The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) offers new opportunities for the NRCS, conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together to harness innovation, expand the conservation mission and demonstrate the value and efficacy of voluntary, private lands conservation.
Things You Should Know about the new RCPP
The 2018 Farm Bill reconfigures RCPP as a stand-alone program with its own funding and producer contracts.
RCPP projects still include conservation activities associated with other USDA programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Healthy Forests Reserve Program, PL 83-566 Watershed Program, and the Conservation Reserve Program. The forthcoming RCPP funding announcement describes how RCPP interacts with these other programs through RCPP contracts.
RCPP connects partners with producers and private landowners to design and implement voluntary conservation solutions.
RCPP projects start with an application by an eligible partner. Selected partners work alongside NRCS to help agricultural producers and forest landowners implement conservation activities that address natural resource priorities on eligible lands.
Eligible Partners: Agricultural or silvicultural producer associations, farmer cooperatives or other groups of producers, state or local governments, American Indian tribes, municipal water treatment entities, water and irrigation districts, conservation-driven nongovernmental organizations and institutions of higher education, and conservation districts.
Eligible Land: RCPP activities may be carried out on any agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land, or associated land on which USDA determines an eligible activity would help achieve conservation benefits.
RCPP includes new flexibilities for partners and producers.
The new RCPP statute calls on USDA to streamline program participation and provide flexibility to participating partners and producers. For example, the 2018 Farm Bill directs USDA to provide up to 15 RCPP awards each year in the form of alternative financial arrangements or grants. The forthcoming RCPP funding announcement describes how partners can take advantage of this and other new provisions to explore new ways to support producers in getting conservation on the ground.
Funding for RCPP is allocated into projects in two different categories.
Critical Conservation Areas - For projects in eight geographic areas chosen by the Secretary of Agriculture. These receive 50 percent of funding. Learn more about RCPP Critical Conservation Areas.
State/Multistate - For projects in a single state or across several states. These receive 50 percent of funding.
2018 Farm Bill CCA Projects
2018 Farm Bill State/Multistate Projects
Water Quality Degradation
Soil Quality Degradation
How to Apply to RCPP
The application period for RCPP is open from August 6, 2020 through November 4, 2020. Learn how to apply for RCPP.
If you are a producer and/or landowner interested in existing 2014 Farm Bill RCPP projects, more information can be found here.