Conservation Innovation Grant Funds Available

Voluntary conservation program intended to spur new approaches.

State Conservationist Eric B. Banks, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Salina, announced $200,000 of available funding for new technology or approaches under the Conservation Innovation Grants. Through innovation, CIG is an effort to address some of the state's most pressing natural resource conservation needs. CIG is a component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production.

The program enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the Nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

State, tribal, and local governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals may apply. Project proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern. Project results are expected to improve and create the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals or guides or to the private sector.

Applications are due in the Kansas NRCS State Office by April 24, 2009. Project proposals will be evaluated with the assistance of the Kansas Technical Committee based on the criteria identified in the announcement of Fiscal Year 2009 program funding.

Selected applicants may receive grants up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Individual grant awards may not exceed $50,000. Applicants must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost. Of the non-federal matching funds, 50 percent may be from in-kind contributions. Projects may be single or multi-year, not to exceed three years.

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