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News Release

Partners Invited to Usher in New Era of Conservation in Virginia

Wade Biddix

Richmond, VA, May 27, 2014– USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now seeking proposals from interested partners who would like to invest in Virginia’s soil, water, and wildlife resources through the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Pre-proposals are due July 14.

The RCPP will competitively award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local governments and others who will join with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, manpower and materials in their proposed initiatives.

The RCPP has three funding pools: critical conservation areas (35 percent), regional or multi-state projects (40 percent), and state-level projects (25 percent). Virginia has 15.3 million acres or about 56 percent of its landin the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has now designated as one of eight critical conservation areas (CCAs).

“This program empowers local decision making by bringing together conservation and sportsmen groups, cities and townships, universities, agricultural associations and others to design conservation projects that are tailored to our needs here in Virginia,” said State Conservationist Jack Bricker.

Virginia’s priorities include: water quality degradation, soil quality degradation, soil erosion, livestock production limitation, inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife, and degraded plant condition. View the announcement of program funding on

Other designated CCAs include the Great Lakes Region, Mississippi River Basin, Longleaf Pine Range, Columbia River Basin, California Bay Delta, Prairie Grasslands, and the Colorado River Basin.

For more state-specific information on RCPP, visit To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit local USDA service center.