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RCPP Success Stories

Overview

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program brings together a wide array of local and national partners, including Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, private industry, conservation districts, water districts, universities and many others. So far, more than 2,000 partners are engaged in locally-led conservation efforts through RCPP.

The most successful RCPP projects share four common characteristics. They innovate, leverage partner contributions, offer impactful solutions, and include a diverse and capable set of partners.

Read about just a few of the many successful RCPP projects underway that are changing communities and conservation across the country. Download our RCPP: Partner-led Solutions publication.

RCPP’s Core Principals

Below are some examples of RCPP projects that embody the core principals of the program.

Impact

RCPP Proposals must include effective and compelling solutions that address one or more natural resource concerns within the proposed region or critical conservation area.

One great example of an impactful project involves the California Audubon Society working with agricultural producers to protect nesting colonies of Tricolored Blackbirds, saving all known blackbird colonies in 2018.

Partner Contributions

While the RCPP program provides approximately $300 million dollars annually to partner-led projects, the partners themselves provide their time, expertise, equipment and other contributions to elevate the overall impact of RCPP projects. NRCS encourages proposals include partner contributions of at least equal to the amount of RCPP funding requested.

A good example of partner contributions amplifying a project is the Middle Cedar Partnership Project (MCPP) led by the City of Cedar Rapids. The project leveraged two state-funded projects and a watershed planning effort led by the Iowa Soybean Association

Innovation

NRCS seeks projects that integrate multiple conservation approaches, implement innovative conservation approaches or technologies, build new partnerships, and effectively take advantage of program flexibilities that are unique to the RCPP program.

The Illinois Corn Growers Association’s (Il Corn) Precision Conservation Management RCPP project uses partner-funded economic consultants to complement conservation implementation funding provided by NRCS. The project aims to expand the use and effectiveness of NRCS programs by providing agricultural producers and landowners with financial data to demonstrate how conservation can have a positive impact on an operation’s yield and profitability.

Partnerships & Management

Partners must have experience, expertise, and capacity to manage their project, provide outreach to producers, and quantify the effort’s environmental impact. Successful partnerships often include a variety of organizations to ensure the team has the capability and capacity to address multiple facets of a project’s natural resource concerns.

The Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partnership (MRWCP) is a RCPP project that has recruited a diverse and effective partnership to address water quality issues in the Milwaukee area. The project, led by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, brings together agricultural producers, agribusinesses, state and local governments, and land trusts to help mitigate future flooding, improve water quality, and implement soil health management systems.