The Preserving Upriver Farms to Reduce Flooding in N.C. proposal is a phased project that aims to reduce the negative impacts of soil erosion and runoff in the river basins in the Piedmont and Sandhills.
A proposal by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) was awarded $8.5 million by the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) to place conservation easements on farms in the Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina. Approximately $6.5 million in USDA-NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funds will be allocated towards conservation easement purchases. The Preserving Upriver Farms to Reduce Flooding in N.C. proposal is a phased project that aims to reduce the negative impacts of soil erosion and runoff in the river basins in the Piedmont and Sandhills. This project will focus on eligible parcels within the Cape Fear River Basin from the headwaters of the Deep River in Guilford County and the Haw River in Forsyth County to Interstate 95 in Johnston, Harnett, and Cumberland counties. Eligible entities may partner with landowners in this region to create grant applications for conservation easements for funding from both USDA-NRCS RCPP and the N.C. ADFP Trust Fund.
To offer land for enrollment in an agricultural land easement (RCPP-ALE) easement, eligible entities must submit the respective application documents to the NRCS North Carolina State Office. The application can be found under Agricultural Land Easements- North Carolina under the Application Forms and Supplemental Information section. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However, applications must be received by June 20th, 2023, to be considered for funding this batching period. For more information on finding eligible parcels N.C. ADFP has two great resources:
Eligible entities that meet the entity eligibility requirements set forth in 7 CFR Section 1464.5(b) and are interested in acquiring RCPP entity-held easements must first apply for an RCPP Program Agreement using Form NRCS-CPA-1274, “Entity Application for a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Entity-Held Easement Program Agreement” (RCPP entity application).
An eligible entity may request the RCPP cost-share funds for the purchase of an RCPP entity-held easement by submitting Form NRCS-CPA-1275, “Parcel Sheet for Entity Application for a RCPP Entity-Held Easement Program Agreement” (RCPP parcel application) for each parcel to be considered for funding. Individual RCPP parcel applications may be submitted concurrent with the RCPP entity application (Form NRCS-CPA-1274). The eligible entity must ensure RCPP conservation easement deeds satisfy the requirements set forth in the RCPP program agreement. The approved deed will be supplied by the RCPP managing partner.
N.C. NRCS can also provide other assistance through voluntary programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. Through these programs, the agency approves contracts to implement conservation practices that addresses natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal, and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. To get started, please visit your local USDA Service Center.
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