Comments open for Regional Conservation Partnership Program Rule

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which helps partners develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The rule—now available on the Federal Register—takes effect on publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Through RCPP, we co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “We look forward to making available this improved, more flexible program to partners.”

The 2018 Farm Bill made RCPP a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding, simplifying rules for partners and producers. Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill reduces the number of funding pools and emphasizes partner reporting of conservation outcomes.

The updated program also expands flexibility for alternative funding arrangements with partners and availability of watershed program authorities to projects outside critical conservation areas.

Submitting comments

NRCS invites comments on this interim rule through April 13 on the Federal Register. Electronic comments must be submitted through under Docket ID NRCS-2019-0012. All written comments received will be publicly available on as well.

NRCS will evaluate public comments to determine whether additional changes are needed. The agency plans on publishing a final rule following public comment review.