Wednesday, June 20, 2018

USDA announces Conservation Innovation Grants winners

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week awarded 45 applicants Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG), totaling $20.5 million for projects ranging from pollinator habitat expansion to increasing private investments in conservation.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has administered the CIG program since 2004, using it to promote conservation on farms, ranches and forest lands through new technologies and approaches. Projects receiving the grants must match the funds given to cover at least 50 percent of their costs with non-federal means.

This year's winners include Iowa State University, Nuestras Raices, the Environmental Defense Fund, The Farm Foundation, Indian Land Tenure, The Nature Conservancy and Partners for Western Conservation, amongst many others.

"This year's slate of projects represent the next generation of natural resources conservation, headed by partners who are progressive and forward-thinking in their solutions to natural resource problems," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Many of them are also engaging with beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers, and carrying their projects into parts of the country where Conservation Innovation Grants have not been utilized in years past."

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

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