The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California announces six new partnership-driven conservation projects, funded under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), newly created in the 2014 Farm Bill. Nationwide, RCPP is providing federal financial and technical resources for more than 100 approved projects, totaling $372 million. Each project has its own set of conservation benefits, specific goals and management practices. Four of the selected projects benefit agricultural lands geographically located within California, and two additional projects provide conservation benefits on a multi-state level. The four projects that are totally within California borders will receive approximately $12 million with partners providing matching resources to implement the work. Selected amongst the projects is “Enhancement of Tricolored Blackbird Habitat on Agricultural Land” lead by Audubon California with participation from Western United Dairymen. The project will address factors that challenge dairy farmers and threaten Tricolored Blackbird populations, with the goal of finding a sustainable solution for management of colonies on farms and saving the species from extinction. In addition to using working lands programs and wetland easements to protect and increase habitat, an educational campaign will help increase awareness of farmers’ role in saving the species.
Jan. 14, 2015 NRCS