Arizona Land and Water Trust Awarded Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Grant for $5.9M
On Friday, February 12, 2016, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced the awards for the very competitive Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funded through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Trust was one of only two awards given in the State of Arizona (Arizona Game and Fish Department also received an award). Out of a total of 265 pre-proposals submitted to NRCS, only eighty-four projects were awarded nationwide.
The Trust’s proposal was fully funded at $5.9 M for “partnerships addressing the resource concerns of insufficient water quantity (drought) as well as inadequate fish and wildlife habitat…within the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape and focuses upon the Babocomari River and Sonoita grasslands, which contain large working landscapes with landowners interested in conservation/restoration.”
“We’ve been fortunate here in Arizona because we have great relationships with some exceptional conservation partners,” said Keisha Tatem, NRCS Arizona State Conservationist. “Partners, like Arizona Land and Water Trust, have found innovative ways to address natural resource challenges across Arizona, making positive impacts to the Colorado River Basin.”
Here is the link to our Arizona localized news release.
“The RCPP is a perfect example of the importance of partnerships in Southern Arizona conservation efforts,” says Liz Petterson, Executive Director of the Trust. “This Program truly forges a whole new path to providing on-the-ground conservation, addressing critical water issues, and designing a strategic planning approach together with partnering landowners, organizations and agencies.”
This award includes funding for conservation easements, water conservation work through the Trust’s Desert Rivers Program, which may include voluntary water lease agreements, and restoration projects to be completed by partnering agencies and organizations. We greatly thank our partners and supporters who include Arizona Department of Agriculture, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Forestry Division, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Audubon’s Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch, Borderlands Restoration, Bureau of Land Management, Cienega Watershed Partnership, Cochise County Board of Supervisors, Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Governor Doug Ducey, Ecosystem Economics, Fort Huachuca, Hereford Natural Resources Conservation District, Santa Cruz Natural Resources Conservation District, Sky Island Alliance, United States Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Western Regional Partnership.