Like the Technical Assistance (TA) Grants from round one in 2018 and round two in 2019, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has entered into an agreement with NACD to provide funding to enhance conservation district technical assistance across the nation. A significant portion of the granted funds will be awarded directly to conservation districts to hire staff where additional capacity is needed to improve customer service and reduce workload pressure.
The RFP for this technical assistance cooperative agreement includes:
- $1,350,000 allocated as grants to hire local district/state agency/state association/RC&D/tribal employees to assist landowners in implementing Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts
- $5,150,000 allocated as grants to hire local district/state agency/state association/RC&D/tribal employees to provide conservation operations planning assistance (COTA)
- The requirement for match of 25 percent, of which NACD would provide the first 5 percent. Grant recipients would supply the remaining 20 percent.
Most contracts will cover funding for a one-year period.
NACD has already worked with state/territory conservation partnerships to identify high-priority locations from the previous agreement that should receive continuing funding. The RFP allows us to ask them to identify additional priority locations for the use of the remaining funds.
NACD’s priority is to get the $6.5 million in the hands of conservation districts so they can hire employees to help carry out the objectives of this agreement. Funding assumptions are that this $6.5 million would hire about 130 full-time equivalents (FTE). Some will likely be part-time, contractual and/or serve multiple districts.
NACD hosted a webinar on April 14, 2020 to discuss the application process and answer any questions.
Contact NACD Projects and Partnerships Coordinator Meg Leader at meg-leader[at]nacdnet.org for questions.