NRCS Innovation Grants Deadline Extended to March 22

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, which provides up to $25 million in grants toward improved conservation on private lands, extended the grant application deadline to March 22.

wetlands conservation, national resources conservation service, nature conservation

Conservation Innovation Grants are available for state and local governments, federally recognized Indian Tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals.

Of particular interest are applications for innovative demonstration partnerships on energy conservation, nutrient management, soil health, wildlife habitat and adaptive management.

"These grants are critical for developing and demonstrating out-of-the-box ideas for conservation on America's private lands and strengthening rural communities," NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller said. "They inspire creative problem-solving that boosts the production of our farmers and ranchers and ultimately improves our water, air and soil."

The grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and are awarded through a competitive process.

At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient.

NRCS has offered this grant program since 2004, investing in ways to demonstrate and transfer efficient and environmentally friendly farming and ranching. In the past eight years, their grants helped develop trading markets for water quality and have shown precise farming methods that use fertilizer, water and energy more efficiently.