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News Release

USDA to Invest up to $360 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation

Release No.: 2020-08-042                                                                  

Contact:
Tom Miewald, Oregon RCPP Coordinator
Phone: (503) 414-3242
Email: Tom.Miewald@usda.gov

 

USDA to Invest up to $360 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation
Application period has opened for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

PORTLAND, Ore., August 7, 2020 – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invites potential conservation partners to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

NRCS will award up to $360 million dollars nationally to locally driven, public-private partnerships. Some of these funds will be used in Oregon to improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

“RCPP brings an expanded approach to investing in natural resource conservation that empowers local communities to work with multiple partners and agricultural producers to design solutions that work best for them,” said Ron Alvarado, State Conservationist in Oregon. 

Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Partners are expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal or greater to the NRCS investment.

Eligible lead partners are encouraged to apply. Partners are strongly encouraged to work with their local NRCS field office and Basin Team Leaders to draft proposals. In previous years, Oregon funded over 20 RCPP projects that address critical regional conservation issues. Learn more about Oregon RCPP here.

Funding is open to private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities, among others. The full list of eligible entities is available in the RCPP funding announcement.

First authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP has combined nearly $1 billion in NRCS investments with close to $2 billion in non-NRCS dollars to implement conservation practices across the nation. There are 336 active RCPP projects that have engaged more than 2,000 partners. Successful RCPP projects provide innovative conservation solutions, leverage partner contributions and offer impactful and measurable outcomes.

For Oregon, it is important to note that changes have been made to the RCPP Critical Conservation Areas and their associated priority resource concerns.  This change occurred as a part of a review allowed by the Farm Bill once every five years. This funding announcement introduces the Western Waters CCA, which combines the California Bay-Delta and Columbia River Basin CCAs and encompasses the Klamath River Basin.  

USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP through the RCPP portal. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 4, 2020. For more information, view the Application for Program Funding on grants.gov.

A webinar with general program information for RCPP applicants is scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug 27, 2020. Visit the RCPP website for more information on how to participate.