USDA announces $1.5 billion investment in conservation and climate solutions

The funding aims to support farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in adopting and expanding conservation strategies that enhance natural resources, address climate change.
EDITED BY LUKE REYNOLDS
USDA-announces-$1.5-billion-investment-in-conservation-and-climate-solutions-1

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced an investment of $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2024 under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.  

The funding aims to support farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in adopting and expanding conservation strategies that enhance natural resources and address climate change.  

“We had unprecedented demand for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program last year, showing the robust interest in conservation from farmers and ranchers,” says Vilsack. “Through the increase in funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, we’re able to invest even more this year in this important program, increasing our impact across the landscape. We’re looking forward to seeing what the more streamlined and customer-oriented Regional Conservation Partnership Program can do to get more conservation on the ground in the coming months and years.” 

The $1.5 billion investment is sourced from the farm bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. These funds are set to support over 180,000 farms and more than 225 million acres over the next five years. The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has utilized these acts to increase funding for the RCPP and has made efforts to streamline and enhance the program for more effective implementation. 

The priorities for this year’s RCPP funding include climate-smart agriculture, urban agriculture, conservation and environmental justice. This aligns with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to direct 40% of certain federal investment benefits to communities historically marginalized and burdened by pollution. 

Proposals for the 2024 RCPP are currently being accepted through the RCPP portal, with further details available on Grants.gov. NRCS is particularly encouraging proposals from historically underserved entities or Indian tribes. 

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