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News Release

Deadline extended for conservation easement applications through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Applications due by March 12 to the Natural Resources Conservation Service

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Release No. 2018-02-023

Contact: Bari Williams, Easement Specialist
503-414-3226, Bari.Williams@or.usda.gov 

Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Officer
503-414-3220, tracy.robillard@or.usda.gov

PORTLAND, Ore. — (Feb. 12, 2018) — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announces an extended deadline for agricultural producers and entities to submit applications for conservation easements associated with the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in Oregon.

The deadline for the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program has been extended from March 1 to March 12, 2018.  This extension only applies to applicants within three active RCPP project areas:

  1. North Slope Ochoco Holistic Restoration Project – Wheeler County. Lead Partner: Wheeler Soil and Water Conservation District. This project is improving water quantity and quality, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, improving forest and rangeland health, and sustaining agricultural productivity in Wheeler County in the Lower John Day Basin. In addition to helping landowners with irrigation efficiency projects, rangeland restoration and forest health conservation, this project also offers Agricultural Land Easements to prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and keep them in agriculture forever.
     
  2. The Oregon Model to Protect Sage Grouse – Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Union counties. Lead Partner: Oregon Association of Conservation Districts. This project is providing technical and financial assistance to private landowners to improve and protect healthy rangelands that benefit wildlife habitat for sage grouse and other species. The easement component of the project offers Agricultural Land Easements to prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and keep them in agriculture forever.
     
  3. Dairy McKay Degraded Riparian Ecosystems – Washington County. Lead Partner: Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District. This project aims to improve water quality, increase irrigation efficiencies, and restore stream habitat for fish and wildlife in the Dairy-McKay and Middle Tualatin watersheds, sub-watersheds of the Tualatin River Watershed. In addition to establishing riparian forest buffers along streams and improving irrigation efficiency, this project also offers Wetland Reserve Easements to restore and enhance wetlands which support wildlife, improve water quality and reduce flooding. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.

Learn more about ACEP opportunities and how to apply in Oregon by visiting the Oregon ACEP webpage.

To find a local NRCS office near you, view the map of local service centers on the NRCS Oregon website.

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The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial and technical assistance to voluntary farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to implement conservation practices on private lands. By working collectively with partners and stakeholders, NRCS helps maintain healthy and productive working landscapes, benefitting both environmental and agricultural needs. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).