The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the application deadline for multiple NRCS programs. Assistant State Conservationist for Programs in California RaeAnn Dubay explained that the Regional Conservationist Partnership Program’s (RCPP) Alternative Funding Agreements (AFA) are one of the programs that have prolonged the application window.
“The deadline is now extended to May 29, recognizing that a lot of our partners have expressed some concern about meeting the challenge of the previous deadline with everything happening in response to COVID,” Dubay noted.
The AFA provides grant-like opportunities to partners for the implementation of conservation activities aimed at improving natural resources. One of the other NRCS programs that have extended its deadline is the national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Trials, which has also been moved to May 29.
“We are looking at on-the-ground implementation of conversation activities,” said Dubay. “Evaluation of the impact those activities are having on the landscape and the On-Farm Trials are specifically targeted to help with consistent soil health assessment protocols before and after.”
Dubay explained that there are three different versions of CIG opportunities. There is a CIG program at the state level, a CIG program at the national level, as well as the On-Farm version of CIG. The California CIG application deadline remains unchanged on May 8. The deadline for the national level of CIG opportunities is June 29. While those that are interested may apply to both the state and national CIG program, it will depend on the applicant and what they are looking to accomplish.
“There is a bottom threshold on how much you can seek from each of them as well as an upper threshold on all of them,” Dubay noted. “There is a concise description of each and I would encourage partners to really review all applications in order to see which one would fit their circumstances the best.”