NRCS Invests $1.2 Million in Innovative Conservation Partnership in Montana


BOZEMAN, Mont., December 21, 2016 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $1.2 million for a Yellowstone Region Agricultural Sustainability Project, which seeks to define best management practices that would lower natural resource consumption and degradation for irrigated agricultural producers in Big Horn, Carbon, and Yellowstone counties in southern Montana.

MillerCoors, the lead partner for this effort, has teamed up with 11 other partners to work with project teams to lower the consumption of natural resources through the use of added incentives that would allow producers to mitigate financial risks while transitioning to adopt the practices. The goal of the five-year project is to provide a pathway toward a model for agricultural sustainability.

Montana’s project is one of 88 projects across the country that will receive $225 million in federal funding as part of the NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In addition, partners have proposed to contribute up to an additional $500 million to improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

RCPP offers new opportunities for the NRCS, conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together to harness innovation, expand the conservation mission, and demonstrate the value and efficacy of voluntary, private lands conservation. The program is increasing investment in conservation from a diversity of partners, leading to cleaner and more abundant water, improved soil and air quality, enhanced wildlife habitat, and stronger rural economies.

Water quality and drought are dominant themes in this year's RCPP project list with 46 of the 88 projects focusing on water resource concerns. More than a fourth of the projects are focused on improving fish and wildlife habitat. See the full list of 2017 projects spanning the country, impacting almost every state in the nation and Puerto Rico.


Source:  USDA NRCS Montana

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