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RCPP 2021 Projects

Pee Dee Watershed Land Conservation

Lead Partner: Pee Dee Land Trust

Lead State: SC Partner States: Award: $962,649
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary:

The Pee Dee Land Trust will protect priority farm and forest land throughout the Pee Dee Watershed in South Carolina by engaging with private landowners to place conservation easements on land that will contribute to water quality protection along critical waterways. The flexibility of RCPP easements allows project partners to include forest lands/riparian buffers and wetlands in the project. The project partners estimate being able to protect 2,500 - 3,000 acres of land within the Pee Dee Watershed within the project period.

Surface To Springs

Lead Partner: Alachua Conservation Trust

Lead State: FL Partner States: Award: $7,100,000
Funding Pool:S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary
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Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) together with NRCS and 12 partners will implement land management and conservation easement activities to protect and conserve Florida's unique freshwater spring ecosystems. Project partners plan to use innovative, sophisticated targeting and modeling approaches to prioritize lands for project activities and to estimate the conservation and economic outcomes. Project partners aim to permanently protect 9,000 acres of private lands and improve and enhance wildlife habitat and water quality and quantity on 2,000 acres of land.

The Meadowlark Initiative

Lead Partner: North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Lead State: ND Partner States: Award: $7,111,458
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Prairie Grasslands Region

Project Summary

The Meadowlark Initiative is a new statewide strategy focused on two goals in North Dakota: 1) improve, increase and connect wildlife habitat, and 2) support the sustainability of new and existing livestock ranches. Fourteen project partners have agreed to pool contributions to leverage RCPP funding using an innovative spatial modeling approach to prioritize land management and rental conservation activities. The partners aim to convert 20,000 acres of marginal cropland to diverse native perennial vegetation; enhance 50,000 acres of existing and reconstructed native grasslands; and restore and enhance 10,000 acres of wetlands within reconstructed grassland complexes.

Watershed Approach To Restoring Stream Systems

Lead Partner: The Nature Conservancy - Maine

Lead State: ME Partner States: Award: $6,999,768
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Watershed-scale Approach to Restoring Stream Systems (WATRSS) Project will restore some of Maine’s highest value aquatic networks from fragmentation and degradation by improving road-stream crossings. Project partners will use an innovative Stream Smart design and installation approach to improve habitat and aquatic organism passage and reduce impacts from increasingly volatile storm flows. With over 11 million acres of Maine forest in private hands, this project will influence stream-friendly management on thousands of miles of aquatic habitat and spur innovations and efficiencies to influence restoration even more broadly as project partners share the lessons learned.

James River Headwaters RCPP

Lead Partner: Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Inc.

Lead State: MO Partner States: Award: $2,115,247
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The James River Headwaters partners will leverage public and private resources to support the protection of clean drinking water for more than 150,000 Missourians, improve the local farming economy, help the local municipality and county to meet federal water quality requirements and improve aquatic ecosystems. Project partners plan to triple conservation implementation in the watershed and build an innovative legal and functional framework for the investment of municipal funding on upstream private lands to reduce water quality impacts downstream.

Flint Creek Valley Conservation Partnership

Lead Partner: Five Valleys Land Trust

Lead State: MT Partner States: Award: $3,727,273
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Flint Creek Valley Conservation Partnership RCPP will leverage over $21 million in funding from federal, state, and local partners to help sustain the agricultural economy and rural heritage of the Flint Creek Valley, one of the last naturally intact valleys in western Montana. Project partners aim to conserve a critical wildlife migration corridor between the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and strengthen the valley’s agricultural economy by providing conservation easement services and support to the area’s producers.

Regenerative Agriculture for Western New England

Lead Partner: American Farmland Trust

Lead State: MA Partner States: CT; NH; VT Award: $7,400,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Northeast Forests and Waters

Project Summary

The Regenerative Agriculture for Western New England aims to use technical and financial assistance to improve soil health, water quality, and pollinator habitat on 550 livestock farms, complete conservation planning on 25,000 acres of cropland and pasture, and ensure long-term regenerative practice adoption on 15,000 acres. Project partners intend to model the conservation outcomes and estimate that landowner implementation activities will prevent surface water runoff of 2,500 tons of sediment, 12 tons of N, and 4 tons of P, while mitigating about 30,000 metric tons of CO2e.

Securing the Grass Highways for WY Migrations II

Lead Partner: The Nature Conservancy

Lead State: WY Partner States: Award: $6,472,727
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will amplify existing efforts to preserve migratory paths for the estimated 75,000 big game animals in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming by protecting intact and connected migration corridors and crucial winter ranges. Using state-of-the-art GPS collar data, scientists can help target project funding to the most critical properties for big game migration. TNC and thirteen project partners will help implement four landowner activities--entity-held easements, an innovative payment-for-ecosystem services land lease, fence modification, and invasive species control.

Securing the Grass Highways for WY Migrations II

Lead Partner: The Nature Conservancy

Lead State: WY Partner States: Award: $6,472,727
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will amplify existing efforts to preserve migratory paths for the estimated 75,000 big game animals in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming by protecting intact and connected migration corridors and crucial winter ranges. Using state-of-the-art GPS collar data, scientists can help target project funding to the most critical properties for big game migration. TNC and thirteen project partners will help implement four landowner activities--entity-held easements, an innovative payment-for-ecosystem services land lease, fence modification, and invasive species control.

Tillamook Watersheds Conservation Partnership

Lead Partner: Trout Unlimited, Inc.

Lead State: OR Partner States: Award: $1,237,428
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Tillamook Watersheds Conservation Partnership will restore aquatic connectivity and increase the quality and quantity of suitable habitat for native migratory fish and wildlife, including the threatened Oregon Coast Coho. Working in collaboration with the local Tillamook County Creamery Association to reach producers, project partners plan to leverage the scientific work of the existing Salmon Superhighway effort to implement aquatic organism passage projects and improve riparian conditions along streams.

Lake Erie Conservation Partnership

Lead Partner: City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program

Lead State: MI Partner States: Award: $7,400,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Great Lakes Region

Project Summary

The Lake Erie Conservation Partnership will protect and conserve working agricultural lands vital to the overall health of Lake Erie’s waters, while also enhancing productive soils vital to the regional food system's resiliency and security. Project partners intend to use the Great Lakes Water Management System to target conservation easement funding to prioritized lands and model the conservation outcomes of project activities. In addition, the partners intend to explore the potential to increase access to affordable farmland for Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged farmers.

Farmland & Water Quality Conservation Initiative

Lead Partner: Ottawa Conservation District

Lead State: MI Partner States: Award: $3,429,770
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Great Lakes Region

Project Summary

The Farmland & Water Quality Conservation Initiative aims to benefit the long-term economic, social, and environmental health of Ottawa County by protecting surface and groundwater quality and improving aquatic and wildlife habitat in the Macatawa, Lower Grand, and Pigeon River watersheds. Project partners plan to develop a watershed model using the USDA-developed Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework to identify lands where implementation activities targeting both surface and groundwater conservation would have the greatest impact.

Canal 15

Lead Partner: Gila River Indian Community

Lead State: AZ Partner States: Award: $6,363,636
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Gila River Indian Community proposes to protect soil productivity and conserve scarce water resources for tribal growers by placing a new pipeline into the main irrigation lateral, Canal 15. Agriculture is the traditional economy of the Gila River Indian Community and is the core of the cultural and economic fabric of the Pima and Maricopa Tribes. Integrated with an innovative partnership between the Tribes and the Bureau of Reclamation, RCPP funding of this irrigation infrastructure will help ensure the continued economic well-being of the community and tribal growers.

AR-LA CDN Open Pine Landscape Restoration

Lead Partner: American Bird Conservancy

Lead State: AR Partner States: LA Award: $5,900,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The AR-LA Conservation Delivery Network (CDN) Open Pine Landscape Restoration partnership will advance the recovery of species of conservation concern by implementing Desired Forest Condition management practices across 30,000 acres of private lands in Arkansas and Louisiana. American Bird Conservancy and 19 partners plan to use several innovative tools and approaches to target conservation fund to lands critical for the protection of species such as Northern Bobwhite, Henslow’s and LeConte’s sparrows, Louisiana Pine Snake, and Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Partnerships with the U. of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and other entities, along with a tailored program and incentive package, will help ensure that Historically Underserved farmers participate meaningfully in the project

Grasslands and Oak Savannas for Water and Wildlife

Lead Partner: Sand County Foundation

Lead State: WI Partner States: Award: $1,500,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The Grasslands and Oak Savannas for Water and Wildlife project will work on a holistic effort to increase terrestrial habitat for grassland birds and pollinators, reduce nutrient and sediment loss from vulnerable lands, and improve the economic well-being of farmers and rural communities in Wisconsin's increasingly-threatened Driftless Area. To achieve these goals, the project will transition sensitive cropland to permanent, productive vegetation; restore degraded grasslands and oak savannas; and support prescribed grazing, perennial buffers and field borders, agroforestry, and invasive species control on approximately 2,000 acres. Project partners will also integrate bird, water quality and socio-economic studies to report on project outcomes.

BOA OGOI Water/Land/Habitat Restoration Project

Lead Partner: Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation

Lead State: ID Partner States: Award: $954,351
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The goal of the Boa Ogoi Water/Land/Habitat Restoration Project is to restore ecological and fluvial processes to the Bear River (known as the Boa Ogoi to Tribal members) to improve ecosystem resilience by mimicking the pre-1863 conditions of the river. Project partners will provide an existing conditions summary of the channel and riparian corridor and a map of invasive species on tribal land. Implementation work will include removal of invasive species, restoration of native vegetation communities, and wetland restoration. Monitoring for bird and fish species classified as rare or species of concern will help report on project outcomes.

Uplands to Lowlands Climate-Resilient CCR

Lead Partner: Rensselaeer Plateau Alliance

Lead State: NY Partner States: CT, MA Award: $6,239,091
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Rensselaeer Plateau Alliance and a robust group of ten partners proposes a combination of conservation easements and land management activities to protect species of special concern and reduce non-point source pollution in NY, CT, and MA. A majority of project funding will go toward permanent conservation easements protecting thousands of acres of upland habitat for at-risk species in an area at high risk for farmland loss to development.

Middle Columbia Steelhead Partnership

Lead Partner: Yakama Nation

Lead State: WA Partner States: Award: $6,781,670
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

The Yakama Nation and 14 non-governmental, state and federal partners will work with producers and landowners to restore Mid-Columbia Steelhead habitat with forest stand improvements, invasive weed removal and native species plantings, and the replacement of inefficient irrigation systems. The project will target farm operators whose property contains riparian, wetland or floodplain habitat that impact this Steelhead species, which is of cultural and ecological importance to the Yakama Nation.

Pee Dee Coalition for Water Improvement

SCRWA

Lead State: SC Partner States: Award: $1,500,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Longleaf Pine Range

Project Summary

The Pee Dee Coalition for Water Improvement will use targeted conservation easements to improve water quality, reduce flood risk, enhance habitat, and help ensure clean affordable drinking water for generations to come. The lead partner will leverage contributions from seven partners and GIS analysis to prioritize lands that best address project goals.

Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership Project

Lead Partner: American Farmland Trust

Lead State: WI Partner States: Award: $7,000,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership will scale up farmland protection efforts in the State, with a focus on targeting funding to areas underserved by easement funding in the past. This partnership of 18 entities aims to protect at least 5,000 acres and help create large anchors of preserved agricultural land to help mitigate the high number of farm bankruptcies in WI while also increasing adoption of conservation practices on protected land.

Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative

Lead Partner: Katy Prairie Conservancy

Lead State: TX Partner States: Award: $7,000,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative focuses on protecting the imperiled coastal prairie ecosystem of Texas and Louisiana. The twenty project partners aim to permanently protect lands that serve as critical habitat for at-risk species for birds, pollinators and other aquatic and terrestrial species. The partners intend to bundle applications from applicants located in priority areas to streamline delivery of financial and technical assistance.

Meramec River Basin Restoration

Lead Partner: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Lead State: MO Partner States: Award: $2,496,104
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The Meramec River Basin Restoration partnership will leverage an innovative group of Federal, State and nonprofit partners to align their investments toward collective goals in this high-functioning, ecologically sensitive river basin. Project partners will focus on land improvement and protection actions including implementation of riparian forest buffers, streambank stabilizations, wetland restorations, and other practices. Together, these proven land improvement actions combined with long-term protection of land will continue to enhance ecological function, support agricultural producers, and improve local economies in the Meramec River Basin.

Big Game Habitat Improvement Project

Lead Partner: Pheasants Forever, Inc.

Lead State: MT Partner States: Award: $6,433,194
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Prairie Grasslands Region

Project Summary

The Big Game Habitat Improvement Project will address threats to big game migration corridors and winter ranges through outreach, technical assistance, and producer contracts. The robust group of thirteen partners will work with producers to improve grazing operations, restore grassland habitats, and retain intact rangelands. Additional benefits include improved grazing management, improved plant productivity and health, making grassland more resilient to drought, and restoring marginal cropland to perennial grasses.

Soil Health Management Systems for Northern CA

Lead Partner: California State University, Chico

Lead State: CA Partner States: Award: $6,995,463
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

California State University will support California's Healthy Soils Initiative to help orchard/vineyard, rangeland, dairy and row crop producers implement Soil Health Management Systems (SHMS). The project leverages contributions from thirteen partners to improve soil function, water infiltration and availability, and protect biodiverse habitats in Northern California agro-ecosystems. In addition, the project integrates carbon farm planning activities and will report on economic and social outcomes in addition to conservation outcomes.

KKAC - AR-MS Conservation & Social Consortium

Lead Partner: KKAC Foundation

Lead State: AR Partner States: MS Award: $2,500,000
Funding Pool: Mississippi River Basin CCA (if applicable): CCA

Project Summary

KKAC Foundation and partners will increase conservation easement enrollments by socially disadvantaged landowners in Arkansas and Mississippi, while addressing water quality and wildlife habitat resource concerns on those lands. Socially disadvantaged producers have historically faced obstacles in enrolling in NRCS easement programs--this project would set aside funding strictly for these landowners. Project partners will support landowners through all parts of the easement process, focusing on resolving heirs' property issues and providing information about improving the natural resource base of the landowners' properties.

Fuel Break & Forest Resilience Partnership

Lead Partner: Cascadia Conservation District

Lead State: WA Partner States: Award: $2,795,992
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

The Fuel Break & Forest Resilience Partnership will accelerate forest restoration efforts in Eastern Washington's Wenatchee Watershed, building on many years of planning and complementary public and private investments. Project partners will target funding to high priority lands and leverage RCPP flexibilities to increase incentives for participating landowners and streamline technical assistance.

EBCI Stream Habitat Improvement

Lead Partner: Resource Institute, Inc.

Lead State: NC Partner States: Award: $3,500,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Stream Habitat Improvement project will stabilize severely eroding and unstable streams in the Ravens Fork watershed working with a historically underserved population in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The goals of this project include reduced stream sediment, improved aquatic habitat, improved plant diversity, and the planting of riparian buffers to offset carbon emissions.

Camp Williams West Traverse Sentinel Landscape

Lead Partner: The Conservation Fund

Lead State: UT Partner States: Award: $7,000,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Western Traverse Sentinel Landscape partnership will work to establish permanent conservation easements and land management activities on private lands around the Camp Williams military installation to protect farmland, water protection needs, and an active wildlife corridor. Twelve partners will support the Conservation Fund in taking advantage of several RCPP flexibilities to permanently protect over 1,500 acres and restore stream function and improve wildlife habitat on other lands surrounding the installation.

New Hampshire Source Water Protection Partnership

Lead Partner: Merrimack River Watershed Council

Lead State: NH Partner States: Award: $6,857,745
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Northeast Forests and Waters

Project Summary

The New Hampshire Source Water Protection Partnership aims to protect high priority source water areas, restore habitat for threatened fish and wildlife species, and enhance climate resilience. The twelve project partners, working in the newly designated Northeast Forests and Waters CCA, plan to take advantage of RCPP flexibilities including forest land easements to execute large, multi-faceted projects in at least 25 targeted small watersheds.

Irrigation Partnerships to Protect Groundwater

Lead Partner: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Lead State: MN Partner States: Award: $3,510,500
Funding Pool: CCA (if applicable):

Project Summary

The Irrigation Partnerships to Protect Groundwater partnership, consisting of over 30 entities and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, will improve irrigation water management and reduce energy use and nitrate leaching on approximately 120 irrigation systems in Central Minnesota. The partnership intends to tailor incentives to producers based on the sophistication of irrigation system adoption, and also plans to model conservation outcomes and analyze economic outcomes based on farmers enrolled in a Farm Business Management program.

Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership

Lead Partner: Sul Ross State University

Lead State: TX Partner States: Award: $3,500,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership will use a combination of conservation easements and land management activities to protect rangelands from development, restore wildlife habitat, and protect water resources in Texas. Project partners plan to convene teams of experts to provide comprehensive technical assistance to producers participating in the project.

Cedar River Source Water Partnership

Lead Partner: City of Cedar Rapids

Lead State: IA Partner States: Award: $7,028,362
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The Cedar River Source Water Partnership (CRSWP) is a collaboration among communities and agricultural partners to improve water quality, mitigate the risk of flooding, and improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Project partners plan to target middle and late adopters of conservation practices by engaging with ag retailers and independent agronomists. Land O'Lakes' Truterra Insights Engine will be used to estimate the project's conservation and economic outcomes.

Preserving Working Farms and Securing Urban Ag

Lead Partner: Capital Region Land Conservancy

Lead State: VA Partner States: Award: $2,081,169
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Summary

The Capital Region Land Conservancy will address the accelerating threat of farmland conversion in the Richmond, VA area by implementing conservation easements on between 2,500 and 10,000 acres. Project partners have innovative outreach plans to incentivize producer enrollment, including socially disadvantaged producers.

Nooksack Watershed Restoration

Lead Partner: Lummi Nation

Lead State: WA Partner States: Award: $4,827,100
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

The Lummi Nation will partner with the Nooksack Tribe to support recovery of two native chinook salmon populations essential to the recovery of the threatened Puget Sound chinook species. The project will increase key habitat quality and diversity by creating pools with innovative, engineered logjams; increase the length of secondary and side channels; increase the availability of cold-water refuges; increase rearing habitat; and improve riparian forest conditions.

Greater Bernheim RCPP Project

Lead Partner: Isaac W. Bernheim Organization

Lead State: KY Partner States: Award: $6,818,182
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Greater Bernheim RCPP Project partnership will support the protection of natural lands between Bernheim Forest and Fort Knox. A longstanding partnership has made progress in protecting this corridor and increasingly the resilience of the habitat for wildlife and plants.

Northeast South Dakota Glacial Lakes Project

Lead Partner: Roberts Conservation District

Lead State: SD Partner States: Award: $2,425,424
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Roberts Conservation District, in partnership with seven supporting entities, will implement systems and practices to improve water quality in impaired lakes and streams in northeast South Dakota. One partner, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, will support efforts to improve water quality on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

Protecting Source Water in the Raritan System

Lead Partner: New Jersey Water Supply Authority

Lead State: NJ Partner States: Award: $608,572
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority will use RCPP's flexible producer incentives to implement conservation systems and practices on farms in the Raritan Basin Water Supply System. The project will offer additional cost-share via the Authority's source water protection fund and also enroll conservation easements, document pollutant load reductions and/or pollutant loads avoided, and assess the social impact of offering flexible producer incentives.

Klamath-Cascade Headwaters Farm, Fish and Wildlife

Lead Partner: Siskiyou Land Trust

Lead State:CA Partner States: Award: $6,363,636
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

Siskiyou Land Trust will use RCPP conservation easements to address drought impacts of climate change on water quality and endangered coho salmon habitat in the tributary watersheds of two of California’s most important rivers, the Klamath and the Sacramento. The project will improve habitat conditions for salmon that are a culturally important food source for regional tribes while protecting working ranches in an economically struggling region.

South Fork Republican River Compact

Lead Partner: Cheyenne County Conservation District

Lead State: KS Partner States: Award: $2,766,234
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

This water conservation project supports the water compact for the Ogallala aquifer between the State of Kansas and Colorado. Tree removal will restore surface and ground water flows in the river, help to recharge the aquifer, improve the health of the river stream and wildlife habitat, control encroachment of Salt cedars and Russian Olives, and control the risk of wildfires. Watering facilities for rangeland will also be updated.

Building Ranch Resiliency in SD and NE

Lead Partner: World Wildlife Fund

Lead State: SD Partner States: NE Award: $1,428,571
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Prairie Grasslands Region

Project Summary

By 2024, this partnership of eight organizations will increase rangeland resiliency on 40 South Dakota and Nebraska ranches. The diverse partnership will contribute expertise on grazing management, wildlife habitat improvement, and water development to improve range condition. A subset of the participating producers will be enrolled, on a voluntary basis, in World Wildlife Fund's Ranch Systems Viability Planning project through which ranchers gain expertise in financial strategies, marketing, diversification, and estate planning.

Smith Rock Irrigation Modernization & Conservation

Lead Partner: Deschutes River Conservancy

Lead State: OR Partner States: Award: $2,600,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

The Deschutes River Conservancy proposes to address water supply issues to benefit the Oregon spotted frog and state-sensitive native redband trout within the Western Waters Critical Conservation Area. A Prioritization Toolbox, developed through partnerships with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oregon Water Resources Department, will help identify the most cost-effective combinations of projects for maximum conservation impacts. The long-term goal is to create a fully piped and pressurized system that is operable on-demand, thereby maximizing water marketing opportunities.

Northern Arizona Grassland Restoration Phase 2

Lead Partner: Arizona Game and Fish

Lead State: AZ Partner States: Award: $1,046,979
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Northern Arizona Grassland Restoration partnership, a collaborative effort led by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), will restore a minimum of 16,750 acres of degraded grassland and savannah habitat and to establish reliable water sources for wildlife on a total of 100,000 acres. A prioritization tool will target critical lands for restoration. Partner contributions, nearly entirely cash from partners, will extend restoration efforts to additional acres and producers.

The Working Farms Fund

Lead Partner: The Conservation Fund

Lead State: GA Partner States: Award: $4,801,546
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Conservation Fund, in collaboration with six local partners, proposes to establish the first-of-its-kind program in the country, known as the Working Farms Fund. The project, based on results from a successful NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, will permanently protect farmland across the Atlanta metropolitan foodshed and create opportunities for ambitious, diverse farmers to access affordable farms through an innovative buy-protect-sell model. Partners such as Emory University and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center will help report on social and economic outcomes of the project, and the partnership is committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its participating farmers come from historically underserved groups.

Pilot to Test & Evaluate Private Sector Investment

Lead Partner: Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc.

Lead State: AR Partner States: Award: $7,400,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

Restore the Earth Foundation and partners propose to use wetland easements to restore marginal cropland to its previous forested condition. Arkansas has a substantial backlog of producers interested in wetland easements--this project will help make a meaningful dent in the backlog. Project partners have committed to purchasing carbon credits associated with project activities. Participating producers will receive a share of the proceeds and the balance will be reinvested in additional projects.

Rocky Fork RCPP

Lead Partner: Highland Soil and Water Conservation District

Lead State: OH Partner States: Award: $873,152
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Highland Soil and Water Conservation District and five local state and federal partners will work with producers and landowners to protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitat for at-risk species in the Rocky Fork Watershed. The partnership will help producers implement cover crops, field borders, and filter strips to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff, helping alleviate algal blooms in Rocky Fork Lake.

Platte and Playa Wetland Protection

Lead Partner: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Lead State: NE Partner States: Award: $1,374,818
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Ducks Unlimited and partners will use an innovative easement approach to restore playa wetlands along the Platte River and to permanent protect farmland adjacent to playas. This unique, two-pronged approach is designed to restore and protect wetland hydrology in an area critical for migratory bird species. 500,000 shorebirds and 500,000 sandhill cranes (80% of the world's population) use wetlands along and near the Platte River as resting and refueling sites during migration.

Lancaster's Common Agenda for Clean Water

Lead Partner: Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County

Lead State: PA Partner States: Award: $7,400,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Summary

Lancaster Clean Water Partners, formed in 2018, brings together a diverse group of organizations including non-profits, government, and businesses with a goal of delisting impaired waters to make Lancaster County’s streams clean and clear by 2040. The partnership intends to use a custom screening tool to identify critical lands for water quality improvement. An innovative incentive structure will be used to reward producers for installing riparian forest or grass buffers, or for adopting regenerative farming practices that improve soil health and protect source water.

West Bear All-Lands Restoration Project

Lead Partner: Lomakatsi Restoration Project

Lead State: OR Partner States: Award: $2,662,500
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Lomakatsi Restoration Project partnership proposes to expand on existing efforts to reduce the risk of large scale, uncharacteristically severe wildfires in southern Oregon. The project area is populated by a large number of Historically Underserved producers, a focal point for the effort. A variety of forest management and fuels reduction practices will support deployment of a unique Individuals, Clumps and Openings (ICO) method for dry forest habitat restoration that elevates a range of ecological values and exceeds traditional treatment standards.

H2Ohio Western Lake Erie Basin

Lead Partner: Ohio Department of Agriculture

Lead State: OH Partner States: Award: $8,000,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will use RCPP funding to complement its H2Ohio initiative, launched in 2019. The initiative focuses land management practice and system implementation to reduce Lake Erie nutrient enrichment. A diverse group of 20 partners intend to focus this project on farms and farmers in a 10-county portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) not currently included in the H2Ohio program, thereby accelerating progress toward achieving Ohio's commitment to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Million Acre Challenge RCPP

Future Harvest, Inc.

Lead State: MD Partner States: Award: $710,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Future Harvest and a diverse set of five partners will integrate RCPP funding into its Million Acre Challenge, an initiative to support healthy soils on one million acres in Maryland by 2030. Implementation options for soil health systems will be developed for both crop farmers and pasture-based grazers. Future Harvest's innovative Soil Health Benchmark Study, which provides a snapshot of a farm's overall soil health, will be used as part of the project's conservation planning component. Carbon benefits will be modeled using USDA's COMET tool and economic outcomes will be evaluated by the University of Maryland. Future Harvest has a strong history of working with socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and will create a special funding pool and special incentives for historically underserved producers.

SE Iowa Watershed Partnership

Lead Partner: SE Iowa Watershed Partnership

Lead State: IA Partner States: Award: $6,363,636
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The SE Iowa Watershed Partnership, composed of twenty partner organizations, will accelerate adoption of nutrient management and mitigation practices and systems in 15 counties. The project supports the goals of Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy and will use RCPP flexibilities to offer a range of incentives to attract producer adoption. Project partners will tailor targeting plans for priority locations based on existing data and analyses.

Salem River Bog Turtle Protection and Restoration

Lead Partner: New Jersey Audubon

Lead State: NJ Partner States: Award: $710,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

New Jersey Audubon and partners will restore, enhance, and protect occupied and potential bog turtle habitat, and improve connectivity between public and private lands through habitat restoration and land acquisition. The bog turtle is the official state reptile of New Jersey and is a Federally Threatened and State endangered species. An innovative ranking system will use various datasets to target specific properties to connect wetland habitat throughout the watershed.

Virginia Headwaters Restoration Initiative

Lead Partner: Trout Unlimited, Inc.

Lead State: VA Partner States: Award: $2,906,389
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Trout Unlimited and five partners will substantially improve in-stream habitat and water quality in high priority headwater streams in three Virginia watersheds. Project partners intend to carry out a substantial amount of the required technical assistance--conservation planning, stream restoration design, producer outreach, and more. Over the course of the project, the partnership estimates that over seven miles of stream habitat and 15 miles of eroding streambanks will be restored.

East Oregon Forest Restoration

Lead Partner: Oregon Department of Forestry

Lead State: OR Partner States: Award: $5,000,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

The Oregon Department of Forestry and nine partners will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve water quality and stream habitat in the Northern Blues area of Eastern Oregon. Critical lands for treatment will be identified using landscape planning and targeting tools.

CT Conservation Partnership Program (CCPP)

Lead Partner: Connecticut Land Conservation Council

Lead State: CT Partner States: Award: $6,727,273
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Northeast Forests and Waters

Project Summary

The Connecticut Conservation Partnership Program will support the acquisition of conservation easements across the State to protect farmland and natural areas. The partnership will take advantage of RCPP flexibilities to target critical private forestlands for protection.

Colorado River Indian Reservation Conservation

Lead Partner: Colorado River Indian Tribes

Lead State: AZ Partner States: Award: $4,000,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Colorado River Basin

Project Summary

The Colorado River Indian Reservation lies entirely within the Lower Colorado River Valley which is the largest, hottest, and driest subdivision of the Sonora and Mohave Deserts. Colorado River Indian Tribes will improve soil health, irrigation systems and water management on Tribal Reservation farms to address Colorado River water quality degradation. The project will upgrade on-farm irrigation water conveyance efficiency and irrigation water management practices and address soil compaction, and salinity management.

