards for Tier III

    The minimum level of treatment for Tier III on any eligible landuse 
is met by achieving the required conservation standards specified for 
Tier I and Tier II requirements, plus meeting the quality criteria for 
the local NRCS FOTG for all existing resource concerns and the 
following specific criteria:
    (A) The minimum requirement for water quantity--irrigation water 
management on cropland or pastureland is considered achieved when the 
current level of treatment and management for the system results in a 
water use index value of at least 50;
    (B) The minimum requirement for wildlife is considered achieved 
when the current level of treatment and management for the system 
results in an index value of at least 0.5 of the habitat potential 
using either a general or species specific habitat assessment guide, as 
determined by the State Conservationist;
    (C) The minimum requirement for riparian corridors is considered 
achieved when the streams and natural drainages within the agricultural 
operation include natural vegetation, or a riparian forest or 
herbaceous buffer that extends at least 2.5 times the channel width on 
either side of the stream or 10 meters in width, whichever is less; and
    (D) For grazing lands, the minimum requirement is considered 
achieved when the applicant can demonstrates that the agricultural 
operation is implementing a monitoring plan with appropriate records to 
verify that the grazing management plan is meeting the

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CSP soil and water quality standards. The required minimum components 
of a monitoring plan include:
     Grazing use records outlining grazing periods and numbers 
of animals in each grazing unit.
     Assessments, such as trend studies, similarity indices or 
rangeland health assessments, as well photographs of resource 
conditions, and documentation of the condition of stream-banks and 
other sensitive areas.
     Target and actual utilization levels.

CSP Contract Payments and Limits

    CSP contract payments include one or more of the following 
components subject to the described limits:
     An annual per acre stewardship component for the benchmark 
conservation treatment. This component is calculated separately for 
each land use by multiplying the number of acres times the tier factor 
(0.05 for Tier I, 0.10 for Tier II, and 0.15 for Tier III) times the 
stewardship payment rate established for the watershed times the tier 
reduction factor (0.25 for Tier I and 0.50 for Tier II, and 0.75 for 
Tier III).
     An annual existing practice component for maintaining 
existing conservation practices. Existing practice payments will be 
calculated as a flat rate of 25 percent of the stewardship payment.
     A new practice component for additional practices on the 
watershed specific list. New practice payments for limited resource 
farmers, beginning farmers and producers who qualify in the NRCS small 
producer initiative will be made at not more than 65 percent cost-share 
rate. New practice payments for all other contracts will be made at not 
more than a 50 percent cost-share rate. All new practice payments are 
limited to a $10,000 cumulative total for the contract.
     An annual enhancement component for exceptional 
conservation effort and additional conservation practices or activities 
that provide increased resource benefits beyond the required 
conservation standard noted above. This payment will be calculated at a 
variable payment rate for enhancement activities that are part of the 
benchmark inventory. The annual enhancement payment for the first 
contract year for the enhancements documented in the benchmark 
inventory will be calculated at a rate initiating at 120 percent for 
the 2006 contract year and then at a declining rate for the remainder 
of the contract of 100 percent for 2007, 80 percent for 2008, 60 
percent for 2009, 30 percent for 2010, 10 percent for 2011, and 0 
percent for 2012. This is intended to provide contract capacity to add 
additional enhancements in the out-years and to encourage participants 
to make continuous improvements to their operation. In order to 
maintain the same level of payment over the life of the contract, the 
participant may add additional enhancement activities of their choice 
in later years. The additional enhancements will be paid at a flat rate 
of 100 percent. The total of all enhancement payments in any one year 
will not exceed $13,750 for Tier I, $21,875 for Tier II, and $28,125 
for Tier III annually. The NRCS Chief may allow for special 
enhancements for producer-based studies, watershed scale projects and 
evaluation and assessment activities on a case-by-case basis.
     An advance enhancement payment is available in the FY 2006 
sign-up. The advance enhancement payment is available to contracts with 
an initial enhancement payment as determined in the benchmark inventory 
and interview. The advance enhancement payment would shift a portion of 
that annual enhancement payment amount into the first-year payment and 
deduct it from the following years' payments.
    Tier I contracts are for a five-year duration. Tier II and Tier III 
contracts are for a five-to 10-year duration at the option of the 
participant. Participants who move from Tier I to Tier II or III may 
increase their contract length to up to ten years from the original 
contract date. Future contract improvements such as advancing tiers, 
adding land, and adding enhancements may be made to funded contracts 
during any announced contract modification period based on annual 
available funding and other constraints determined to be necessary to 
manage the CSP program.
    Total annual maximum contract payment limits are $20,000 for Tier 
I, $35,000 for Tier II, and $45,000 for Tier III, including any advance 
enhancement payment.
    The payment components are tailored for the selected watersheds. 
For more details, call or visit the local USDA Service Center, or view 
on the Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2006_CSP_WS/
index.html.

Enhancement Components Available in This Sign-Up

    The following are the enhancement components available this sign-
up:
    (1) Additional conservation treatment above the quality criteria 
for soil quality, nutrient management, pest management, irrigation 
water management, grazing, air and energy management; and
    (2) Conservation measures that address locally identified 
conservation needs shown on the watershed specific enhancement lists.
    The payment components are tailored for the selected watersheds. 
For more details, call or visit the local USDA Service Center, or view 
on the Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2006_CSP_WS/
index.html.

CSP Enrollment Categories and Subcategories

    Technical adjustments to the enrollment categories were made based 
on field testing of the criteria published in a previous notice. This 
notice provides updated enrollment category criteria.
    An application will be placed in an enrollment category as follows:
     A single land use application will be placed in the 
highest category level that all conservation management units being 
offered meet.
     A multiple land use application will be placed in the 
category of the land use with the largest number of acres. Category 
placement for a land use will follow the direction for single land use 
application category placement (see above).
    The CSP will fund the enrollment categories in alphabetical order 
(Attachment 1). If an enrollment category cannot be completely 
funded, then subcategories will be funded in the following order:
    (1) Applicant is a limited resource producer, according to criteria 
specified in the USDA Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers guidelines or a 
Tribal member producing on Tribal or historically tribal lands;
    (2) Applicant is a participant in an on-going monitoring program 
that is sponsored by an organization or unit of government that 
analyzes the data and has authority to take action to achieve 
improvements;
    (3) Agricultural operation in a water conservation area or aquifer 
zone designated by a unit of government;
    (4) Agricultural operation in a drought area designated by a unit 
of government in the past three years before the sign-up dates;
    (5) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority 
on pesticides designated by a unit of government;
    (6) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority 
on nutrients designated by a unit of government;
    (7) Agricultural operation in a water quality area with a priority 
on sediment designated by a unit of government;
    (8) Agricultural operation in a non-attainment area for air quality 
or other local or regionally designated air quality zones designated by 
a unit of government;

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    (9) Agricultural operation in an area selected for the conservation 
of imperiled plants and animals, including threatened and endangered 
species, as designated by a unit of government; or
    (10) Other applications.
    Designated means ``officially assigned a priority by a Federal, 
State, or local unit of government'' prior to this notice. If a 
subcategory cannot be fully funded, applicants will be offered the FY 
2006 CSP contract payment on a prorated basis.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2006.
Dana D. York,
Deputy Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, Associate Chief, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service.
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[FR Doc. 06-1108 Filed 2-6-06; 8:45 am]
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