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Regional Conservation Partnership Program

RCPP banner, two people in a field

 

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements.

RCPP encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales.

Through RCPP, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas.  Partners leverage RCPP funding in project areas and report on the benefits achieved.

 

​Funding

Funding for RCPP is allocated to projects in three different categories:  Critical Conservation Areas, National, and State.

Conservation program contracts and easement agreements are implemented through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) or the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP). NRCS may also utilize the authorities under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program, other than the Watershed Rehabilitation Program, in the designated critical conservation areas.

 

State Resource Priorities​

  1. Reduction of non-point source pollution; including soil erosion control and, containment and utilization of manure and waste resulting from animal confinement.
  2. Grazing land health.
  3. Forestland health.
  4. Protection and enhancement of traditionally and culturally utilized resources while protecting ecological functions and values.

 

Eligibility

Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments, and district governments, to invest money, manpower and materials to their proposed initiatives.

Eligible Partners - Private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments, and district governments, to invest money, manpower and materials to their proposed initiatives.

Eligible Participants - Under RCPP, eligible producers and landowners of agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland may enter into conservation program contracts or easement agreements under the framework of a partnership agreement.  RCPP assistance is also available independent of a partner if the land is located either in a partner project area or in a critical conservation area designated by the Secretary.

 

How to Apply

NRCS will release an announcement for program funding, that will outline requirements for proposal submissions for funding. NRCS will review partnership proposals according to the priorities identified in the announcement and make project selections. Upon selection of a partnership proposal, NRCS and the partner will enter into a partnership agreement through which they will coordinate to provide producers in the project area assistance. Partnership agreements may be for a period of up to five years. NRCS may extend an agreement one time for an additional 12 months if needed to meet the objectives of the program. More information on how to apply for RCPP is on the national web page.

 

Partnership Agreements

The partnership agreement defines the scope of the project, including:

  1. Eligible activities to be implemented
  2. Potential agricultural or nonindustrial private forest operation affected
  3. Local, state, multi-state or other geographic area covered
  4. Planning, outreach, implementation, and assessment to be conducted. Partners are responsible for contributing to the cost of the project, conducting outreach and education to eligible producers for potential participation in the project and for conducting an assessment of the project’s effects. In addition, partners may act on behalf of the eligible landowner or producer in applying for assistance and for leveraging financial or technical assistance provided by NRCS with additional funds to help achieve the project objectives.

Before closing the agreement the partner must provide an assessment of the project costs and conservation effects.

 

 

RCPP Projects in Alaska

 

Hoonah Native Forest Lands Partnership 

Map of Eligible Areas
Proposed NRCS Investment: $1.8 million 
Lead Partner: Sealaska
Number of Partners: 6
Participating State: Alaska

The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership blends highly inclusive collaboration, state of the art land management tools and an innovative, watershed-scale planning approach for balancing economic, social and ecological outcomes, including improved resource conditions for both national NRCS priorities (water quality) and State of Alaska priorities (stream and wildlife habitat).

 

Implementing Education, Outreach, and Conservation Practices on Tribal Land for Socially Disadvantaged Producers and Alaska Tribal Conservation Districts

Map of Eligible Areas
Proposed NRCS Investment: $1.4 million
Lead Partner: Tyonek Tribal Conservation District
Number of Partners: 6
Participating State: Alaska

Tyonek Tribal Conservation District (TTCD) is facilitating an innovative, collaborated effort to complete planning, monitoring, and implementation of conservation practices, education, and outreach for Alaska Native Villages (ANV) with an Alaska Tribal Conservation District (ATCD). The proposed project connects partners for the benefit of enhancing, preserving, and restoring habitat used for subsistence resources in the effort to preserve customs and traditions of Alaska Native (AN) people, thus achieving food security. Activities in the proposed project provide education, and outreach to ATCDs, complete planning, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of conservation practices benefiting wildlife and soil natural resource concerns NRCS priorities (water quality) and State of Alaska priorities (stream and wildlife habitat).

 

Innovative Tribal Conservation and Greenhouse Gas Management

Map of Eligible Areas 
Proposed NRCS Investment: $1.8 million 
Lead Partner: Intertribal Agricultural Council
Number of Partners: 9
Participating States: Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska, South Dakota (lead state)

Society is demanding increasing goods and services from rangeland and forest ecosystems. This trend will likely accelerate in response to continued changes in the climate and intensification of land use and growth of the human population. Lack of access to USDA’s conservation programs negatively impacts the ability of Indian Country to protect its natural resource assets and preserve Indian land stewardship.  As open space, undeveloped lands, and well-managed Indian lands gain value under environmental markets, it is vital that Indian and Alaskan Native people are able to directly benefit from new revenue streams. By working with NRCS and the project partners this proposal will expand holistic conservation planning capacity a larger comprehensive model for improved Indian land stewardship and greenhouse gas management.  

 

More Information: 
RCPP national web page

 

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