Upper Rio Grande Partnership to PARA

Lead Partner: Colorado Open Lands

Lead State: CO Partner States: Award: $6,718,182
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Colorado Open Lands and twelve partners will protect key surface and groundwater resources, enhance critical wetland habitat, and increase the climate resiliency of this agricultural region. Innovative conservation easement deeds with groundwater pumping restrictions, negotiated with landowners, have been vetted by the Colorado Division of Water Resources and will help improve the long-term resiliency of the region. It is anticipated the easements entered into through this project will restore 8,000 acre-feet of water to the aquifer.

Upper Pearl River At-Risk Species and Source Water

Lead Partner: Wildlife Mississippi

Lead State: MS Partner States: Award: $5,597,900
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Wildlife Mississippi and four partners will use conservation easements to protect critical farmland, forest land and Tribal lands to safeguard the last remaining portion of unprotected private lands upstream of Mississippi's largest source of drinking water for the majority-African American city of Jackson. Project activities will also protect and enhance critical habitat for migratory birds and a turtle species listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Partner contributions provided by the Carbon Fund will be used to report on the carbon sequestration benefits of the project.

LMGA Deep Creek Watershed Conservation Project

Lead Partner: Little Missouri Grazing Association

Lead State: ND Partner States: Award: $648,131
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Prairie Grasslands Region

Project Summary

The Little Missouri Grazing Association will use land management contracts with producers to restore and enhance degraded rangelands in the Prairie Grasslands of North Dakota. Solar water wells, cross fencing, riparian restoration and prescribed grazing will be used to address resource concerns on over 11,000 degraded rangelands and transition the land toward a native grass and forb plant community.

Regenerating Alabama's Cropland

Lead Partner: Alabama Soil & Water Conservation Committee

Lead State: AL Partner States: Award: $500,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Alabama Soil & Water Conservation Committee and partners will work with producers to improve the weather resilience of their operations by implementing a variety of conservation activities that improve and enhance water availability. The partnership includes agribusinesses and producer associations that will assist with producer outreach.

Integrated Approach to Small Dairy Management - NY

Lead Partner: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Lead State: NY Partner States: DC Award: $617,700
Funding Pool: CCA (if applicable):

Project Summary

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and four partners propose to implement soil health and manure management practices and systems on small-to-medium sized dairies that are part of Danone North America's supply chain. Partner contributions from Danone and other partners will complement RCPP funding to increase the amount of on-the-ground conservation achieved by the partnership. Project partners will execute a strategic outreach plan to small New York dairies, particularly those owned and operated by plain-sect farmers. Project partners will also report on soil health, water quality and greenhouse gas outcomes.

Innovation in Kona's Upland Forests

Lead Partner: South Kona Soil and Water District

Lead State: HI Partner States: Award: $2,028,572
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Kona Soil & Water Conservation District and seven partners will enhance biodiversity and improve wildlife habitat for the recovery of endangered Hawaiian forest birds such as the 'akiapl'au, Hawai'i 'kepa and Hawai'i creeper. Forest restoration efforts planned for the project will sequester and estimated 30,000 tons of carbon over 20 years. Partner contributions will provide for fencing and the removal of non-native animals such as pigs and sheep from the lands targeted for restoration. Partner contributions provided by Kealakekua Carbon Forward to cover the costs of carbon inventories and validation will reduce the barriers for participating landowners to generate carbon credits for sale in voluntary markets.

Restoration Initiative Río Grande Arecibo

Lead Partner: Para la Naturaleza

Lead State: PR Partner States: Award: $2,541,985
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Puerto Rico returns to RCPP with its first project in several years--Para la Naturaleza will undertake restoration activities in the Rio Grande de Arecibo watershed to restore and enhance habitat for six listed species, including Puerto Rican crested toad and the tiny Coqui llanero frog. The forest restoration efforts, targeted to private forest and ag lands, will also help reduce sediment and pollutant runoff and promote the establishment of agroforestry systems in the watershed.

Twin Falls Water Quality Initiative

Lead Partner: Twin Falls Canal Company

Lead State: ID Partner States: Award: $2,198,942
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Twin Falls Canal Company and partners including the City of Twin Falls and the Nature Conservancy will improve the water quality of Rock Creek, a major tributary to the Snake River in southern Idaho. Constructed wetlands built on private lands in critical locations will filter out sediment and phosphorous, improving water quality flowing downstream. The unique partnership will monitor water flows and quality coming out of the wetlands to report on project outcomes.

Improving AZ Strip for Wildlife and Cattle Phase 2

Lead Partner: Arizona Game and Fish

Lead State: AZ Partner States: Award: $355,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Arizona Strip is a vast, biologically diverse region north of the Grand Canyon that encompasses a variety of landscapes and climates. The Arizona Game and Fish Department and partners will improve wildlife habitat, water availability and corridor connectivity for a suite of grassland-obligate wildlife species and livestock. The Mule Deer Foundation, Arizona Deer Association and the Arizona Antelope Foundation will provide cash contributions to complement NRCS funding for on-the-ground conservation activities.

Southern Illinois Oak Ecosystem Restoration

Lead Partner: Shawnee Resource Conservation Development, Inc

Lead State: IL Partner States: Award: $1,100,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The historically dominant oak forests of southern Illinois are failing to regenerate, creating a crisis for biodiversity in the region that is dependent on a healthy oak ecosystem, including migrant songbirds and several game species. Shawnee Resource Conservation Development and partners will target restoration activities to several "forest stewardship clusters," which are ecologically significant areas with a mosaic of State, Federal and privately owned lands. American Bird Conservancy and the University of Illinois will model and monitor project activities to report on outcomes.

