USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking proposals to fund up to $75 million in new, unique projects under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). Proposals need to take innovative and non-traditional approaches to conservation solutions at the local, regional, and landscape scales.
15 projects will be funded this year through AFA, where partners have more flexibility in working directly with agricultural producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches that would not otherwise be effectively implemented through the classic RCPP.
A significant portion of funds will address projects related to climate-smart agriculture and forestry. These include projects related to carbon markets and new technologies. NRCS also strongly encourages proposals from RCPP projects that address the conservation needs of urban farmers in metropolitan areas, supporting access to healthy fresh food in historically underserved populated communities.
NRCS will execute AFAs through agreements with eligible lead partners who will be responsible for contracting directly with eligible producers and landowners to implement conservation activities on the ground.
NRCS is accepting AFA project proposals through May 28. Proposals must be submitted through the RCPP portal at https://nrcs-sites.secure.force.com. Information about this request for proposals is available on grants.gov.
Farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners can apply for RCPP projects through project partners, like conservation districts, producer associations, water districts, state or local governments, American Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and non-governmental organizations.