RI Forest Health Works Regional Conservation Partnership Program Project is accepting applications for funding for fiscal 2024; project works with partners to leverage over US$3.9M in five years to protect critical forests

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January 26, 2024 (press release) –

The RI Forest Health Works Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Project is accepting applications for funding for fiscal year 2024. It is a agreement between NRCS, RI DEM Division of Forest Environment & 10 partners to leverage over $3.9 million in 5 years to protect critical forests.

This year project partners will offer separate application ranking cutoff dates for our two different program options.

Program options

The RI Forest Health Works Project provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve forest lands and their related benefits through two distinct paths for land protection:

  • Entity-Held Easements help private and tribal landowners, in partnership with land trusts or other entities like state and local governments, to protect forestlands by placing conservation easements. Applications can be submitted through the March 29, 2024, ranking cut-off.
  • U.S.-Held Easements allow eligible landowners to enter into producer contracts to place conservation easements on their land to protect critical forestlands. Applications can be submitted through the March 1, 2024, ranking cut-off.

Applications will be ranked according to their contribution to the RCPP project goals of protecting forest land, water quality, and wildlife habitat.

Applying for assistance

Funding is provided through a competitive process. NRCS accepts applications for its conservation programs year-round but sets state-specific ranking dates to evaluate applications for funding. These dates account for producer needs, staff workload and ensure potential participants have ample opportunity to apply. Interested participants and entities should apply by the ranking cutoff dates listed above to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Applications received after this ranking date will be automatically deferred to the next funding period.

For help applying for the RI Forest Health Works Project RCPP project announcement, contact Joanne Riccitelli at joanne.riccitelli@gmail.com for entity-held easements or Marina Capraro, Conservation Planner, at Samantha.Thibault@usda.gov for U.S.-held easements. NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water, air, plants, animals and other natural resources. For more information, visit www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov.

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Dan Rivard
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