Restoring and protecting vital natural resources such as water, air, land and wildlife is truly a team effort. That’s the premise behind USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)—a voluntary Farm Bill program that puts conservation partners in the driver’s seat.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications from conservation groups, local and state agencies, tribes, non-profits, private companies, and other partners for the next round of RCPP. Interested partners should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more about the program and to discuss the next steps for submitting a pre-proposal. Pre-proposals are due by May 10.
Nationally, NRCS has made up to $260 million available for RCPP projects to be awarded in 2017.
RCPP is a new program created in the 2014 Farm Bill. In the last two years, USDA has invested nearly $600 million to support 199 RCPP projects across the nation, including 13 projects in Oregon.
Partners for RCPP can include private companies, local and tribal governments, universities, non-profits and other non-government partners. The goal of RCPP projects is to work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to address priority natural resources challenges across a landscape or a watershed.
“RCPP is an excellent way for us to match federal investments with private capital to advance priority natural resource conservation in Oregon and across the nation, while also supporting agricultural production,” said Tom Watson, acting NRCS state conservationist in Oregon. “In just the first two years of the program, NRCS has invested more than $41 million for 13 conservation projects in Oregon, and our partners have exceeded the match with more than $67 million in partner contributions. This is a testament to the successful partnerships throughout Oregon’s conservation community.”
RCPP projects last up to five years. For each RCPP project, NRCS invests federal dollars and project partners match the federal award with private or local funds or in-kind services.
RCPP proposals are accepted under three different funding categories: National, State, and Critical Conservation Areas (CCA). To learn more about these funding categories and for more details about how RCPP works, visit the NRCS Oregon RCPP webpage or contact Loren Unruh, Leader for Programs, at 503-414-3235 orLoren.Unruh@or.usda.gov.