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About RCPP

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The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales.

Through the program, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas. Partners leverage RCPP funding in project areas and report on the benefits achieved. 

Five Things You Should Know about RCPP

‚Äč1. NRCS implements RCPP conservation program contracts and easement agreements through four existing NRCS programs authorities.  

Learn more about the programs through the links below.

NRCS also may utilize the authorities under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program (except for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program) in designated critical conservation areas.

2. RCPP connects partners with producers and private landowners to design and implement voluntary conservation solutions.

These voluntary conservation solutions benefit natural resources, agriculture and local economies.  Learn more about partner and participant eligibility below.

Eligible Partners: Agricultural or silvicultural producer associations, farmer cooperatives or other groups of producers, state or local governments, American Indian tribes, municipal water treatment entities, water and irrigation districts, conservation-driven nongovernmental organizations and institutions of higher education.

Eligible Participants: Under RCPP, eligible producers and landowners of agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland may enter into conservation program contracts or easement agreements under the framework of a partnership agreement. Producers and landowners can contact a partner directly about participation in a project, or contact a local NRCS office for information about existing projects.

Read descriptions of existing RCPP projects that include partners, producers and landowners in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

3. RCPP projects receive financial awards through one of three funding pools.

Thumbnail of map outlining CCA areas Thumbnail of map of US salmon-colored placeholder map

Critical Conservation Areas

For projects in eight geographic areas chosen by the Secretary of Agriculture. These receive 35 percent of funding. Learn more.

National

For nationwide and multistate projects. These receive 40 percent of funding. 

State

For projects in a single state. These receive 25 percent of funding. 

RCPP projects address resource concerns listed below.

  • Excess/Insufficient Water/Drought
  • Water quality degradation
  • Soil quality degradation
  • Inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife (and invertebrates)
  • Air quality impacts
  • Degraded Plant Condition (specific to certain CCA only)
  • Energy
  • Climate Change

A RCPP project must address at least one resource concern to receive national funding. To receive state funding, a project must address either a national resource concern or a resource concern identified by the state.  View the current list of state RCPP resource concerns.

4. Successful RCPP projects demonstrate solutions, contributions, innovation and participation. 

Participation: Successful partnerships will bring a diverse array of stakeholders into a project, greatly accelerate adoption of conservation systems in the project area, and engage participants including historically underserved audiences.  

Innovation:  Partnerships will be innovative in their approach, and successful proposals will utilize one or more program authorities (EQIP, CSP, HFRP, or ACEP) to address natural resource management concerns.  

Contribution:  Successful partnerships will bring an array of financial and technical interests and capabilities to projects, such as cash contributions and technical professionals to work one-on-one with farmers and ranchers to provide planning, management and engineering activities. NRCS’ goal is to leverage funds to double the federal conservation investment with partner contributions. 

Solutions: Successful partnerships will design lasting solutions that are technically sound and locally supported so that benefits will extend beyond the Federal investment.

Read stories about current RCPP projects

5. NRCS invites potential partners to submit applications annually through an Announcement for Program Funding (APF).

RCPP is not a grant program. Interested partners should review the current APF and supporting materials for program eligibility and requirements.

NEW! On Jan. 12, 2017, NRCS published a new RCPP Announcement for Program Funding. Pre-proposals are due on April 21. Read the announcement and learn how to apply.