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2014 Farm Bill - Regional Conservation Partnership Program

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The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements.

RCPP combines the authorities of four former conservation programs – the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program, the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative and the Great Lakes Basin Program. Assistance is delivered in accordance with the rules of EQIP, CSP, ACEP and HFRP; and in certain areas the Watershed Operations and Flood Prevention Program.

RCPP Pre-Proposal Webinar Replays, April 14 and 27

April 14


April 27


RCPP and Public Lands 83-566 and Watershed Planning Requirements

April 7 replay (open to the public without a password) -

RCPP PL 83-566 and Watershed Planning Requirements (PDF, 2MB)

RCPP Watershed FAQ (PDF, 2MB)

April 7 RCPP and Watershed Authorities Webinar Flyer (PDF, 237KB)

FY 2017 Pre-proposal Fillable Form, Data Tool, Strengths of Successful 2016 Pre-, Full Proposals and APF

The Data Tool and Pre-Proposal Narrative for Application for the RCPP Pre-Proposal application process are now available. 

Note: Currently, the Data Tool does NOT work for Mac users. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Download and fill out the Excel spreadsheet Data Tool 1.4  (XLSM, 315KB) and the PDF Pre-Proposal form (PDF, 149KB).  The Announcement for Program Funding (PDF, 477KB) is available.

The Tool will request your information in several tabs. Fill out each tab and confirm the data in each one.

The Tool requires two attachments:  a PDF narrative and a JPEG map. The Tool will automatically upload the data you filled in.

If your computer does not allow the automatic upload, you will need to manually attach:

  1. the JPEG map
  2. the PDF narrative
  3. the RCPP_App  file the Tool saves.

The Pre-Proposal Data Tool User Guide (PDF, 1.48MB) is available. If you have other questions, please contact the RCPP Team at

All successful pre- and full proposals submitted for FY 2016 shared certain qualities. This list of Strengths of Successful Pre- and Full-Proposals (PDF, 122KB) can help you write a superior proposal.

We have also included the Full proposal questions (PDF, 137KB) for your review, but DO NOT fill out the Full Proposal questions at this time.

2017 RCPP Pre-Proposals are due May 10, 2016. Visit to apply.

2016 Projects

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NRCS funded 84 high-impact projects this year for fiscal 2016 funding. The projects cover all 50 states and target all eight Critical Conservation Areas. In total, NRCS received 265 pre-proposals from partners, and of those, selected the best to submit full proposals.

See a list of projects by state.

Additional Resources


RCPP encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales.

Through RCPP, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas.  Partners leverage RCPP funding in project areas and report on the benefits achieved. 


Eligible Partners - Agricultural or silvicultural producer associations, farmer cooperatives or other groups of producers, state or local governments, American Indian tribes, municipal water treatment entities, water and irrigation districts, conservation-driven nongovernmental organizations and institutions of higher education.

Eligible Participants - Under RCPP, eligible producers and landowners of agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland may enter into conservation program contracts or easement agreements under the framework of a partnership agreement. 


Funding for RCPP is allocated to projects in three different categories:

Thumbnail of map outlining CCA areas Thumbnail of map of US salmon-colored placeholder map

Critical Conservation Areas

For projects in eight geographic areas chosen by the Secretary of Agriculture. These receive 35 percent of funding. Learn more.


For nationwide and multistate projects. These receive 40 percent of funding. Learn more.


For projects in a single state. These receive 25 percent of funding. Learn more.


NRCS Programs Used in RCPP - Conservation program contracts and easement agreements are implemented through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) or the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP). NRCS may also utilize the authorities under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program, other than the Watershed Rehabilitation Program, in the designated critical conservation areas.

How to Apply

Eligible partners interested in applying should consult the announcement for program funding, which outlines requirements for proposal applications. NRCS will review partnership proposals according to the priorities identified in the announcement and make project selections. Upon selection of a partnership proposal, NRCS and the partner will enter into a partnership agreement through which they will coordinate to provide assistance to producers in the project area. Partnership agreements may be for a period of up to five years. NRCS may extend an agreement one time for an additional 12 months if needed to meet the objectives of the program.

 RCPP Infographic

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Full-sized infographic (JPG, 2MB)

Text alternate format (TXT, 1KB)

Producers may apply for RCPP assistance in two ways:

  1. At the producer's request, a partner may submit the application for participation in a selected project area
  2. Directly at their local USDA Service Center in a selected project area

Partnership Agreements

The partnership agreement defines the scope of the project, including:

  1. Eligible activities to be implemented
  2. Potential agricultural or nonindustrial private forest operation affected
  3. Local, state, multi-state or other geographic area covered
  4. Planning, outreach, implementation, and assessment to be conducted. Partners are responsible for contributing to the cost of the project, conducting outreach and education to eligible producers for potential participation in the project and for conducting an assessment of the project’s effects. In addition, partners may act on behalf of the eligible landowner or producer in applying for assistance and for leveraging financial or technical assistance provided by NRCS with additional funds to help achieve the project objectives.

Before closing the agreement the partner must provide an assessment of the project costs and conservation effects.

More Information

the following link(s) takes you off the NRCS websiteWatershed Authorities

Watershed Planning and Water Quality Monitoring

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit