On February 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that 84 projects nationwide, including two in Virginia, will received Fiscal Year 2016 funding under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). According to that program’s Web site, the RCPP aims to promote coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. …RCPP combines the authorities of four former conservation programs: the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program, the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative and the Great Lakes Basin Program.”
The two Virginia projects funded in FY 2016 are the following:
Blue Ridge PRISM Landowner Programs Expansion – $894,000 awarded to 11 partners, led by the Shenandoah National Park Trust, conducting a Cooperative Weed Management Area to address invasive plants in the northern Blue Ridge area of Virginia.
Upper Clinch-Powell Clean Rivers Initiative – $4.5 million awarded to 16 partners, led by the Nature Conservancy, seeking to use Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improve water quality and aquatic habitat in this area known for its high biodiversity of fish, mussels, and other aquatic organisms.
Clinch-Powell project to address environmental concerns, bolster local economy, Kingsport Times-News, 2/12/16.
Bay region farmers offered federal help to curb runoff, Bay Journal, 2/26/16.
USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program Web site, online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/farmbill/rcpp/.