The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri invites qualifying farmers and landowners to apply for technical and financial assistance through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Funding is available for seven regional partnership projects. Applications must be received by Nov. 17, 2023, to be considered for this round of funding.
The RCPP projects and associated counties are as follows:
• Program Restoring & Improving Monarch Ecosystems (PRIME) in Andrew, Atchison, Benton, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Pettis, Platte, Ray, Saline, and Worth counties: This project aims to increase monarch and pollinator habitat in Northwest Missouri through land management practices, emphasizing prescribed burning and short-term land rental payments. PRIME will target lands currently enrolled in and expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enhancing monarch habitat by maintaining and restoring diverse native plant communities. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are the lead partners on this project.
• Precision Farm Data & Strategic Buffer Project in Chariton, Lafayette, Linn, Macon, Pettis, Randolph, and Saline counties: This project focuses on utilizing on-farm yield data to identify non-profitable or marginal cropland acres to establish field borders, pollinator habitat, wetlands, and more strategically. The aim is to maximize profitability while improving water quality and wildlife habitat. The Missouri Department of Conservation is the lead partner on this project.
• Restoring Glade and Woodland Communities for Threatened Species in the Ozarks of Southeast Missouri in Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Iron, Madison, Oregon, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Francois, St. Genevieve, and Wayne counties: This project emphasizes the restoration of glade, woodland, and forest habitats on private land for at-risk species like the Indiana Bat, Gray Bat, Mead’s Milkweed, Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly, Ozark Hellbender, and the Grotto Sculpin. Practices to protect subsurface water quality will be implemented in the Karst area of Perry County for the Grotto Sculpin’s protection. The Missouri Department of Conservation leads this project.
• Sand Prairie Restoration Partnership Program in Butler, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott, and Stoddard counties: This initiative aims to restore and protect sand prairie communities on private land through voluntary perpetual easements. These easements will safeguard this critically endangered native community, offering vital habitat for several threatened and endangered species. The Missouri Department of Conservation leads this project. For more details about this initiative, contact Joe Tousignant at [email protected] or (573) 755-6072. Note: Scotland County is NOT included in this project.
• Missouri Targeted Conservation in portions of Audrain, Bates, Boone, Bollinger, Caldwell, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Daviess, DeKalb, Dunklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Osage, Pemiscot, Pettis, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Scott, Shelby, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Vernon, and Worth counties: The project seeks to pinpoint areas within a watershed where conservation practices can most efficiently reduce sediment, nutrient, and pathogen losses into waterways. The Blackwater, Cahokia-Joachim, South Fork Salt, Little Osage, Thompson, Upper Grand, Little River Ditches, and Lower Missouri-Moreau watersheds are the focus areas in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is the project’s primary partner.
• James River Headwaters RCPP in Greene & Webster counties: This project aims to support clean drinking water protection, bolster the local farming community, and help municipalities meet federal water quality standards while enhancing the aquatic ecosystem within the James River Headwaters. Emphasis is on practices such as riparian buffers, rotational grazing, and soil health. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Inc. leads this project.
• East Locust Creek Source Water Protection Project in Sullivan & Putnam counties: The project’s goal is to prevent nonpoint source runoff from entering the East Locust Creek Reservoir (ELCR). The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission is the project’s primary partner.
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS conservation activities and partners that provide value-added contributions. This collaboration helps address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. Through RCPP, NRCS looks forward to co-investing with partners to execute projects that showcase innovative conservation solutions and deliver measurable outcomes.