Last week, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) submitted public comments to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the interim Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) rule.
RCPP was first created in the 2014 Farm Bill, and conservation districts across the country have successfully applied for, partnered with and led a large portion of all projects since the program’s inception. The proposed RCPP rule implements changes Congress included in the 2018 Farm Bill. After receiving feedback from its members, NACD advocated for several changes and revisions to the law to ensure conservation districts and the locally-led conservation delivery process are prominent fixtures throughout the life of a project, from application to completion.
“Conservation districts should play an even larger role than they previously had in the implementation of RCPP projects,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Their history of working together with local landowners, NRCS and partners in the conservation delivery system will only help to further leverage project funds needed to protect our nation’s natural resources.”
NACD’s comments emphasized Congress’s request that conservation districts serve a larger role during the creation of a project in order to ensure local natural resource needs are being addressed in each project and expressed NACD’s support for the successful locally-led conservation delivery system that landowners have known and trusted for decades.