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Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Regional Conservation Partnership Program



The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to expand our collective ability to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the resource concerns they seek to address.

Latest Information

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RCPP NRCS National website

The New RCPP

The 2018 Farm Bill made a number of substantial changes to RCPP:

  • RCPP is now a standalone program with its own funding--$300 million annually. Moving forward, landowners and ag producers will enter into RCPP contracts and RCPP easements.
  • Enhanced Alternative Funding Arrangement provision—NRCS may award up to 15 AFA projects, which are more grant-like and rely more on partner capacity to implement conservation activities.
  • Three funding pools reduced to two—the National pool was eliminated. Partners must apply to either the Critical Conservation Area (CCA) or State/Multistate funding pool.
  • Emphasis on project outcomes—all RCPP projects must now develop and report on their environmental outcomes.

Successful RCPP projects embody the following core principles:

  • Impact—RCPP applications must propose effective and compelling solutions that address one or more natural resource priorities to help solve natural resource challenges. Partners are responsible for evaluating a project’s impact and results.
  • Partner Contributions—Partners are responsible for identifying any combination of cash and in-kind value-added contributions to leverage NRCS’s RCPP investments. It is NRCS’s goal that partner contributions at least equal the NRCS investment in an RCPP project. Substantive partner contributions are given priority consideration as part of the RCPP application evaluation criteria.
  • Innovation—NRCS seeks projects that integrate multiple conservation approaches, implement innovative conservation approaches or technologies, build new partnerships, and effectively take advantage of program flexibilities to deliver conservation solutions.
  • Partnerships and Management—Partners must have experience, expertise, and capacity to manage the partnership and project, provide outreach to producers, and quantify the environmental outcomes of an RCPP project. RCPP ranking criteria give preference to applicants that meaningfully engage historically underserved farmers and ranchers.

Current RCPP Projects in Texas

News Release, March 4, 2020, NRCS Announces 2020 Sign-up Available for Partnership Led Conservation Program

  • Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture (OPJV) – Grassland Restoration Incentives Program (GRIP) Partnership
  • Gulf Coast Water and Wildlife (GCWW) 
  • Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative (HCHCI)

NOTE:  The application deadline is April 3 for both the OPJV-GRIP and GCWW RCPP and May 15 for the HCHCI RCPP.

RCPP Regulation

The 2018 Farm Bill requires NRCS to develop a regulation for RCPP. NRCS plans to publish the RCPP interim final rule in late fall or early winter. Upon release of the interim final rule, NRCS will accept public comments on the contents of the rule.

Texas Program Contact

Lori Ziehr, Assistant State Conservationist-Programs
Phone: 254-742-9881

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