Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today a USDA investment of up to $235 million to improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.
The funding is being made available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the newest conservation tool of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
In January, USDA delivered first round funding to 115 high-impact projects, including the Colorado project, across all 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
One of those projects, “Securing Private Working Forests to Benefit Longleaf Pine, Threatened and Endangered Species, and Military Readiness” will restore approximately 20,000 acres of longleaf near as many as seven military installations across the country through the purchase of conservation easements. The project will enhance longleaf forests while also increasing the forested buffer around military bases. Longleaf forests produce valuable products, such as high quality wood and pulpwood for paper, that are important to rural economies.
Also, these forests are home to many rare species, and by restoring the habitat on which they depend, their populations will grow.
Pre-proposals are due July 8, 2015.