NB_300_19_39 - NB 300-19-39 LTP –Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 First Quarter Program Deputy Area Guidance
NB 300-19-39 LTP –Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 First Quarter Program Deputy Area Guidance
National Bulletin: 300-19-39 Date: September 25, 2019
Subject: LTP –Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 First Quarter Program Deputy Area Guidance


 
Purpose.  To provide guidance for the first quarter of FY 2020 to State Conservationists (STCs) and the Directors of the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. 
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2020
 
Background.   The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2018, and allows the interim administration of conservation programs under existing regulations through September 30, 2019. When this interim authority expires, there is not full authority to implement all provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill until the publication of regulations. Until each program’s regulations are published, many activities can continue and actions can be taken to prepare for the remainder of the fiscal year.

This bulletin provides initial first quarter guidance for program activities administered across the Programs Deputy Area presented by division.   
 
Explanation.  The September 30, 2019, expiration of temporary administration authority does not affect the implementation of contracts and agreements entered into prior to September 30, 2019, and implementation of these contracts and agreements should continue in accordance with the terms and conditions in place at the time the contract or agreement was entered into.

Conservation program contracts and easement agreements entered into under the framework of a 2014 Farm Bill RCPP Partnership Agreement must follow the attached guidance for the applicable covered program. For example, existing RCPP-EQIP contracts will be serviced to the same extent that other existing EQIP contracts are administered. Similarly, if NRCS cannot enter into a new contract or agreement under a covered program due to the expiration of the interim administration provision, then NRCS cannot enter into a new contract or agreement under that covered program under a 2014 Farm Bill RCPP Partnership Agreement.

NRCS published an interim rule on May 6, 2019, that addressed changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill to the State Technical Committees, Watershed Operations, the Healthy Forests Restoration Program (HFRP), the Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP), and the Technical Service Provider provisions and therefore these programs and provisions may continue and are not affected by the expiration of the interim administration provision. Further, the 2018 Farm Bill did not make any changes to the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, and therefore is similarly not affected by the expiration of the interim administration provision.

In addition to the first quarter guidance for the programs and activities administered by each division, the attachments include the contacts and leads for various programs and efforts. This information is provided to assist States with navigating the reorganization of National Headquarters and the impact on the organization of the Programs Deputy Area.    
 

Contact.  Questions related to the information in this bulletin may be directed the Programs Deputy Area Division Directors as follows:

 
• Financial Assistance Programs Division (FAPD): submit questions to the FAPD SharePoint site.

• Easement Programs Division (EPD): Jeff White, Acting Director, (202) 720-1882, jeffery.white2@usda.gov.

 
• Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance Division (CPTAD): Michael Robotham, Acting Director, (202) 720-5547, michael.robotham@usda.gov.

 
 


 /s/

 JIMMY BRAMBLETT
 Deputy Chief for Programs
      

 

 Attachment A

Attachment B

Attachment C

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