Florida landowners interested in aligning their land uses with conservation values have an opportunity to apply for a conservation easement program in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida (NRCS-FL) and the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT).
Applications are now being accepted for the fiscal year 2023 NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). U.S. held easements will be accepted and evaluated by NRCS and NFLT through June 16, 2023. While these conservation easement applications are accepted year-round, applications received after June 16th, 2023 will be considered for the following fiscal year, as funding allows.
The RCPPis a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land. The RCPP promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to expand our collective ability to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns.
The NFLT is leading this RCPP project to protect the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor. The O2O Wildlife Corridor (O2O) is a 100-mile-long, 1.6-million-acre, landscape of public and private lands that connect the Ocala and Osceola National Forests. The O2O includes priority lands for the Florida Ecological Greenways Network andis a significant part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. By protecting this system of natural landscapes and connector lands, the O2O will continue to provide habitat for Florida black bears and imperiled species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake, and gopher tortoise. In addition, there are opportunities for protecting iconic Florida ecosystems, including longleaf pine forests, sandhills, and scrub in the O2O.
As part of this initiative, NRCS and its partners have funding through the RCPP to pay landowners for conservation easements placed upon their land. Due to the complex nature of conservation easement projects, landowners interested in this funding are strongly encouraged to contact NRCS to discuss this funding option prior to submitting an application.
If interested, please contact:
Heather Barnes, NFLT O2O Coordinator, at email@example.com or at 904 579-1967.
Michael Ruiz, NRCS RCPP-Easements, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 352 338-9566.