DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced $225 million in funding for 88 partnership projects nationwide. California captured funding for four projects—three completely within the state and one shared with Nevada. Funding comes through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), created in the 2014 Farm Bill.
"RCPP continues to fund partnered projects in California that address some of the most important conservation issues facing farmers and ranchers," said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. "This year is no different with four outstanding projects that focus on flooding, water quality, soil health, wildlife and much more."
Each project has its own set of conservation benefits, specific goals and management practices. Over the coming weeks, NRCS California staff will work with representatives from the selected projects to develop project specific plans to implement the work.
California-Specific Project Overviews:
Black Rascal Creek Project. Lead partner: Merced County. The project will provide flood protection to the communities of Merced and Franklin/Beachwood and surrounding prime agricultural lands, an area that has seen frequent and severe flooding. In addition to flood control, the project will address drought, water quality, soil quality and improve wildlife habitat.
San Diego County Partners Agricultural Sustainability. Lead partner: Mission Resource Conservation District. The project will promote irrigation system evaluations and conservation plans will be utilized to ascertain the baseline conditions of each participating property and to determine the necessary conservation practices needed to ensure sustainability.
San Mateo Coast Farmland, Water and Wildlife. Lead partner: Peninsula Open Space Trust. The project will expedite delivery of natural resource conservation on agriculture lands by integrating land protection and stewardship strategies farm-by-farm and across the region to address these priority challenges.
California-Nevada Project Overview:
Livestock in Harmony with Sage Grouse. Lead partner: Eastern Sierra Land Trust. The project will protect and measurably enhance sage-grouse habitat on working ranchlands, improve water quality, and assist producers in meeting or avoiding the need for natural resource regulatory requirements.
Since 2015, the first year of RCPP, NRCS has funded 16 California projects benefitting bird habitat, climate change, water quality, forest health, and other natural resources to further the health and sustainability needs of California's agricultural landscape.
NRCS selects RCPP projects designed by local partners specifically for their state or region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments and others joining with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, labor and materials to complete proposed initiatives.
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SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service