USDA Announces New Funding for Conservation Partners

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to offer funding aimed at improving water quality, wildlife habitat, and soil productivity. The partnership brings together $10 million of NRCS funding and $10 million or more in private funds through NFWF.

The first of several funding opportunities for the Conservation Partners grants will focus on areas in the Northeast Forests, Upper Mississippi River Basin, Gulf Coast, and Prairie Pothole regions. Grant awards to selected proposals will range from $50,000 to $250,000. Priority will be given to proposals that target species and ecosystems of shared interest between NFWF and NRCS. Some of the funds for the effort will also provide technical assistance on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.

The second round of funding is scheduled for this spring and will focus on the Lesser Prairie Chicken, the Bay Delta and other priority habitat areas. The Conservation Partners effort is also helping to accelerate conservation initiatives in the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and Long Leaf Pine habitats.

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments. State drinking water programs may want to reach out to their counterparts in the clean water, wildlife, and agriculture programs to highlight source water protection opportunities in these grant activities.

For more information about the grants, visit NFWF’s website or contact John Curry at or 612-564-7285. Pre-proposals are due by March 13, 2012.