Like previous Technical Assistance (TA) Grants the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has entered into a fourth agreement with NACD to provide funding to further enhance conservation district technical assistance across the nation. The granted funds were awarded directly to conservation districts to hire staff where additional capacity is needed to improve customer service and reduce workload pressure.
In April 2021, NACD announced the award of $13 million in priority request awards to over 400 conservation districts in 48 states and territories. In July 2021, NACD announced an additional $2.1 million in new technical assistance grants to benefit nearly 60 conservation districts in 23 states and territories.
This technical assistance cooperative agreement of $15 million included:
- $9,000,000 allocated as grants to hire local district/state agency/state association/RC&D/tribal employees to provide conservation operations planning assistance (COTA)
- $4,230,000 allocated as grants to hire local district/state agency/state association/RC&D/tribal employees to assist landowners in implementing Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) contracts
- $1,800,000 allocated as grants to hire local district/state agency/state association/RC&D/tribal employees to assist landowners in obtaining and implementing Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts
- Nearly 10 percent or $1.67 million of these funds would be used by NACD to manage the project over the three-year period of the agreement.
- The requirement for match of 20 percent of the total project budget from grant recipients. NACD’s agreement with NRCS requires 25 percent match. NACD is supplying the first 5 percent leaving only the remaining portion to the recipients.
To ensure the funds were directed to areas where they would have the highest impact, NACD worked with state and territory conservation partnerships to identify the highest priority locations. Over eighty percent of the grants from this agreement were directed to continue funding the work that was started in one of the previous agreements.
The agreement’s priority was to get funds in the hands of conservation districts so they could hire employees to help carry out the objectives. Nationally, over 500 full- and part-time staff positions are supported using the funds. Some positions were filled by contractors and some covered multiple districts.
View the map below to learn about the 2021 TA Grantees.