Skip Navigation

News Release

Announcement of Program Funding for USDA NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Entity Held Easements for the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape

Contacts:
Susan Marquart
susan.marquart@usda.gov
Molly Rose
molly.rose@usda.gov

Agricultural landowners and owners of non-industrial private forestland can apply for funding for USDA NRCS RCPP Entity Held Easements in a new RCPP Project lead by The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture entitled “Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape.”

The Kittatinny Ridge is a landscape within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that encompasses a ridge and valley area in south central Pennsylvania. The Kittatinny Ridge is also an important natural region with productive agricultural land and forestland with important habitat areas. This area also encompasses two important defense operations, the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center and Letterkenny Army Depot. The Kittatinny Ridge RCPP project area can be viewed the map posted on the PA NRCS website here.

RCPP Entity Held Easements provide funding to cooperating entities to preserve agricultural land with a focus on preserving prime and statewide important soils, or forestland. NRCS conservationists will work with producers to develop a conservation plan on their land to identify concerns and opportunities, help determine objectives, and recommend solutions. “Our high-quality, comprehensive conservation plans can provide farmers and landowners with step-by-step recommendations they can use to improve their water quality, soil health and more -- all while reducing input costs,” said Denise Coleman, Pennsylvania NRCS State Conservationist.

NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Pennsylvania landowners with applications in by January 4, 2022, will have a higher chance of application approval in 2022, as funding is limited. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles if funds remain. March 1, 2022 is the date for the second 2022 review. To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria.

The following partner Entities are participating in this RCPP Project. Please contact any of the individuals listed below to apply for an easement that would be held by that Entity. For additional information landowners can contact Stephanie Zimmerman at the PA Department of Agriculture at 717-783-3167.

RCPP Partner Entity Contact Information

1. PA Department of Agriculture

Bureau of Farmland Preservation

Contact Persons: Douglas Wolfgang, Director, or Stephanie Zimmerman, Administrative Officer

Phone: 717-783-3167

2. PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Bureau of Recreation and Conservation

Contact Person: Ashley Rebert, Chief

Land Conservation and Stewardship

Phone: 717-772-3322

3. PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Bureau of Environmental Management

Contact Person: Daryl Valley, ACUB Program Manager

Phone:  717-861-2634

Or:

Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation

Contact Person:  Tom Inge

Phone: 434-470-1776

4. Pennsylvania Game Commission

Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management

Contact Person: John Taucher, Private Lands Section Chief

Phone: 717-787-4250

5. The Nature Conservancy, PA/DE Chapter

Contact Person: Mari-Beth DeLucia, Land Conservation Manager

Phone: 717-232-6001 ext. 215    

6. Manada Conservancy

Contact Person Sally Zaino, President P.O. Box 25 Hummelstown, PA 17036 Phone Office: 717-566-4122 Phone Mobile: 717-645-2908 www.manada.org

Secondary Contact is Mark Vibbert, Stewardship Director, mvibbert@manada.org 

Phone: 717-566-4122

7. Berks Nature

Contact Person: Sarah Chudnovsky, Land Protection Specialist for Berks and Schuylkill Counties

Phone: 610-372-4992 ext. 104

sarah.chudnovsky@berksnature.org

www.berksnature.org

8. Central Pennsylvania Conservancy

Contact Person: Anna N. Yelk, Executive Director 401 E. Louther St., Suite 308 Carlisle, PA  17013

Phone Office: 717-241-4360 Phone Cellular: 717-756-9763

Secondary contact: Ben Mummert, bmummert@centralpaconservancy.org

9. Lebanon Valley Conservancy

Contact: Courtney Reimann, Executive Director and Jon Schach, Board President

Phone: 717-273-6400