The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia has been conducting a sign-up for four regionally-focused conservation projects funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). But, the ranking date for all eligible producers in the project areas being offered is December 2, 2022.
The Georgia RCPP projects in this signup include:
Project ID# 1960 – The Red Hills to the Coast, Connecting Land
The Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy is the lead partner for this project and have a vision for the St. Marks River and Aucilla River watersheds as a pair of adjoining watersheds that contain conserved, well-managed natural habitats that allow for an increase in populations for listed wildlife species, improved water quality for residents, and economic benefits to surrounding communities. A diverse set of partners intends to enroll at least 5,000 acres in conservation easements and provide technical and financial assistance covering 15,000 acres. The focus areas are Brooks, Thomas, and Grady counties within the St. Marks River and Aucilla River watersheds only.
Project ID# 2061 – The Georgia Sentinel Landscape
The Georgia Conservancy, Inc. is the lead partner for this project, and along with their partners plan to protect up to 1,500 acres with conservation easements and expand prescribed fire efforts to improve management of the longleaf pine ecosystem. The project complements Department of Defense Sentinel Landscape activities and supports the goals of Georgia’s Gopher Tortoise Initiative. The focus areas are Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Liberty, Long, Tattnall counties only.
Project ID# 2574 – Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative
The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities is the lead partner for this project, and along with their partners will offer conservation easements and habitat restoration and maintenance activities on private forest land to protect Gopher Tortoise populations living in longleaf pine ecosystems in Georgia. The project is designed to help prevent a Threatened or Endangered listing of the gopher tortoise under the Endangered Species Act. Between RCPP and partner contribution investments, an estimated 8,000 acres of private and public lands will benefit from land management activities. This project builds on the existing Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative established in 2015. The focus areas are Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Coffee, Colquitt, Columbia, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Johnson, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McDuffie, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Montgomery, Muscogee, Pierce, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Ware, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox and Worth counties.
Project ID# 2419 – The Working Farms Fund
The Conservation Fund is the lead partner for this project and in collaboration with six local partners, proposes to establish the first-of-its-kind program in the country, known as the Working Farms Fund. The project will permanently protect farmland across the Atlanta metropolitan foodshed and create opportunities for ambitious, diverse farmers to access affordable farms through an innovative buy-protect-sell model. Partners, such as Emory University and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center will help report on social and economic outcomes of the project, and the partnership is committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its participating farmers come from historically underserved groups. The focus areas are Harris, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Newton, Rockdale counties only.
More information can be found by contacting NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.