USDA Announces FY 2016 Conservation Projects and Funding

USDA and Local Partners to Fund up to $720 Million for RCPP Projects

On February 12th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that for FY ’16, USDA and local partners from across the nation will direct up to $720 million in pooled funds for 84 projects under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.  Water quality and drought are dominant themes in this year’s RCPP project list, with 45 of the 84 projects focusing on water resource concerns.  The RCPP was created by the 2014 Farm Bill to help communities improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability.  The combined total of funding for the 2015 and 2016 rounds of projects will provide up to $1.5 billion for 199 strategic conservation projects.  Projects are selected on a competitive basis, and local private partners must be able to at least match the USDA commitment.  Visit the USDA web site to see the full list of 2016 projects. And download the 2016 RCPP fact sheet.

2016 Projects Announced for USDA Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership

The U.S. Forest Service and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are working together through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, to restore landscapes, reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.  The Partnership is making a Federal investment of over $40 million in FY ’16 for 11 new projects and 28 continuing projects (launched in 2014 and 2015). Local partners also plan to invest up to an additional $11 million in financial, technical, and in-kind assistance for the 11 new projects.  For more information, read the press release, see the list of all 2016 projects and see summaries of the new 2016 projects.