Success Story:Improving Forest Health for At-Risk Wildlife Resources - Little Traverse Conservancy
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is a partner driven, locally-led approach to conservation. Partners develop projects that deliver solutions to natural resource challenges with technical and financial help from NRCS. RCPP empowers local organizations and communities to pitch their own projects.
USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service funds projects that address a variety of critical resource concerns across the nation. The RCPP program brings together partners and producers to find innovative ways to tackle issues like protecting soil health, mitigating water quality/quantity concerns, and protecting wildlife habitat.
NRCS works side-by-side with conservation partners and agricultural producers to conserve natural resources, leading to cleaner and more abundant water, healthier soil, enhanced wildlife habitat and many other benefits. All RCPP projects must report on their environmental outcomes.
RCPP is now a standalone program with its own funding--$300 million annually. Partners may apply for either Critical Conservation Area (CCA) or State/Multistate Funding Pool. Funding is divided evenly among the two pools.
For projects in a single state or across several states. These receive 50 percent of funding.
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.
Water Quality Degradation
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 applies, and if selected for an award is ultimately responsible for collaborating with NRCS to successfully complete an RCPP project. The RCPP funding announcement contains more information about the types of organizations that are eligible to apply.
Producer / 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. Contact your local USDA Service Center.
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.
How to Apply
Partners- The current application period for RCPP is open until Jan. 22, 2021. Learn how to apply for RCPP.
Producers/Landowners- interested in existing RCPP projects, please contact your local USDA service center.