The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to seek proposals to fund up to $75 million in new, unique projects under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). They are looking for proposals that take innovative and non-traditional approaches to conservation solutions at the local, regional and landscape scales. In making selections. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will prioritize projects related to climate smart agriculture and forestry.
NRCS will fund up to 15 projects 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.
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 nongovernmental organizations. NRCS will then 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.