Pre-Award Sponsor Resources
Step-by-step guide for Sponsors who have entered into an agreement with NRCS
WATERSHED PROGRAMS - WFPO
The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (WFPO) Program helps units of federal, state, local and federally recognized tribal governments (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds.
The WFPO program provides technical and financial assistance to States, local governments and Tribal organizations to help plan and implement authorized watershed projects for the purpose of:
- Public sponsorship
- Watershed Projects ≤ 250,000 acres
- Agricultural benefits, including rural communities, must be ≥ 20% of the total benefits for the project.
Watershed conservation projects are planned and carried out jointly by local, state, and federal agencies with the support of community landowners and citizens in the watershed. Communities identify resource problems to be addressed, practices to be installed, and carry out major portions of a watershed plan, such as obtaining easements, rights of ways, permits and local cost-share funding. All Watershed Program projects must have a local sponsor that can act as the fiscal agent, provide project management and oversight throughout the different phases of construction, implementation, and project lifespan. Learn more about sponsor eligibility...
Project sponsors initiate a request for assistance thru their local NRCS office to develop a preliminary feasibility study (PIFR) which helps communities consider sustainable climate resilient solutions to address watershed resource concerns. After a feasibility study is conducted, a watershed plan is chosen, reviewed, approved and authorized. Once authorized, projects sponsors gain access to NRCS's financial and technical resources to help implement their plan. An approved watershed plan must be in place prior to initiation of any corrective land treatment or structural solutions. Project sponsors then help landowners carry out the authorized watershed conservation measures.
Sponsors: Santa Fe-Pojoaque SWCD, New Mexico
Watershed Rehabilitation Program (within WFPO) Project: Planning Phase
Site 1 in the Santa Cruz River Watershed of Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties, New Mexico, is currently working through the three major phases of the Watershed Rehabilitation Program as an NRCS funded watershed rehabilitation partnership project. The FONSI and Final Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment accessible via the link below represent major accomplishments in the Planning Phase (which includes satisfying all NEPA requirements). This dam provides protection against flooding to over 1000 New Mexicans who live and work downstream. Additionally, it protects 4 county roads, several private ranch roads, two State Highways and one U.S. Highway that together support hundreds of vehicles daily. Amongst the previously mentioned critical infrastructure, the dam also protects power lines, water lines, irrigation ditches (acequias) and several drainage channels (arroyos). Annually the rehabilitation project is expected to provide approximately $57,000 of flood damage reduction benefits.
Sponsors: Elephant Butte Irrigation District, New Mexico
Watershed Rehabilitation Program (within WFPO) Project: Planning Phase
Site 1 in the Tortugas Arroyos Watershed of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, will be included in an NRCS funded watershed rehabilitation partnership project. Currently starting the planning/NEPA phase, the dam provides protection against flooding to about 2,200 acres of irrigated cropland and New Mexico State University – Main Campus, with a student population of approximately 14,000 and another 1000 who live, study and work downstream. Additionally, the dam protects two interstate highways, that support travel for many vehicles daily. Among other critical infrastructure, the dam also protects power lines, water lines, fiber optic cables and the railroad. Annually the rehabilitation project is expected to provide approximately $80,000 of flood damage reduction benefits.
Sponsors: Doña Ana County, New Mexico
Watershed Operations Program (within WFPO) Project: Planning Phase
The Rincon Arroyo Watershed of Doña Ana and Sierra Counties, New Mexico, is currently working through the three major phases of the Watershed Operations Program as an NRCS funded watershed flood protection partnership project. Presently in the Planning Phase (which includes satisfying all NEPA requirements), the goal of the project is to provide some level of flood protection to the downstream watershed which includes the village of Rincon, as part of the Town of Hatch with a population of approximately 300 people. Additionally, the project will offer flood protection to several county and town roads, several private ranch roads, two State Highways and one U.S. Interstate Highway that together support hundreds of vehicles daily. Amongst the previously mentioned critical infrastructure, the watershed flood protection project also plans to provide some level of flood protection to power lines, water lines, irrigation ditches (including acequias), a wastewater treatment plant and mitigate storm flows from the Rincon Arroyo (drainage channel).
Contact your local service center to start your application.
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.