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RCPP - Blue Ridge PRISM Landowner Programs Expansion

Image of Stiltgrass


The implementation of invasive plant control practices through this project will promote the integrity of Virginia’s native flora; help landowners manage an increasingly complex and vexing problem for their lands; produce growing islands of invasive-free/invasive-suppressed land; and enable landowners to pass on to the next generation well-managed forests and habitat that will support a range of uses by valuable native species. 

Virginia NRCS is pleased to announce the FY17 Application and Batching periods for the Blue Ridge PRISM Landowner Programs Expansion Project!

Batching Periods

December 16, 2016 – 1st application deadline

January 20, 2017 – Ranking deadline for eligible applications received by close of business on 12/16/2016.

Subsequent batching periods will continue until all funds are obligated - with subsequent application deadlines being close of business on the third Friday of the month, and ranking deadlines the following third friday of the following month.

Payment Schedule

Ranking Tool

Program Area

The ten counties within Blue Ridge PRISM’s area and the associated Soil & Water Conservation District and NRCS Offices are listed below.  Project locations have to be located entirely within these ten counties. If a portion of the tract falls outside of these counties then the tract is NOT eligible.

NRCS Service Center




Greene, Madison & Rappahannock



Albemarle & Nelson

Thomas Jefferson


Page & Rockingham

Shenandoah Valley


Clarke & Warren

Lord Fairfax





Applicable Resource Concerns

DEGRADED PLANT CONDITION – Excessive plant pest pressure

Excessive pest damage to plants including that from undesired plants, diseases, animals, soil borne pathogens, and nematodes. This concern addresses invasive plant, animal and insect species.

Applications must address one or more of the high priority invasive species below. Applications may, additionally, address other invasive species not listed.   

Scientific Name

Common Name

Ailanthus altissima


Alliaria petiolata

Garlic Mustard

Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental Bittersweet

Elaeagnus umbellata

Autumn Olive

Ligustrum sinense

Chinese Privet

Lonicera japonica

Japanese Honeysuckle

Microstegium vimineum

Japanese Stiltgrass

Persicaria perfoliata


Pueraria montana var. lobata


Rosa multiflora

Multiflora Rose


Funding is secured for Fiscal Year 2017 (begins 10/1/2016) and Fiscal Year 2018

Financial and Technical Administration

RCPP uses the authority of EQIP to provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to promote collaborative efforts with approved partners.  As such, RCPP applications and subsequent contracts will be processed and handled using all applicable policies in Title 440-Conservation Programs Manual, Part 512-Conservation Program Contracting, and Part 515-Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This RCPP offering will be administered through EQIP. 

Program Eligibility

To allow evaluation and consideration for funding, all RCPP applications must meet the criteria for producer eligibility, land eligibility, and the proposed project must address at least one natural resource concern.

Key points are listed below:

Producer Eligibility:

To be eligible to participate in RCPP, an applicant must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be an agricultural producer. To be considered a producer, the applicant must be—
    • A person, legal entity, American Indian tribe, native corporation, or joint operation with signature authority.

    • Engaged in agricultural production or forestry management or have an interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land being offered for enrollment in RCPP.

  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions at 7 CFR Part 12.

  • Be within appropriate payment limitation requirements, as specified in the amendments to EQIP made by the Agricultural Act of 2014 and in accordance with 440-CPM, Part 515, Subpart J, Section 515.92, “Payments and Payment Limitations.”

  • Beginning in fiscal year 2015, be in compliance with adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements, as specified in 7 CFR Part 1400 (FY 2014 EQIP contracts are exempt from AGI eligibility requirements). Exception: Federally recognized American Indian tribe applicants are exempt from adjusted gross income requirements.

Land Eligibility:

To be eligible for RCPP, the land being offered for application into the program must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be agricultural land or nonindustrial private forest land, tribal, or other land on which livestock or forest-related products are produced. Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land is rural land that meets both of the following criteria:
    • Is at least:
      •  1 acre in area, and at least 100 feet in width;
      • 10 percent stocked by single-stemmed woody species of any size that will be at least 4 meters (13 feet) tall at maturity. Also included is land bearing evidence of natural regeneration of tree cover (cut over forest or abandoned farmland) that is not currently developed for non-forest use.  Ten percent stocked, when viewed from a vertical direction, equates to an aerial canopy cover of leaves and branches of 25 percent or greater;
    • Is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation, American Indian tribe, or other private legal entity.

How to Apply

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities. 

Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit

NRCS will help eligible producers develop an EQIP plan of operations, which will become the basis of the EQIP contract.

EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.


For More Information

RCPP Fact Sheet (PDF, 275KB)

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

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