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News Release

May 29 Deadline for CSP Funding in Spokane and Palouse River Watersheds

Contact:
Keith Griswold
509-323-2971


SPOKANE, Wash., (April 29, 2020) - The Spokane Conservation District and Palouse Conservation District announce a May 29, 2020 deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) classic applications. Funding is provided through a partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service through two Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects.

The Greater Spokane River Watershed RCPP CSP classic funding is available to landowners/operators in the Washington portion of the Spokane River Watershed, which is located in parts of Whitman, Lincoln, Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. The Palouse River Watershed RCPP CSP classic funding is available to landowners/operators in the Palouse Watershed, which includes portions of Whitman, Spokane, Adams and Lincoln counties in Washington and part of Latah County in Idaho.

The previous three years of the Spokane River Watershed RCPP CSP program enrolled almost 2,000 acres and provided landowners/operators with cost-share assistance of nearly $200,000 with nearly $400,000 remaining in CSP funding. The Palouse River Watershed is seeking to provide nearly 3,000 acres of conservation via CSP.

Through CSP classic, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.  

Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorize NRCS to accept new CSP classic enrollments from now until 2023 and makes some improvements to the program. These updates include:

  • NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres.
  • Higher payment rates are now available under the 2018 Farm Bill for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. 
  • Provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres.

While CSP classic applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should complete their Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements and submit applications and required items below to their local NRCS office by the deadline date to become an eligible application to be considered for 2020 funding. Applicants must: 

  • Control or own eligible land
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI) provisions
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
  • Develop an NRCS CSP plan of operations
  • Provide a map(s) that identifies and delineates the boundaries of all eligible land uses and acres included in the operation.
  • Identify any ineligible land that is part of the operation as described above.

Although this application process is being conducted through the SCD and PCD, all USDA program eligibility requirements must be satisfied. For more information regarding the CSP program or eligibility contact your local USDA Service Center. 

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, FSA, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

For application questions in the Greater Spokane River Watershed, contact the GSRW-RCPP Program Manager, Charlie Peterson at charlie-peterson@sccd.org, 509-535-7274 x 220 or visit www.SCCD.org/rcpp.

For application questions in the Palouse River Watershed, contact the WRIA34-RCPP Conservation Coordinator, Anthony Hatcher at anthonyh@palouseCD.org, 509-332-4101 x 113 or visit www.palousecd.org/rcpp.