Precision Farm Data and Strategic Buffer Placement

Lead Partner: The Missouri Department of Conservation

Lead State: MO Partner States: Award: $930,377
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Missouri Department of Conservation and a diverse set of 11 partners will develop and implement strategies to target conservation activities to unprofitable cropland acres. Sophisticated analyses will identify these acres and farmers will be offered incentives to plant wildlife- and pollinator-friendly buffers that will also improve soil health and water quality. Partner cash contributions will leverage RCPP funding to enhance the incentives offered to farmers, while other partner contributions will be used to report on the project's conservation and economic outcomes. The project will also leverage a voluntary, ecosystem services market opportunity available through a pilot program in Missouri to help farmers quantify, verify and certify the generation of carbon, water quality and wildlife credits that can be made available to trade.

Improving Soil Health and Water Quality

Lead Partner: Dane County Land and Water Resources Department

Lead State: WI Partner States: Award: $1,860,697
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

Dane County and partners including the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District will help producers and landowners implement soil health systems and practices to reduce phosphorus loading to local surface waters. Partner cash contributions will complement NRCS funding and provide a menu of incentive options for producers. Project partners have used USDA's Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework to identify critical areas with high phosphorous delivery potential, allowing for the targeting of project funds.

Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership

Lead Partner: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Lead State: PA Partner States: Award: $4,000,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Summary

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with Turkey Hill Dairy and ten other partners, will rapidly implement land management conservation measures on dairy farms in South Central Pennsylvania. This project has been in the planning stages for some time, with conservation plans drafted that are prepared for financial assistance to help producers implement water quality practices and systems to support local and Chesapeake Bay water quality. Partner contributions will complement NRCS' funding for on-the ground conservation and will also provide for outcomes reporting activities. The Alliance is in conversations with other good companies with a Chesapeake Bay presence to expand this supply chain-driven model for the benefit of water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It will bring technical and financial assistance to producers to meet supply-chain sustainability initiative goals of Turkey Hill Corporation by focusing on South Central Pennsylvania. Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership introduced a requirement for all farmers supplying milk to Turkey Hill to obtain a heightened level of on-farm conservation through developing conservation plans (including CNMPs).

Building Fire Resiliency in CA Coast Range

Lead Partner: Rebuild North Bay Foundation

Lead State: CA Partner States: Award: $4,922,217
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Rebuild North Bay Foundation and fourteen partners will reduce fuel loads, improve forest and rangeland health, prevent soil erosion and help wildfire damaged areas recover by engaging the participation of landowners and producers in seven fire-prone counties in Northern California. Partner contributions from local Resource Conservation Districts will provide technical assistance to landowners. RCPP flexibilities will allow project partners to engage with new landowners and producers with flexible incentives and a coordinated approach.

Vermont Stream Restoration and Protection Program

Lead Partner: State Natural Resources Conservation Council (NRCC)

Lead State: VT Partner States: Award: $1,505,200
Funding Pool: CCA (if applicable):

Project Summary

The Vermont State Natural Resources Conservation Council and partners will prioritize project activities to four river basins with degraded aquatic habitat, restoring stream and riparian habitats and improving aquatic organism passage. Substantial partner contributions will provide site reviews and assessments, conservation planning and design activities and project implementation oversight. The rigorous watershed planning effort supporting the project will ensure that RCPP investments and conservation impact are optimized.

Rhode Island Forest Health Works Project

Lead Partner: RIDEM-Division of Forest Environment

Lead State: RI Partner States: Award: $4,033,450
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The State of Rhode Island and ten partners will permanently protect over 2,500 acres of critical, privately owned forest lands to combat fragmentation and improve wildlife habitat. Contributions from three project partners will complement RCPP funding and protect additional lands as part of the overall initiative. Targeting tools will prioritize critical lands and conservation easements will be coupled with forest management plans and funding for forest restoration and enhancement activities.

Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin - Collaboration

Lead Partner: Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Lead State: IN Partner States: MI, OH Award: $7,780,779
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Great Lakes Region

Project Summary

Indiana, Michigan, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State University will join forces with over 30 partners to help participating farmers improve soil health and reduce nutrient loading impacts in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The partnership will use sophisticated targeting tools to work with producers and landowners operating near the Maumee headwaters, an area identified as a source of high levels of excess phosphorus, with technical and financial assistance opportunities.

Restoring Fish Habitat in Copper River Watershed

Lead Partner: Copper River Watershed Project

Lead State: AK Partner States: Award: $3,842,440
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

Copper River Watershed Project partners will help Alaska Native landowners replace undersized culverts with structures mimicking natural stream features and revegetate streambanks to improve fish habitat and return natural stream flows. Supporting state and municipal agencies will implement similar work on public lands. Landowners will incur less property damage resulting from extreme flood events. Participating municipalities will enjoy reduced road maintenance costs. Reconnection of up to 187.5 miles of high-quality stream habitat and 527 acres of lake habitat will benefit anadromous salmon populations, a culturally important subsistence resource.

Upper Colorado River - Yampa & Little Snake Basins

Lead Partner: Little Snake River Conservation District

Lead State: WY Partner States: CO Award: $6,727,273
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Colorado River Basin

Project Summary

The Little Snake River Conservation District and a diverse partnership of 11 entities will offer conservation easements and land management assistance to protect and enhance multi-generational ranching operations. These large intact landscapes provide crucial winter ranges and migration corridors for deer and elk in the Upper Colorado River Watershed in Colorado’s Yampa River Basin and Wyoming’s Little Snake River Basin. Targeted conservation measures will address invasive plant species, forest and rangeland health, fuel load reduction, catastrophic wildfire impacts and irrigation water management, and aquatic and terrestrial habitats restoration.

Neighborhood Solutions to Natural Resource Concern

Lead Partner: Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Lead State: OK Partner States: Award: $710,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission will use an area-wide conservation planning process to address resource concerns related to large-scale, concentrated poultry production facilities located near residences in eastern Oklahoma. Implementation of bundled conservation activities on grower operations and neighboring properties will be based on locally-developed recommendations to address nutrient and bacteria runoff, traffic, dust and odors, surface water contamination and potential domestic well-water depletion, or contamination. The project will improve representation of historically underserved populations in the problem solving, decision making process of conservation planning and implementation.

