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Regional Conservation Partnership Program

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Latest Information

Read the announcement for program funding

Read testimonials from NRCS partners on forming healthy partnerships

See answers to frequently asked questions

 RCPP on the NRCS National website.

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.

Benefits

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.  The Secretary of Agriculture may also designate up to eight critical conservation areas to focus RCPP assistance.

Funding

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

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Critical Conservation Areas

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

National

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

State

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

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.

This State's Priorities

This States priorities are:

  • Forest Health and Biodiversity: addressing pest pressures to promote a more resilient forest stand against fire
  • Water Quality: sedimentation, nutrients and temperature affecting aquatic species
  • Water Quantity: regarding irrigation efficiency and management
  • Wildlife Habitat Degradation: affecting strategic habitats in Oregon

Eligibility

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.  RCPP assistance is also available independent of a partner if the land is located either in a partner project area or in a critical conservation area designated by the Secretary. 

 

How to Apply

NRCS will release an announcement for program funding, that will outline requirements for proposal submissions for funding. 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 producers in the project area assistance. 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.

Producers may apply for RCPP assistance in several 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.

Download the announcement for program funding

Informational Meetings

NRCS will be hosting four informational sessions for partners to ensure interested applicants have the information they need to submit a pre-proposal by the July 14th deadline.  The RCPP meeting information is outlined below.

June 16th, 1:00-3:00
Location:  Hillsboro Service Center
                 1080 SW Baseline, Suite B-2
                 Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
For additional information contact: Leo Preston, 503-472-1474 ext. 115

June 18th, 10:00-12:00
Location:  Pendleton Service Center
                200 SE Hailey Ave
                Pendleton, Oregon 97801
For additional information contact: Jay Gibbs, 541-676-5021 ext. 112

June 19th, 1:00-3:00
Location:  Redmond Service Center
                625 SE Salmon Ave, Suite 4
                Redmond, Oregon 97756
For additional information contact: Kevin Conroy, 541-883-6924 ext. 115

June 19th, 1:00-3:00
Location:  Forest Service/BLM Office
                3106 Pierce Parkway
                Springfield, Oregon 97477
For additional information contact: Heather Medina Sauceda, 541-967-5925 ext. 110

More Information

RCPP Fact Sheet (PDF, 6 MB)
RCPP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF, 630 KB)
RCPP Columbia River Critical Conservation Area Flyer (PDF, 589 KB)
RCPP Meeting Flyer (PDF, 306 KB)

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted

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