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2018 Farm Bill - Regional Conservation Partnership Program

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The next RCPP funding announcement is under development and will be posted on this page later in 2019.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) offers new opportunities for the NRCS, conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together to harness innovation, expand the conservation mission and demonstrate the value and efficacy of voluntary, private lands conservation.

Four Things You Should Know about the new RCPP

‚Äč1. The 2018 Farm Bill reconfigures RCPP as a stand-alone program with its own funding and producer contracts.

RCPP projects still include conservation activities associated with other USDA programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Healthy Forests Reserve Program, PL 83-566 Watershed Program, and the Conservation Reserve Program. The forthcoming RCPP funding announcement describes how RCPP interacts with these other programs through RCPP contracts.

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

RCPP projects start with an application by an eligible partner. Selected partners work alongside NRCS to help agricultural producers and forest landowners implement conservation activities that address natural resource priorities on eligible lands.

  • 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, and conservation districts.
  • Eligible Land: RCPP activities may be carried out on any agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land, or associated land on which USDA determines an eligible activity would help achieve conservation benefits.

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

RCPP funding is split between two funding pools—Critical Conservation Areas (CCAs) and State/Multistate. The forthcoming RCPP funding announcement identifies the CCAs and describes how the State/Multistate category functions.

4. RCPP includes new flexibilities for partners and producers. 

The new RCPP statute calls on USDA to streamline program participation and provide flexibility to participating partners and producers. For example, the 2018 Farm Bill directs USDA to provide up to 15 RCPP awards each year in the form of alternative financial arrangements or grants. The forthcoming RCPP funding announcement describes how partners can take advantage of this and other new provisions to explore new ways to support producers in getting conservation on the ground.