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News Release

The Nature Conservancy and Natural Resources Conservation Service Announce Multi-State Cooperative Agreement

SALINA, KANSAS, April 7, 2021‒The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture  (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announce the two organizations have entered into a five-year cooperative agreement to increase private land conservation in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

The two organizations have a mutual interest in successfully implementing the conservation programs authorized by federal legislation known as the Farm Bill, which is updated approximately every five years. The most recent Farm Bill passed with strong bipartisan support and was signed into law in late 2018.

Through this new agreement, TNC and NRCS will prioritize the geographies and natural resource issues where the two organizations can work together to have more impact delivering conservation assistance across the Great Plains.

“This will be a new way of looking at conservation impacts across the entire landscape, not just individual places,” says Monty R. Breneman, Acting State Conservationist.

NRCS is a Federal agency that provides planning, technical, and financial assistance to landowners to conserve the natural resources on their land through programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

“This agreement opens more opportunity for collaboration that crosses state lines much in the way nature is not confined by geo-political boundaries,” says Rob Manes, Kansas State Director for TNC. “We’re looking forward to leveraging the staff and expertise of both organizations and ultimately get more conservation directly on the ground.”

NRCS programs are used by Kansas farmers and ranchers in places like the Flint Hills where voluntary conservation easements on private land protect some of the last tallgrass prairie in the world and in western Kansas where land enrolled in CRP provides critical nesting habitat for grassland birds.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.  Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together.  We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.  To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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