NB_440_21_9 - NB 440-21-9 PGM – Supplemental Guidance for Requesting New Enhancements/Bundles or Revisions
NB 440-21-9 PGM – Supplemental Guidance for Requesting New Enhancements/Bundles or Revisions
National Bulletin: 440-21-9 Date: January 8, 2021
Subject: PGM –Supplemental Guidance for Requesting New Enhancements/Bundles or Revisions to Existing Enhancements/Bundles

Action Required By:  February 12, 2021
Purpose.  To inform State Conservationists (STCs) and Caribbean and Pacific Islands Area Directors on what must be submitted when requesting a new enhancement/bundle, a revision to an existing enhancement/bundle, or a conservation variance to an existing enhancement/bundle. Enhancements may be applicable to the following programs—Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).   
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
Background.  Title 440, Conservation Programs Manual (CPM), Part 530, Subpart Q contains policy specific to the administration of the CSP respectively, including information on conservation activities. RCPP 2014 Farm Bill project-related policy is found in 440-CPM, Part 529, and RCPP 2018 Farm Bill policy will be published in 440-CPM, Parts 530 and 531 as it is finalized. If States wish to request an interim practice standard or practice variance, States must follow General Manual 450, Part 401, Subpart B, section 401.17.

Explanation.  This national bulletin provides guidance for States to develop new or revised enhancements or bundle requests. In addition to CSP, RCPP also may use enhancements, so States should consider all programs when developing requests. This national bulletin also provides clarification on the documentation States must provide in the request package.

States must consult with their State discipline lead to determine if a new or revised enhancement/bundle is needed prior to requesting assistance from regional staff. If the State identifies a need for a new or revised enhancement/bundle, the State will request assistance from regional staff who will work with the national discipline lead to ensure technical feasibility and need.

RCPP 2014 Farm Bill projects that include RCPP-CSP, and 2018 Farm Bill RCPP projects that include the RCPP land management activity type can include enhancements. RCPP-CSP is administered under CSP authority and rules. RCPP land management producer contracts are administered under RCPP-specific rules (not CSP). RCPP land management producer contracts may include enhancement activities (and payments), but only for individual enhancements – bundles and existing practice payments are not authorized.

States may request a variance to an existing enhancement/bundle or request a new enhancement/bundle following these steps:

1. Variance to the enhancement/bundle guide sheet

  • States may request a variance to alter the implementation criteria or documentation requirements of an enhancement/bundle.
  • Variance requests should originate from the State conservationist and be addressed to the Ecological Sciences Division Director. States must submit variance requests through the FAPD SharePoint FY2022 Variance Requests and should include:

    • The enhancement/bundle code and enhancement/bundle name;
    • The implementation or documentation requirements to be altered;
    • Justification as to why the criteria or documentation requirements do not apply and need to be adjusted;
    • The area that the variance is requested for (i.e. Region, State, or ranking pool).

2. New or revised enhancements or bundles

  • States must submit all requests for new enhancements/bundles through the CSP SharePoint 2021 Ranking Period FY2022 New-Revised Enhancement Bundle Requests by uploading the required documents into the FY22 Requests From States folder.
  • Submit complete requests by February 12, 2021, for consideration for FY 2022.

Note: NHQ will return incomplete request packages to the State.

  • Requests may include:

    • Changes to applicable land uses and resource concerns;
    • New enhancements/bundles;
    • Adding existing practices with an approved standard and indicate applicable programs (CSP and RCPP).
  • States must utilize the following templates when submitting a request for new enhancements (the templates are also available on the CSP SharePoint 2021 Ranking Period FY2022 New-Revised Enhancement Bundle Requests).

    • Completed “Enhancement Request Worksheet” (Attachment A)
    • Completed “Enhancement Job Sheet Template” (Attachment B)
    • “Payment Scenario Worksheet for Proposed Enhancement” (Attachment C).
Contact.  For more information or if you have any questions, contact Tim Pilkowski, by email at tim.pilkowski@usda.gov or by phone at (202) 720-1873.


 Deputy Chief for Programs


Attachment A, Enhancement Request Worksheet
Attachment B, Enhancement Job Sheet Template
Attachment C, Payment Scenario Worksheet for Proposed Enhancement

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