USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.
RCPP eligible partners include private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities. Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Leveraging of this NRCS funding is a key principle of RCPP; partners are expected to make value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding.
In a release, NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said “The new RCPP offers opportunities for partners and NRCS to develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. A single RCPP project can include just about any Farm Bill conservation activity that NRCS is authorized to carry out. We’re really looking forward to what our partners across the Nation propose to do with these new flexibilities.”
The announcement soliciting applications marks the first step in the implementation of the new RCPP. Later this fall, NRCS will publish a rule in the Federal Register that will establish the policies for the program and further outline the funding process. In addition, the RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangement provision will be implemented through a separate funding announcement following publication of the RCPP rule. Up to $300 million is available for RCPP projects for fiscal 2019.
USDA will be accepting proposals for RCPP until December 3, 2019.