Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative
The Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of certain conservation programs with resources of eligible partners to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands.
Eligible producers, who participate in a project area identified in an approved partner agreement, may apply for program assistance.
Eligible programs include:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), when it is announced.
Under CCPI, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CCPI to the NRCS Chief.
CCPI obtains its legal authority from Section 2707 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 which establishes the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) by amending Section 1243 of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3843].
The NRCS will make Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) funds, and when approved and available, Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) benefits to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands who participate in approved CCPI projects.
As authorized by Congress, this is not a grant program to eligible partners. This is a program whereby approved eligible partners will enter into multi-year agreements with the NRCS to help enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural lands and private nonindustrial private forest lands. The intent of CCPI is for the federal government to leverage investment in natural resources conservation along with services and resources of non-federal partners. CCPI is not a grant program.
For CCPI, the 2008 Farm Bill requires that six percent of the funds for EQIP and WHIP and six percent of the allowed acres for the CSP programs be reserved for support of producer contracts approved under this authority. Of these funds reserved for CCPI, 90 percent are to be used for projects within states and territories of the U.S., as approved by the NRCS state conservationists. The remaining 10 percent of these resources are to be awarded to “multi-state” project proposal based upon a competitive national process. The CCPI announces the availability of funding through the following NRCS administered programs:
Federally recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers. Individual producers are not eligible to submit a partner proposal.
Owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands are eligible to apply for program benefits offered through CCPI. In order for a producer to be considered for financial assistance through a CCPI partner agreement, the land associated with a program application must be located within an approved CCPI project area. Only producers who are eligible for EQIP, WHIP, or CSP may receive financial assistance through these programs.
Funded CCPI Proposals
Please contact Jeff Vander Wilt at 605-352-1226 or Jennifer Wurtz at 605-352-1225 for further information.