VA-FORESTRY-LOGOCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services is making a $470,000 fund available to help increase adoption of forestry practices across the state. In a statement, the NRCS said the funding offers landowners an opportunity to help establish and maintain forestlands. It is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and is offered in cooperation with Virginia Department of Forestry. The VDOF will help eligible landowners develop a plan to manage their land for purposes such as recreation or wildlife habitat. Financial assistance is also available for installing practices including prescribed burning, critical area planting and forest stand improvement. NRCS Virginia State Conservationist Jack Bricker says well-managed forests can offer conservation benefits. Those interested can sign up by Dec. 18 to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2016.