The National Association of Conservation Districts has secured a $10 million cooperative agreement with NRCS to further 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.
This agreement includes:
- $9 million for conservation planning and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) implementation assistance.
- $1 million for NACD to manage the project.
- A 25% match will be required for each agreement. Match is preferably cash, but in-kind will be considered. NACD is required overall to have a 25% match for each agreement it makes with a district, however, NACD will be providing the first 5%. Conservation districts will need to supply the remaining 20%. Most contracts will cover funding for a 1-year period.
NACD will ask state/territory conservation partnerships to identify high-priority locations for the use of these funds. Funding will be awarded in batches on an ongoing basis as proposals are received with attention to parity across the country.
NACD’s priority is to get the $9 million in the hands of conservation districts in the first and second quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) so that they can hire employees to help carry out the objectives of this agreement. Funding assumptions are that this $9 million would hire about 180 full-time equivalents (FTEs). Some will likely be part-time, contractual, and/or serve multiple districts.
Find more at http://www.nacdnet.org/technical-assistance-grants/, including:
- The funding announcement
- A briefer and project timeline for this agreement
- A list of Frequently Asked Questions about this agreement
- NACD’s one-pager on “The Basics of Conservation Delivery”
- The National Conservation Partnership’s Memorandum of Agreement
- Application templates