Regional Conservation Programs Receives $260 Million in USDA Funding

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the USDA will be providing $260 million for conservation partnership programs that will help improve water quality, support wildlife, protect agriculture, and more. Applications are now being accepted for 2017 funding.

Since the creation of the 2014 Farm Bill, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) innovative Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) has awarded more than $600 million for 199 partner-led projects. And now, the USDA will be providing another $260 million for conservation partnership programs that will help improve water quality, support wildlife, protect agriculture, and more.

"Across the country, locally-driven efforts are having a positive effect on conservation and production," said Vilsack. "RCPP serves as a valuable vehicle for matching federal investment and private capital to advance natural resource conservation and support agricultural production. Partners in the 84 new high-impact projects we announced in February are matching USDA funding more than two-to-one for a combined investment of over $720 million."

"We recognize the growing interest in leveraging private capital markets to foster impact investments in conservation, sustainable agriculture and forestry," said Vilsack. "For this new round, we hope to see even more applications that support the development of environmental markets and conservation finance projects."

The USDA is accepting applications until May 10 for Fiscal Year 2017 RCPP funding. 

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