USDA deadline looms for conservation grants totaling $20 million
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2015 - Those interested in applying for up to $1 million in conservation or carbon credit project grant funding through USDA's Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program must submit their project pre-proposals by Feb. 24."
Approximately half of the $20 million in CIG funding available will go toward engaging agricultural producers in projects that contribute to the creation or maturation of carbon credit or environmental markets, leverage private investment for farmer-led conservation and mitigate water quality issues and/or climate change.
The CIG program has funded several projects in private lands conservation, including a water quality trading program in the Ohio River Basin and a nitrous oxide credit trading program in the Midwest with the Delta Institute.
The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will accept pre-proposals from non-governmental organizations, tribes, or individual applicants until Feb. 24 and will later invite qualifying applicants to submit full proposals.
In their pre-proposals, applicants may address natural resource improvements in water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat, or a different, but applicable area of concern, including improvements related to the fields of economics or sociology.
They may also include descriptions of how historically underserved producers, veterans, and/or organic producers will benefit from their project.
The 2014 Farm Bill eliminated a past requirement that mandated applicants provide half of their federal funding match in cash, and expanded eligibility for projects that address historically underserved producers.
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