The Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $75 million for 15 partner-led projects to address natural resource concerns on private lands. This year, projects funded by the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s Alternative Funding Arrangements focus on climate-smart agriculture and forestry and other conservation priorities and improve access for historically underserved producers. As part of this year’s project selections, NRCS prioritized projects that supported smart strategies on working lands to help sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Several projects also had concrete plans for engaging producers from historically underserved communities. Announced Friday, the funded projects include the Climate Action and Reforestation in Northern Michigan, Enhancing Hawaii’s Forests for Climate Resilience and South Dakota’s Expanding Soil Health Through Carbon Markets, among others. First authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA.