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Do You Have a Great Conservation Idea? NRCS in New Hampshire Announces FY 2020 Conservation Innovation Grants Application Deadline

A graphic banner advertising the Conservation Innovation Grants program for fiscal year 2020. An individual stands next to a small water control structure with over-laid text promoting Conservation Innovation Grants

DOVER, N.H. May 6, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Hampshire has announced a total funding of up to $200,000 for the state-level Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 to eligible individuals and organizations proposing projects entirely within the state.

      The program was authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill and offers matching, competitive grants under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that help stimulate public and private sector innovation in resource conservation.  It is intended to inspire creative problem-solving, leading to the creation of systems and technologies that boost production on farms, ranches, and private forest land and improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.

The deadline to submit applications for New Hampshire’s FY 2020 CIG is 11:59 pm EDT June 13, 2020.  Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov prior to that time.

      “Conservation Innovation Grants are critical for developing science, technology and innovative tools to address natural resource concerns on New Hampshire’s private working lands,” said Matt Brown, New Hampshire Acting State Conservationist for NRCS.  “Our CIG partners deliver new approaches and technologies to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners implement innovative conservation on their lands.”

      Applicants submitting proposals may request up to $200,000 of matching federal funds.  The minimum amount for an award is $50,000.  Applicants must match the Federal award at least 1:1.  Matching funds can be cash, in-kind or a combination of both.

      The NRCS also has a national-level competition under a separate funding stream.  More information about the national CIG program can be found here: USDA Announces $15 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants.

      CIG state competitions complement the national CIG competition and enable NRCS to better address natural resource concerns at the local level.

This year New Hampshire has prioritized CIG funding for the following categories: Integrated Pest Management (IPM); Sustainable Forestry; and Aquatic Organism Passage and Watershed Resiliency.

      The proposed projects may be between one and three years, and all CIG project proposals must involve EQIP-eligible producers within the state.  Applications are open to individuals and all non-Federal entities.  Individuals and entities may submit more than one application and may receive more than one award.

      There is no pre-proposal process for this announcement.  All standard forms necessary for CIG application submission are included in the grants.gov application package. Details can be found here: USDA-NRCS-NH-CIG-20-NOFO0001012.

      To learn more about Conservation Innovations Grants, visit the 2020 Announcement of Program Funding or visit the CIG webpage.

      USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

      For more information please contact Donald Keirstead at donald.keirstead@usda.gov.

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