USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is still seeking public comments on its interim rule for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS invites comments on this interim rule through April 13 on the Federal Register.
RCPP helps partners develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The rule, which is now available on the Federal Register, includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Eligible partners include private industry, non-governmental organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities. Leveraging of NRCS funding is a key principle of RCPP. Partners are expected to make value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding.
The 2018 Farm Bill made RCPP a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding, simplifying rules for partners and producers. The updated program also expands flexibility for alternative funding arrangements with partners and availability of watershed program authorities to projects outside critical conservation areas.
NRCS will evaluate public comments to determine whether additional changes are needed. The agency plans on publishing a final rule following public comment review.
For more information, visit the RCPP webpage.