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News Release

Conservation in California Gets Boost from New RCPP Funding

Anita Brown (530) 792-5644
Alan Forkey (530) 792-5653                                                                             

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 16, 2018 - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has selected five new projects in California for funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). These projects will bring more than $23.7 million of new conservation funding to the state and new opportunities for the NRCS, conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together.

"Partner-driven RCPP projects address some of the most important conservation issues facing farmers and ranchers," said acting NRCS State Conservationist Ray Dotson. "This year, five outstanding projects in California will focus on flooding, water conservation, water quality, tree mortality, soil health, wildlife and much more."

Each project has its own set of conservation benefits, specific goals and management practices. Over the coming weeks, NRCS California staff will work with representatives from the selected projects to develop project specific plans to implement the work.

California Project Overviews

Palo Verde Valley Water Conservation RCPP

The project will help to conserve water through protective structural improvements and implement measures that will advance drought resiliency, soil health, water quality, habitat conservation, water accounting and critically important regional water conservation efforts in the Colorado River Basin. Proposed NRCS Investment: $3,722,000. Lead partner:
Palo Verde Resource Conservation District.

McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture Phase 2 Expansion

The project will use a series of canals, pumps and turnouts to capture and divert flood water from the King River. This project will protect five thousand acres of farmland from flooding and create habitat for waterfowl. Proposed NRCS Investment: $6,990,000. Lead Partner: Raisin City Water District.

Crisis to Opportunity: Sierra Nevada Tree Mortality

This project will help address the unprecedented tree mortality crisis in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California by removing dead trees from the high mortality area and reforesting where appropriate. It will also help restore forest and watershed health on non-industrial private forestlands by improving soil health, habitat, and air quality and helping to prevent catastrophic wildfire. Proposed NRCS Investment: $10,000,000. Lead Partner: California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.

Salinas River Riparian Enhancement Program

The project will enhance at least 400 acres of Salinas River floodplain (about 30 river miles) that are infested with the invasive, non-native plant arundo. It will help landowners to save water, improve habitat for wildlife, and minimize flood risk along the river. Proposed NRCS Investment: $1,763,000. Lead Partner: Resource Conservation District of Monterey County.

Stormwater Management Partnership

This project will reduce runoff and maximize infiltration to improve water quality and supply in Santa Cruz County and the greater Pajaro Valley basin. Proposed NRCS Investment: $1,249,000. Lead Partner: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.

NRCS selects RCPP projects designed by local partners specifically for their state or region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments and others joining with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, labor and materials to complete proposed initiatives.

Since 2014, NRCS and its partners have invested at least $2.4 billion through RCPP, which was created by the 2014 Farm Bill.