Funding Available for Conservation and Climate Projects

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Environment

Photo by Pixabay

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the availability of $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2024 to invest in conservation and climate solutions through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting project proposals now through July 2. The projects will help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners adopt and expand conservation strategies to enhance natural resources while tackling the climate crisis.

Project proposals for the program are being accepted through the RCPP portal.

This investment is made available through the farm bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, enabling USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost funding for RCPP. Additionally, NRCS is announcing progress on its effort to streamline and simplify RCPP and improve processes and implementation. 

“We had unprecedented demand for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program last year, showing the robust interest in conservation from farmers and ranchers,” Vilsack said. “We’re able to invest even more this year in this important program, increasing our impact across the landscape. We’re looking forward to seeing what the more streamlined and customer-oriented Regional Conservation Partnership Program can do to get more conservation on the ground in the coming months and years.” 

Two separate funding opportunities were announced: RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). RCPP Classic projects are implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners and communities in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP AFA, the lead partner works directly with agricultural producers to support the development of innovative conservation approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic.

The 2024 RCPP funding priorities are climate-smart agriculture, urban agriculture, conservation and environmental justice.

NRCS will be hosting webinars to provide additional information. Learn how to participate at the RCPP website.


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