USDA investing $197 million in partner-driven, locally led conservation
Last updated 8/17/2022 at 8:12am
BOZEMAN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it is awarding $197 million for 41 locally led conservation projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
RCPP is a partner-driven program that leverages partner resources to advance innovative projects that address climate change, enhance water quality, and address other critical challenges on agricultural land.
“Our partners are experts in their fields and understand the challenges in their own backyards,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Through RCPP we can tap into that knowledge, in partnership with producers and USDA, to come up with lasting solutions to the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and landowners face. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of public-private partnership at its best, made possible through these RCPP investments.”
The projects funded Friday are awarded under two different RCPP funding opportunities: RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements. RCPP Classic projects are implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners and communities, in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP AFA, partners have more flexibility in working directly with agricultural producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic.
People can see the list of 2022 RCPP projects, including projects in Montana, online at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/financial/rcpp/?cid=nrcseprd1948235 or https://bit.ly/3Ps2vry or view the interactive map online at https://nrcs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=ab6aa86f9aea48e2af92ed165450d110 or https://bit.ly/3Ps2vry .
As part of each project, partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal to or greater than the NRCS investment.
Private landowners can apply to participate in an RCPP project in their region through awarded partners or at their local USDA service center.
First authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3 billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on private lands. Since inception, RCPP has made 589 awards involving over 3,000 partner organizations. Currently there are 401 active projects, with at least one active project in every state and area. Successful RCPP projects provide innovative conservation solutions, leverage partner contributions and offer impactful and measurable outcomes.
For more information about RCPP, people can visit the NRCS website at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/rcpp .