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USDA: California Conservation Agreements (US)

USDA: California Conservation Agreements (US)

Deadline: 30-Jun-21

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the applications for California Conservation Agreements to perform conservation planning on private lands and complete conservation plans under the NRCS conservation planning policy.

NRCS seeks collaboration to develop a process and document the necessary steps and tools for conservation partners or outside entities to perform conservation planning on private lands and complete conservation plans under NRCS conservation planning policy.

All performed conservation plans will fall under 4 priority area requirements that will be determined in collaboration between the awardee and NRCS subject matter experts.

The purpose of these Conservation Agreements is to address the following objectives in all California counties as applicable:

Improve soil health.
Improve surface and groundwater quality.
Improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands.
Address air quality.
Address climate resiliency and drought.
Improve plant and forest health and productivity.
Enhance habitat for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species.
Assist urban farmers with education and conservation planning.
Provide educational opportunities for farmers, ranchers, Tribes, and non-industrial forest land users.
Collect and produce scientifically credible information through assessments of soil, water and related resources from Core Land Segments identified by the National Resource Inventory (NRI) program.

Emphasis will be placed on projects that provide technical assistance to NRCS staff in the implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs:

Conduct field checks for engineering or agronomic conservation practice certification based on NRCS standards.
During conservation program application periods:
Participate in the screening and ranking process.
Determine applicant eligibility based on federal guidelines.
While working with NRCS participants under the direction of NRCS staff:
Complete steps 1-4 of the conservation planning process to assist in the development of conservation plans.
Perform pre-obligation reviews.
Enter applicant information into ProTracts, Conservation Desktop or CART (Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool).
Manage contracts within ProTracts, Conservation Desktop or CART.
Conduct practice implementation workshops.
Orchestrate outreach activities to identify potential participants for NRCS Farm Bill programs.
Coordinate events aimed at educating NRCS program participants.
Coordinate events to increase implementation of conservation plans and conservation program contracts on private lands.
Coordinate local workgroup meetings.
Coordinate state and local regulatory permits for NRCS farm bill conservation contract participants.
Facilitate watershed group activities for priority watersheds
Funding Information

The total amount of Federal funding the agency expects to award through this opportunity is $500,000.
Projects may be between one to five years in duration.
The agency expects to make ten awards.
Award Ceiling: $75,000
Award Floor: $30,000
Eligibility Criteria

State governments
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Special district governments
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
County governments
City or township governments
Private institutions of higher education
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=333859

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