USDA Awards New Partnership Projects in Texas to Protect Natural Resources while Supporting Ag Producers
Temple, Texas, April 27, 2021 — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is investing $10.5 million in two locally driven, public-private partnerships in Texas through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Nationwide, NRCS is investing $330 million in 85 projects that will improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability.
“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is public-private partnerships working at their best,” said Kristy Oates, NRCS state conservationist in Texas. “These new projects will harness the power of partnerships to help bring about solutions to natural resource concerns while supporting Texas agriculture.”
Texas RCPP Projects
Katy Prairie Conservancy
The Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative focuses on protecting the imperiled coastal prairie ecosystem of Texas. The 20 project partners aim to permanently protect lands through conservation easements that serve as critical habitat for at-risk species for birds, pollinators and other aquatic and terrestrial species. The partners intend to bundle applications from applicants located in priority areas to streamline delivery of financial and technical assistance.
Sul Ross State University
The Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership will use a combination of conservation easements and land management activities to protect rangelands from development, restore wildlife habitat, and protect water resources in Texas. Project partners plan to convene teams of experts to provide comprehensive technical assistance to producers participating in the project.
Through RCPP, conservation partners work in collaboration with NRCS to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners implement systems that conserve water and soil resources, improve the health of wildlife habitats, and increase climate resilience.
RCPP partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding. These projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes. Throughout its history, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3 billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on private lands. The Department anticipates the investments made today will generate at least $440 million in additional conservation funds by communities and other partners.