Upper Tittabawassee River Regional Conservation

Lead Partner:

Lead State: Gladwin County Partner States: MI Award: $5,702,452
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Great Lakes Region

Project Summary

Gladwin County, in collaboration with five partners, will work with landowners to address sediment impairment and degraded aquatic habitat associated with agricultural drainage channels. The project area targets Tittabawassee River tributary confluences located in economically depressed areas of Gladwin and Midland Counties in Michigan. Land management activities include the implementation of cover crops and the planting of herbaceous buffers comprised of cool and warm-season grasses and native nut and fruit-bearing trees.

Northern NJ Small Farm Food Link Conservation Project

Lead Partner: Urban Agriculture Cooperative

Lead State: NJ Partner States: Award: $355,000
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Urban Agriculture Cooperative will deliver technical and financial assistance to new and historically underserved urban farmers in Northern N.J. Implementation of seasonal high tunnels, composting facilities, cover crops and irrigation practices will improve soil health and irrigation water use efficiency, as well as help urban producers realize lower input costs and more production. Participating farms will also see new revenue streams from composting activities. The project will increase opportunities for black, Indigenous, people of color, women, immigrants, and new young farmers to participate in all aspects of the local food economy from production to retail. Historically underserved farmers pursuing land tenure will benefit and strengthen their linkages with rural farmers to bring more food to the urban residents who lack fresh food access.

New Mexico Ogallala Preservation & Conservation

Lead Partner: New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts

Lead State: NM Partner States: Award: $6,911,311
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Prairie Grasslands Region

Project Summary

The New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts will offer land management contracts and entity-held easements to help Eastern New Mexican farmers convert irrigated cropland to dryland crops, pasture, or native grasslands to reduce groundwater pumping from the Ogallala Aquifer and maintain sustainability of agricultural communities. The land use conversions will significantly reduce tillage and soil erosion, as well as sequester carbon.

Kinkaid Watershed Restoration Project

Lead Partner: Kinkaid-Reed's Creek Conservancy District

Lead State: IL Partner States: Award: $253,572
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Kinkaid-Reed's Creek Conservancy District will target 200 watershed landowners for technical and financial assistance to address gully, sheet and rill erosion, stream bank and shoreline erosion that contribute to 77,600 tons of sediment entering the Kinkaid Lake annually. The lake provides drinking water to 30,000 people within 11 communities in the surrounding area.

Floyd River Water Quality Partnership

Lead Partner: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Lead State: IA Partner States: Award: $3,200,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will address water quality in a 577,000-acre watershed by helping farmers plant cover crops and implement nutrient management practices. Coordinated on-farm partnerships with input suppliers, farmers, and the livestock industry will deliver integrated grazing and edge-of-field practices demonstrations. USDA's Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework tool will be used to target project activities to critical lands.

Klamath Basin Farming and Wetland Collaborative

Lead Partner: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Lead State: OR Partner States: CA Award: $3,800,000
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Western Waters

Project Summary

Ducks Unlimited will offer financial assistance to Upper Klamath Basin producers in Oregon and parts of Northern California to implement three to five-year conservation projects that provide temporary habitat for migrating waterbirds. Through an innovatively designed approach unique to this RCPP project, producers can choose to convert an agricultural field to a seasonal or semi-permanent wetland, or flood unharvested grain crops during peak migration dates. Producers can also receive funding to repair and replace flood irrigation infrastructures in Oregon. The project supports a long-term collaboration to mitigate Klamath Basin water limitations for producers while augmenting resources for wildlife.

Georgia Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative

Lead Partner: US Endowment for Forestry and Communities

Lead State: GA Partner States: Award: $6,727,273
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Longleaf Pine Range

Project Summary

US Endowment for Forestry and Communities and partners will offer conservation easements and habitat restoration and maintenance activities on private forest land to protect Gopher Tortoise populations living in longleaf pine ecosystems in Georgia. The project is designed to help prevent a Threatened or Endangered listing of the gopher tortoise under the Endangered Species Act. Between RCPP and partner contribution investments, an estimated 8,000 acres of private and public lands will benefit from land management activities. This project builds on the existing Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative established in 2015.

Sand Prairie Restoration Partnership Program

Lead Partner: The Missouri Department of Conservation

Lead State: MO Partner States: Award: $1,415,584
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Mississippi River Basin

Project Summary

The Missouri Department of Conservation in collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and four non-governmental partners will use RCPP conservation easements to restore and permanently protect sand prairies on private agricultural lands in southeast Missouri. Sand prairies are a critically endangered habitat, one of the rarest natural communities in Missouri, and home to several at-risk wildlife species. The project area counties are also included in the Missouri NRCS StrikeForce Initiative.

RCPP-ESLC Land Protection Initiative

Lead Partner: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Lead State: MD Partner States: Award: $4,935,065
Funding Pool: CCA CCA (if applicable): Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Summary

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy will offer conservation easements to protect agricultural lands in six counties from development and create several miles of permanent buffers along waterways important to regional water quality. The project will target properties along the Sassafras River and the Chesapeake Bay. All project easements will require 100 foot naturally vegetated buffers along tidal waterways. The Department of Defense, through the Army Compatible Buffer Program, will provide substantial cash contributions to support easements in the area surrounding Aberdeen Proving Ground.

San Diego County Agricultural Resiliency

Lead Partner: Mission Resource Conservation District

Lead State: CA Partner States: Award: $368,832
Funding Pool: S/M CCA (if applicable): N/A

Project Summary

The Mission Resource Conservation District and seven partners will offer technical and financial assistance to producers to improve soil health, irrigation water use efficiency and address soil erosion to reduce non-point source pollution loads on waters of the state. The project builds on a prior RCPP project and will continue to help producers increase the climate resiliency of their operations. Water quality and soil health outcomes will be modeled while water availability outcomes will be measured. Partner contributions from six San Diego-area water utilities will both complement RCPP financial assistance funding and be used to provide technical assistance to producers.