Tap into federal tree funds

Today is the deadline to sign up for the federal Tree Assistance Program, reports Denise Hight, the Vance County executive director for the Farm Service Agency. TAP provides financial relief to owners of eligible trees, bushes, vines and forestland damaged by natural disasters.

TAP is the first of several programs to be launched in 2005 to help producers recover from natural disasters in 2003 and 2004. Owners of trees, bushes and vines from which an annual crop is produced for commercial purposes and forestland owners who produce crops of timber for commercial purposes may receive aid.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized to spend as much as is necessary to help replant trees, bushes and vines that were lost between Dec. 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2004. For those who suffered timber losses during that period, $15 million is available for assistance.

For more information, call the Vance County FSA office at 438-3134 or visit the FSA’s Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov.