NB_300_21_49 - NB 300-21-49 LTP - Accepting applications and entering into 2018 Farm Bill Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Program Agreements for Entity-Held Easements (Type IV Supplemental Agreement)
NB 300-21-49 LTP - Accepting applications and entering into 2018 Farm Bill Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Program Agreements for Entity-Held Easements (Type IV Supplemental Agreement)
National Bulletin: 300-21-49 Date:  August 26, 2021  
Subject: LTP - Accepting applications and entering into 2018 Farm Bill Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Program Agreements for Entity-Held Easements (Type IV Supplemental Agreement)


  
 
Purpose.  To provide States with preliminary guidance for accepting applications and entering into RCPP Program Agreements for Entity-held Easements (RCPP Program Agreement) which are a Type IV Supplemental Agreement to an RCPP Programmatic Partnership Agreement (PPA) entered into under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). This guidance supplements the RCPP regulation (7 CFR Part 1464). Policy and procedures for entering into RCPP PPA’s are provided in the RCPP regulation and associated policy published through manuals, national bulletins (NB), national instructions, and other applicable national guidance and must be followed.   
 
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2022  
 
Background.   The RCPP regulation at 7 CFR Part 1464 provides authority for NRCS to enter into PPA’s with eligible lead partners to implement eligible activities. The eligible activities are implemented through various supplemental agreements (SA’s) to the PPA. One type of eligible activity authorized under RCPP is the acquisition by an eligible entity of conservation easements on eligible land (also referred to as RCPP entity-held easements). Comprehensive guidance for the implementation of RCPP entity-held easements will be published in fiscal year (FY) 2022. This NB provides States interim guidance regarding the acceptance and processing of applications submitted by eligible entities requesting to enter into an RCPP program agreement and the execution of such program agreements until the comprehensive guidance is published. Guidance related to accepting and processing individual parcel applications and RCPP parcel cost-share contracts for individual entity-held easements will be provided in FY 2022, until such time, only the RCPP Program Agreement (a Type IV SA to the RCPP PPA) may be executed as set forth in this NB. The RCPP parcel cost-share contract forms listed in this NB are being published to eforms at this time strictly because the standard set of (blank) parcel contract forms must be attached as an exhibit to the RCPP Program Agreement. States are not authorized to execute individual RCPP parcel cost-share contracts.   
 

Explanation.   This NB and its attachments provide guidance on:
• Acceptance and processing of entity applications for RCPP Program Agreements under a 2018 Farm Bill RCPP PPA
• Submission, review, and execution of approved RCPP Program Agreements

The following related forms have been published and posted to eForms.

NRCS-CPA-1274, Entity Application for a RCPP Entity-Held Easement Program Agreement (RCPP Entity Application)
NRCS-CPA-1275, Parcel Sheet for Entity Application for a RCPP Entity-Held Easement Program Agreement (RCPP Parcel Application)
NRCS-CPA-1281, Program Agreement for RCPP Entity-Held Easements (RCPP Program Agreement)
NRCS-CPP-1281-Ex 1, Exhibit 1 and Signature page for Program Agreement for RCPP Entity-Held Easements
NRCS-CPA-1276, RCPP Entity-Held Easement Parcel Cost-Share Contract
NRCS-CPA-1276-Appendix, Appendix to the RCPP Parcel Cost-Share Contract
NRCS-CPA-1277, Schedule of Acquisition for RCPP Entity-Held Easements
NRCS-CPA-1278, Modification of the Schedule of Acquisition for RCPP Entity-Held Easements

Additional guidance and policy on the implementation of 2018 Farm Bill RCPP easements, including processing applications for individual entity-held easements and US Held easements, will be provided in FY 2022. The NRCS Programs Deputy Area Easement Programs Division (EPD) will provide training as needed through net conferences and webinars.     

 
Contact.   After reading the RCPP regulation and this NB, NRCS staff may submit questions regarding RCPP entity-held easements to RCPP18Easements@usda.gov. For submission of RCPP Program Agreements for required EPD review and approval prior to execution, NRCS staff must upload the draft, unexecuted RCPP Program Agreement and required exhibits to NRCS.ProgramAgreements@usda.gov .  
 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs
 
 

Attachment A – Procedure for Administration of 2018 Farm Bill RCPP Program Agreements for Entity-held Easements

Attachment B – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Agricultural Use (Minimally Restrictive Level) – No US Right of Enforcement

Attachment C – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Conservation Use with Compatible Agricultural Uses (Moderately Restrictive Level) – No US Right of Enforcement

Attachment D – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Uses Limited for Protection of Conservation Values (Highly Restrictive Level) – No US Right of Enforcement

Attachment E – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Agricultural Use (Minimally Restrictive Level) – with US Right of Enforcement

Attachment F – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Conservation Use with Compatible Agricultural Uses (Moderately Restrictive Level) – with US Right of Enforcement

Attachment G – RCPP Minimum Deed Terms for Uses Limited for Protection of Conservation Values (Highly Restrictive Level) – with US Right of Enforcement

Attachment H – NRCS-CPA-1281-Exhibit 2, NRCS Specifications and Scope of Work for Appraisals of Real Property for the Conservation Easement component of RCPP

Attachment I – NRCS-CPA-1281-Exhibit 4, Statement of Conservation Values

Attachment J – NRCS-CPA-1281-Exhibit 5, RCPP Minimum Deed Requirements for AFAs  

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