May 22, 2024

RCPP application deadlines set for Working Lands, Water, Wildlife Partnership

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will offer Regional Conservation Partnership Program funding for the Working Lands, Water and Wildlife Partnership throughout Illinois.

Illinois NRCS has partnered with The Conservation Fund to help producers address resource concerns such as inadequate habitat for wildlife, water quality, and long-term protection of farmland.

Landowners can apply for assistance through RCPP to implement practices, such as silvopasture establishment, tree and shrub establishment, and cover crops. Landowners also can receive a rental payment to help offset lost income while transitioning to organic farming or installing tree and berry crops.

Funding is also available for landowners interested in protecting and preserving their farmland through an entity held easement that will keep the land in agriculture production.

The project focus is to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat and preserve farmland in the following counties: Adams, Alexander, Boone, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Iroquois, Jackson, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, La Salle, Lee, Madison, Mason, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Sangamon, Tazewell, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

Financial assistance will be available to producers in Illinois who have land in the above-mentioned counties.

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit a signed application, NRCS-CPA-1200 form, to the local NRCS field office, or through the www.farmers.gov website using their account, by the following dates to ensure applications are considered for 2023 funding.

The Land Management and Rental projects application cutoff dates are Dec. 2, 2022, and March 3, 2023.

For Entity Held Easements, the application cutoff dates are Dec. 23, 2022, and Feb. 24, 2023.

A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form may be obtained from the local office or on the Illinois NRCS website.

Producers using www.farmers.gov can sign in or create an account by clicking on “Sign up” in the upper right of the website.

To see if you are eligible to participate in the program, producers should contact their local NRCS field office or visit the Illinois NRCS website at www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.