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News Release

RCPP Proposals Due Nov. 30

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

Proposals due November 30, 2020

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 to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s 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 NRCS State Conservationist Vicky Drew.

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. 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.

NRCS requested public comment on the RCPP Critical Conservation Areas and their associated priority resource concerns as part of a review allowed by the Farm Bill once every five years. This funding announcement introduces CCA changes that resulted from the review:

  • A new CCA—Northeast Forests and Waters—has been added to the roster. This CCAs priority resource concerns include water quality and wildlife habitat. The boundaries of the CCA encompass Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP through the RCPP portal. UPDATE: the announcement was re-posted and revised to remove previous language stating,“Forest land eligibility does not encompass industrial forest lands that are owned by companies, organizations, and individuals who engage in commercially oriented forest management and production activities.”  NRCS has removed this language, which partners may have interpreted as limiting opportunities for RCPP projects on forest lands where eligible activities would help achieve conservation benefits.

NRCS also extended the proposal deadline to November 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

 

For more information, view the Application for Program Funding on grants.gov.

For more information on RCPP, visit the RCPP website.