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San Mateo Coast Farmland, Water and Wildlife

Application Cut-off: 7/31/20
Year Awarded: Fiscal Year 2016
USDA Funding: $2,816,999
Partner-Contributed Funding: $2,508,999
Project Timeline: 2016 – 2021
Conservation Program Funded: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
California Counties: San Mateo County
Lead Partner: Peninsula Open Space Trust and San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD)

Project Summary

This RCPP project will expedite delivery of natural resource conservation on agriculture lands by integrating and accelerating land protection and stewardship strategies in coastal San Mateo County that address priority challenges to water, habitat, and soil conservation. On the San Mateo coast, agricultural lands occupy vital spaces between large islands of protected open space, and often contain significant creeks, forests, grasslands, and other fish and wildlife habitats. Farmland also comprises many of the flat, scenic, developable areas in coastal San Mateo County. The proximity to Silicon Valley makes the risk of losing farmland here extraordinarily high, and farmland sells for ten times the national average. Most farmers are unable to own the land they have farmed in this region for generations.

ACEP-ALE Application Sign-up and Cut-off Dates

For fiscal year 2019, funding decisions are deferred to fiscal year 2020
For fiscal year 2020, application funding consideration cut-off dates: May 1, 2020
  • NRCS accepts ACEP-ALE applications year-round however NRCS establishes cutoff dates to batch applications and make funding decisions.
  • For application forms, supplemental information (including ranking criteria), and land owner and land eligibility visit the ACEP-ALE webpage.
  • Funding decisions for fiscal year 2020 will be announced no later than September 30, 2020.

EQIP Application Sign-up and Cut-off Dates

*** JUNE 28, 2019 *** July 19, 2019 ***
  • NRCS accepts EQIP applications year-round, however, NRCS establishes cutoff dates to batch applications and make funding decisions.
  • For this RCPP project, NRCS will screen and rank eligible applications for funding consideration by the batching date listed above.
  • For information on producer and land eligibility for EQIP visit the Program Eligibility webpage.
  • An EQIP application should be supported by a conservation plan, co-developed by the landowner and the NRCS conservationist, spelling out the actions that will be undertaken to improve the natural resource condition being addressed and the timeline for doing so.
  • The time needed to complete a conservation plan and process eligibility can vary, from a few weeks to more than a month.
  • Interested applicants should contact USDA-NRCS in the county they own land and/or have an agricultural operation.

NRCS Contact

Jim Howard, District Conservationist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Half Moon Bay Local Partnership Office
San Mateo County
Phone: (650) 726-4660
Elizabeth Palmer, ACEP-ALE Easement Program Specialist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California
Phone: (530) 792-5672