Thursday, September 17, 2020

NRCS-PA Invests $2 Million In Delaware Watershed Forest Health, Carbon Markets Project With The Nature Conservancy-PA/DE

 On September 17, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA announced a $2 million investment for an innovative conservation project in Pennsylvania and New York through Regional Conservation Partnership Program Alternative Funding Arrangements. 

“Through these projects, partners are able to take the lead and leverage the flexibilities that make RCPP so effective,” said State Conservationist, Denise Coleman. “Partners are delivering conservation in new and innovative ways, and by working together, we can harness our collective resources to produce greater results for conservation and agriculture.”

The "Improving Forest Health Through Aggregation" project submitted by The Nature Conservancy PA/DE Chapter will test a new forest carbon and easement aggregation model to-- 1) enable the protection of significantly more forested headwaters properties than has been possible to date; 2) increase the amount of forestland under certified forest management; and 3) ensure continued production of high-quality drinking water resources throughout the Upper Delaware River Watershed. 

This project aims to permanently protect 3,600 acres and improve the condition of these lands through forest management plans and best management practices. 

Key features of the pilot project that add conservation value include enrolling landowners in forest certification programs, connecting them to technical assistance and providing access to carbon markets.  [Read more here.]

Nationally, NRCS will invest $50 million in 10 conservation projects across 16 states. Through these projects, partners will contribute more than $65 million to amplify the conservation work that can be performed on agricultural land and privately owned forests across the nation.

Partners are given the liberty to manage an RCPP project and the associated relationships with participating producers and landowners. They identify those producers and landowners, contract with them, and carry out the technical assistance. 

In addition, through the AFA provision, NRCS has the authority to pursue innovative conservation approaches, such as pay-for-performance, that are not possible under RCPP Classic.

For more information on technical and financial assistance available, visit the NRCS-PA webpage.

Related Article - Family Forest Carbon Program In PA:

-- Amazon/The Nature Conservancy Right Now Climate Fund Commits $10 Million To Family Forest Carbon Program In PA, Appalachians

-- PA Forestry Assn.: Family Forest Carbon Pilot Program Launched In PA

-- Audubon PA Receives NFWF Grant To Partner With Forest Landowners On Habitat Conservation, Family Forest Carbon Program

Related Article This Week:

USDA Opens Application Period For Rural Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Grants/Loans 

[Posted: Sept. 17, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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