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NRCS accepting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants

Posted: March 1, 2013 - 1:03am

PALMER — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide up to $25 million in grants nationwide to help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to improve conservation on private lands.

Conservation Innovation Grants are available for state and local governments, federally recognized Tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals. Applications are due Friday, March 22.

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 State Conservationist for Alaska Robert Jones said. “They inspire creative problem-solving that boosts the production of our farmers and ranchers and ultimately improves our water, air and soil.”

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, the grants have shown precise ways to farm that use fertilizer, water, and energy more efficiently.

The grants are funded through the Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program and are awarded through a nationally competitive process.

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

For the 2013 CIG Announcement for Program Funding, information on the upcoming webinar on March 6, or for more information on this grant opportunity visit http://go.usa.gov/4Kvx .

To apply electronically, visit http://www.grants.gov or contact Gregorio Cruz, National CIG Program Manager, by phone at 703-235-8065 or by email at gregorio.cruz@wdc.usda.gov. For additional assistance with national CIG program requirements, contact Karen Dearlove, Alaska CIG Technical Contact, by phone at 907-283-87323 ext. 114 or by email at karen.dearlove@ak.usda.gov.

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