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NRCS New Mexico Announces November 18, 2022, Deadline to Sign Up for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

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Two lesser prairie-chickens in the field

NRCS New Mexico Announces November 18, 2022, Deadline to Sign Up for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., October 18, 2022 – Acting State Conservationist Rigoberto Lopez of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico announced today the deadline to sign up for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  "RCPP plays a critical role in connecting partners with producers to design and implement conservation solutions that benefit both natural resources and agriculture. The Farm Bill is the largest source of federal funding for private lands conservation, and RCPP is contributing innovative conservation solutions to communities across the country," Lopez said.

In New Mexico, four new approved projects will receive nearly $9.4 million in funding through the RCPP. Partner organizations will also receive money to help provide technical assistance for these projects.

  • San Juan Non-Native Phreatophyte Removal Program
    • San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District
    • The San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District aims to protect reduce wildfire risk by removing non-native Russian olive and Salt Cedar infestations in identified high priority areas. The project will also undertake native plant and tree restoration activities to help restore riparian habitat and improve hydrology, involve the community in restoration and monitoring activities, and to encourage a renewed connection with the river.


  • Eastern New Mexico Prairie Grassland Initiative
    • New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts
    • This project will increase suitable and occupied habitat to meet critical habitat needs of Lesser Prairie-chicken. Habitat improvements will occur through chemical and physical destruction of Mesquite patches across five priority areas identified using a mesquite density model and a study by scientists at New Mexico State University.


  • 2015 NM Restoration Initiative for Rangeland, Forestland, and Wildlife on Ranches with Federal Lands
    • New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts
    • The New Mexico Restoration Initiative will utilize EQIP contracts with ranchers whose operations include federal lands.


  • 2015 North Central NM Watershed Restoration Project
    • Claunch Pinto Soil and Water Conservation District
    • Claunch-Pinto SWCD and its partners have identified over 35,000 acres for forest restoration treatments on private, public, state and tribal lands that are located within both the upland ponderosa pine, pinon, and juniper watersheds, and in the lower elevation riparian ones. Claunch-Pinto SWCD and their partners are committed to successful restoration treatments aimed at improving watershed health and mitigating the extreme risk of wildfire.

There is also funding available for previous projects including the San Juan Rio Chama project for Conservation Stewardship Project (CSP), Pecos Partnership project for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and CSP, and the North Central project for EQIP.            

Producers can apply by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200) Producers who have established profiles in may submit their application online.  Producers need to receive a farm and tract number from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the application deadline. 

“We want New Mexico farmers and ranchers to know that we are ready to assist producers get conservation on the ground and hope they will take this time to stop by their local NRCS office to discuss their current conservation needs,” Lopez said. “If one of these initiatives does not fit the needs of the customer, the field office staff will be happy to discuss a conservation plan and financial assistance that would fit their operation.”

RCPP provides a targeted, science-based approach to restoring and protecting habitat while strengthening rural economies and cultivating collaboration among conservation partners. EQIP provides a flat rate payment to producers to install conservation practices such as Brush Management, Forest Stand Improvement, Woody Residue Treatment, Watering Facilities, Fence, Tree Planting, and Wildlife Habitat Management.

NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment.