Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack invited potential conservation partners – including private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities – to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Through this fourth RCPP Announcement for Program Funding (APF), USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will award up to $252 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds.
Created by the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP connects partners with producers and private landowners to design and implement voluntary conservation solutions that benefit natural resources, agriculture and the economy. By 2018, NRCS and its more than 2,000 conservation partners will have invested at least $2.4 billion in high-impact RCPP projects nationwide.
In its most recent RCPP awards, NRCS last month announced that 88 high-impact projects across the country will receive $225 million in federal funding, with more than double that investment from partners.
NRCS Chief Jason Weller encourages partners to consider conservation finance and environmental markets as they develop RCPP project applications. “The growing field of conservation finance provides opportunities to inject significant investment capital into projects that protect, restore and maintain our natural ecosystems,” says Weller.
USDA is now accepting proposals for Fiscal Year 2018 RCPP funding. Pre-proposals are due April 21. For more information on applying, visit nrcs.usda.gov.
For an interactive look at USDA’s work in conservation and forestry over the course of the Obama Administration, visit medium.com/usda-results.