May 27 is Deadline for Conservation Initiative Proposals

May 27 is Deadline for Conservation Initiative Proposals

Voluntary program aims at water, air, soil improvements.

Owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest lands have an opportunity to work with USDA through the Cooperative Conservation Parternship Initiative to complete conservation projects.

The voluntary program addresses environmental efforts to reduce sediments and nutrients in water, increase carbon sequestration in the soil and build a healthier environment across the country.

About $5 million will be made available through CCPI this year. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will use this initiative to enter into agreements for up to five years.

Potential partners include federally recognized tribes, state and local units of government, farmer cooperatives, producer associations, institutions of higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with agricultural producers. The Request for Proposals can be found at HERE. Individual landowners and operators cannot submit a partner proposal. Agricultural producers or non-industrial private forest landowners can receive financial and technical assistance for soil, water, plant, air, and animal-related concerns if their land is located within an approved CCPI partnership project area.

The CCPI will be funded through three existing NRCS programs this fiscal year—the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. The NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance directly to agricultural producers using the rules and procedures of these three programs. Potential partners are not required to contribute matching funding; but it increases their prospects for selection if they provide financial, technical, or other resources.

To participate in the CCPI, potential partners must submit their proposals by close of business (Eastern Time) on May 27 to Financial Assistance Division, NRCS's National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Proposals should identify the project area, conservation priorities in the area, the conservation objectives of the project, the number of producers likely to participate, the capabilities and resources offered by the applicant, and a monitoring and reporting plan, among other factors.

Detailed partnership proposal requirements are located at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ccpi.

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