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USDA, partners to invest $720 million in large-scale conservation projects

Staff writer |
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and partners will direct up to $720 million towards 84 conservation projects.

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Thos projects will help communities improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

These projects make up the second round of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) created by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Through the 2015 and 2016 rounds, USDA and partners are investing up to $1.5 billion in 199 strategic conservation projects. Projects are selected on a competitive basis, and local private partners must be able to at least match the USDA commitment.

For this round, USDA received 265 applications requesting nearly $900 million, or four times the amount of available federal funding.

The 84 projects selected for 2016 include proposed partner matches totaling over $500 million, more than tripling the federal investment alone.

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