The National Association of Conservation Districts awarded $6.5 million in new technical assistance grants to nearly 400 conservation districts in 36 states and territories.
These grants, made possible through an agreement with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, complement the $8.5 million in technical assistance grants awarded to previous grantees in March of this year.
“Since 2018, NACD and NRCS have worked together to increase staffing at the field level for conservation districts,” said NACD President Tim Palmer of Iowa. “This increased technical capacity helps to improve conservation services to farmers, ranchers and local communities across the nation.”
State conservation partnership leaders helped identify priority locations and workloads to guide where the awards would best be placed. The funds will support approximately 185 full- and part-time individuals, including over 12 full-time equivalent staff in tribe-related positions. More than $1.6 million of matching funds will be added to these awards, furthering the impact of these grants.
“The funds announced today will support resource technicians, conservation planners, program support specialists, foresters, cultural resource specialists, agronomists and other specialists, who will work with thousands of clients to increase their conservation practices and their access to contracts and conservation plans,” Palmer said.
To date in 2020, NACD and NRCS have awarded $15 million in technical assistance grants. Since the program’s inception, NACD has funded technical assistance in all 50 states and three U.S. territories.