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News Release

USDA Announces New Funding for Conservation Partners

News Release - Indiana

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

6013 Lakeside Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN  46278

INDIANAPOLIS, February 21, 2012 – USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White has announced a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to improve water quality, wildlife habitat and soil productivity. The partnership brings together $10 million of NRCS funding with an additional $10 million or more in private funds through NFWF to increase technical assistance in priority areas through a grant program.

"We are excited about this partnership," White said. "This effort is an innovative approach for stretching the public dollar further, engaging the private sector to tackle shared priorities, and employing local conservation professionals to help wildlife and sustain agriculture."

NFWF is managing the Conservation Partners effort as competitive grants to increase 'boots on the ground' in priority areas. Non-federal specialists such as biologists, ecologists, foresters and rangeland specialists will work with NRCS field offices to provide technical assistance to participating farmers, ranchers and other landowners and managers.

"In Indiana, this is an opportunity to increase capacity in the Mississippi River Basin and Great Lakes watersheds.  We can build on the conservation successes we’ve had in these areas,” said Jane Hardisty, Indiana NRCS State Conservationist.

The first of several funding opportunities for the Conservation Partners grants is underway and pre-proposals are due by March 13, 2012. Grant awards to selected proposals will range from $50,000 to $250,000. Priority for funding will be directed to proposals that target species and ecosystems of shared interest between NFWF and NRCS. Some of the funds for the effort are targeted to provide technical assistance on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.

In Indiana, the first funding round includes the Upper Mississippi River Basin for priority funding.  A second round of funding is scheduled for this spring that will also include the Great Lakes watersheds in Indiana. 

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments. Individuals, federal agencies and for-profit firms are not eligible for NFWF Conservation Partners grants. For more information about the grants you can join a webinar on February 23, or visit NFWF's web site at:, under Grant Programs – Funding Opportunities (scroll down to ‘Conservation Partners’).   All applications must be submitted online through the Easygrants system.



Jane Hardisty, NRCS State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (

Rebecca Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (

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