December 14, 2010
On Tuesday, December 14, USDA published its FY 2011 Request for Proposals for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), both of which are administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Both CCPI and AWEP are partnership programs, through which NRCS partners with Indian tribes, State and local units of government, institutions of higher education, farmer cooperatives, agricultural associations or other groups of producers, and agricultural land trusts or other nongovernmental organizations to provide joint conservation funding to individual producers. The purpose of the FY 2011 RFP is to solicit partnership proposals from eligible partners.
NRCS administers CCPI and AWEP through existing conservation programs. CCPI is implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), while AWEP is administered solely through EQIP. Producers who are located within approved AWEP and CCPI project areas must apply directly to and meet the eligibility requirements of EQIP, CSP, or WHIP.
The RFP announces the availability of up to $5 million in AWEP funding, available through EQIP, for FY 2011. It also announces the availability of up to $16 million in CCPI funding through EQIP, up to $1.8 million through WHIP, and up to 229,000 acres through CSP.
AWEP proposals will receive higher priority if they:
CCPI proposals will receive higher priority if they:
AWEP is intended to promote ground and surface water conservation and improve water quality on agricultural lands in approved project areas. You can learn more about AWEP by visiting USDA’s program website here.
The purpose of CCPI is to combine federal and non-federal funds to specifically address state and local conservation priorities and concerns (90 percent of the funds and acres reserved for projects are chosen by the NRCS State Conservationist, in consultation with the NRCS State Technical Committees).
One major purpose of the CCPI added by the 2008 Farm Bill is the development of innovative conservation practices and delivery methods including practices associated with organic production and specialty crops. Visit NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to the Farm Bill for an in-depth description of how CPPI functions and the types of projects that it funds.