USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife, and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales. The total program funding for the estimated 150 awards is $400 million.
Through RCPP, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas. Partners leverage RCPP funding in project areas and report on the benefits achieved.
Eligible Partners - Agricultural or silvicultural producer associations, farmer cooperatives or other groups of producers, state or local governments, American Indian tribes, municipal water treatment entities, water and irrigation districts, conservation-driven nongovernmental organizations and institutions of higher education.
Eligible Participants - Under RCPP, eligible producers and landowners of agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland may enter into conservation program contracts or easement agreements under the framework of a partnership agreement.
Funding for RCPP is allocated to projects in three different categories: critical conservation areas, national, and state.
NRCS Programs Used in RCPP - Conservation program contracts and easement agreements are implemented through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, or the Healthy Forests Reserve Program. NRCS may also utilize the authorities under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program, other than the Watershed Rehabilitation Program, in the designated critical conservation areas.
How to Apply
Eligible partners interested in applying should consult the announcement for program funding, which outlines requirements for proposal applications. NRCS will review partnership proposals according to the priorities identified in the announcement and make project selections. Upon selection of a partnership proposal, NRCS and the partner will enter into a partnership agreement through which they will coordinate to provide assistance to producers in the project area. Partnership agreements may be for a period of up to five years. NRCS may extend an agreement one time for an additional 12 months if needed to meet the objectives of the program.