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Regional Conservation Partnership Program

RCPP header 2020

 

 

For Private Landowners:
Is there an active RCPP project in your area? If so, you could be eligible for financial assistance through RCPP.

Farmers, ranchers and forest owners who manage property within a current RCPP project area may be eligible for conservation assistance from NRCS and other partners. New RCPP projects are announced annually. Many projects take place over three to five years.

Listing of Current RCPP Projects in Oregon

For Prospective Partner Applicants:
Interested in Submitting a Project Proposal for RCPP? Here's what you need to know.

The Latest from RCPP

  • We are accepting proposals now through Nov. 30, 2020 for the RCPP Classic Application Period.

  • Upcoming webinar(s)

    • August 27, 2020: Join our Aug 27 webinar at noon Pacific to learn more about the RCPP Classic National Funding Opportunity. 

      Step 1: Dial into the conference.
      Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
      Access Code: 4102575#
      Need an international dial-in number?

      Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
      Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/830710

      Need technical assistance?
      Audio Connection: 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015
      Web Connection: 1-888-793-6118:

    • September 10, 2020: Join our Sept. 10 webinar at 12PM Pacific Time to learn about the process of submitting an RCPP Classic proposal through the RCPP portal

      Step 1: Dial into the conference.
      Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
      Access Code: 3965653#
      Need an international dial-in number?

      Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
      Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/830718

      Need technical assistance?
      Audio Connection: 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015
      Web Connection: 1-888-793-6118

  • Learn how to apply for RCPP 

Resources for Applicants:

Overview

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.

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 (AFA) 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.

RCPP Funding

Funding: RCPP is divided among two funding pools. First is State/Multistate for projects in a single state or across several states. These receive 50 percent of funding. Secondly, for projects in geographic areas called Critical Conservation Areas. Critical Conservation Areas (CCAs) are designated by the Secretary of Agriculture and represent an opportunity for many stakeholders to come together at a regional level to address common natural resource goals while maintaining or improving agricultural productivity (see map below).

CCA Map 2020  

Critical Conservation Areas

Learn more about RCPP Critical Conservation Areas.

 

Who is Eligible

Partner Eligibility

Eligible organizations interested in partnering with NRCS on conservation projects can develop applications for the RCPP competition. The lead partner for an RCPP project is the entity that submits an application, and if selected for an award is ultimately responsible for collaborating with NRCS to successfully complete an RCPP project.

See the RCPP funding announcement for details about what types of organizations are eligible to apply.  

Producer and Landowner Eligibility

Once NRCS selects a project and executes an RCPP agreement with a lead partner, agricultural producers may participate in an RCPP project in one of two ways. First, producers may engage with project partners and delegate a willing partner to act as their representative in working with NRCS. Second, producers seeking to carry out conservation activities consistent with a RCPP project in the project’s geographic area can apply directly to NRCS.

Land Eligibility

RCPP projects must be carried out on agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land or associated land on which NRCS determines an eligible activity would help achieve conservation benefits (i.e., improved condition of natural resources resulting from implementation of conservation activities).

Eligible conservation activities may be implemented on public lands when those activities will benefit eligible lands as determined by NRCS and are included in the scope of an approved RCPP project.

RCPP Conservation Activities

RCPP projects may include a range of on-the-ground conservation activities implemented by farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. These activities include:

  • Land management/land improvement/restoration practices
  • Land rentals
  • Entity-held easements
  • United States-held easements
  • Public works/watersheds

A single RCPP project application can propose to employ any combination of these eligible activity types as part of an RCPP project. For more details about eligible RCPP conservation activities, please see the RCPP funding announcement.

How to Apply

Learn how to apply for RCPP from the national RCPP website, and communicate with your local NRCS field office. Partners are strongly encouraged to work with their local NRCS field office and Basin Team Leaders to develop project concepts and work through proposals. Eligible lead partners are encouraged to apply.

Oregon RCPP Contact

Tom Miewald, Oregon RCPP Coordinator
Portland, Oregon
Phone: 503.414.3242
Email: Tom.Miewald@usda.gov