The Natural Resources Conservation Service is now seeking applications for new partnership projects to help improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Pre-proposals applications are due April 21.
Interested partners, such as non-governmental organizations, state and local governments, soil and water conservation districts, producer associations, farmer cooperative, a municipal water or wastewater treatment entity and universities should submit pre-proposals by April 21st to be considered for funding.
In this fourth RCPP Announcement for Program Funding (APF), NRCS will award up to $252 million to promote locally driven, public-private partnerships in 2018.
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.
In December, Pennsylvania NRCS announced that the Soil Health: Improving Land, Water and Profitability project is one of 88 high-impact projects across the country selected to receive federal funding in 2017.
Through the Soil Health: Improving Land, Water and Profitability Project, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and public-private partners will encourage and assist more farmers with implementing farm conservation practices that promote soil health (i.e., maximize soil organic matter, soil organisms, and nutrients) and improve “whole-farm” performance and economic viability.
Eight partners will focus on implementing high-level, innovative conservation stewardship practices on 4,000 acres annually for three years, with emphasis on watersheds in Lycoming, Clinton and Centre Counties in Central Pennsylvania.
In addition to a nearly $400,000 investment from Pennsylvania NRCS, partners have proposed to contribute at least an additional $400,000.
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. Partners must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds.
For more information on applying, visit the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program website.More information on financial and technical assistance from NRCS in Pennsylvania is available from the NRCS Pennsylvania webpage.