Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, 18472-18482 [2010-8244]

Download as PDF 18472 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Fax: (202) 720–8938; or Internet: http:// www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address, or can be viewed at: http:// www.regulations.gov. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Dated: April 7, 2010. David R. Shipman, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2010–8286 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Library Notice of Intent to Seek Approval To Collect Information sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Agricultural Library. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. SUMMARY: This notice announces the National Agricultural Library’s (NAL) intent to request the approval of the Food Safety Education and Training Materials Sharing form from people who work in the food safety education and training fields. DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by June 16, 2010 to be assured of consideration. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 Address all comments concerning this notice to Tara Smith, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, 10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room #304, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. Comments may be sent by fax to (301) 504–7680, or by e-mail to tara.smith@ars.usda.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tara Smith, telephone (301) 504–5515. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Food Safety Education and Training Materials Sharing Form. Authority: Pub. L. 104–13; 5 CFR Part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995). OMB Number: 0518–XXXX. Expiration Date: Three years from the date of approval. Type of Request: Approval for data collection from individuals working in the areas of food safety education and training. Abstract: The Food Safety Education and Training Materials Sharing form contains three sections and is used to collect information about materials developed to support food safety education (e.g. DVDs, posters, curriculum, kits) for inclusion in NAL’s Food Safety Education and Training Materials Database. The questionnaire collects the name and email address of the person submitting the form, information on the resource/education material developed (e.g. title, target audience focus, a description, publisher/distributor information and information on the author) to determine if a readability formula was used or if the project is associated with a grant or other funded mechanism. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 15 minutes per respondent. Respondents: Individuals working in the areas of food safety education and training. Estimated Number of Respondents: 35 per year. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 525 minutes or 8.75 hours. Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and the assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who respond, including the ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technology. Comments should be sent to the address in the preamble. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Dated: March 18, 2010. Caird E. Rexroad, Jr., Associate Administrator, ARS. [FR Doc. 2010–8258 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice of request for proposals. SUMMARY: Section 2707 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act) establishes the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) by amending section 1243 of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3843]. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority to administer CCPI to the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), who is Vice President of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). NRCS is an agency of the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CCPI is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of certain conservation programs along with resources of eligible partners to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, NRCS will make Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) funds available to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands who participate in approved CCPI project areas. The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals from potential partners who seek to enter into partnership agreements with NRCS to provide assistance to producers enrolled in the various programs listed above, and to inform agricultural producers of the potential availability of program funds through approved projects. DATES: Effective Date: The notice of request is effective April 12, 2010. E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices Eligible partners may submit proposals by mail or via courier. • By mail: Proposals must be postmarked May 27, 2010. • By courier: Proposals must be delivered by: May 27, 2010. ADDRESSES: Written proposals should be submitted to the addresses identified below, with copies to the appropriate NRCS State Conservationist whose names and addresses are identified as an attachment to this notice. If a project is multi-State in scope, potential partners must send each State Conservationist in the proposed project area the proposal for review. • By mail: Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, ‘‘National CCPI Proposal,’’ 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. (Note: Registered or Certified Mail to a Post Office Box will not be accepted.) • By courier: Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, ‘‘National CCPI Proposal,’’ 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. Proposals will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please ask the guard at the entrance to the South Building to call (202) 720– 1845. sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Note: Proposals submitted by fax, e-mail, or after the deadline date listed in this notice will not be considered. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720–1845; fax: (202) 720–4265; or e-mail: CCPI@wdc.usda.gov. Additional information regarding CCPI is available at the following NRCS Web page: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ CCPI/. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Revisions to the CCPI Notice The fiscal year (FY) 2010 notice of request for proposals includes significant additions in comparison VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 with the notice issued in FY 2009. Generally, the basic authority, procedures, and program requirements have not changed. Partners who responded to the FY 2009 notice reported difficulty in understanding where and how to apply, confusion about administration and purpose of the new CCPI authority and requirements of partners, misunderstanding that CCPI was not a grant program for partners, lack of knowledge about NRCS resource concerns and conservation practices that needed to be addressed through the partnership, frustration in NRCS terminology used in the notice, and other concerns. As the result of these concerns, the agency is revising this notice to provide better explanation of the program and requirements for proposal submission. This notice includes more explanation of the program, added definitions, clarification of the requirements and criteria to be addressed in the proposal, links to resources to help partners apply, and other general improvements. While the FY 2010 notice is longer than the FY 2009, the actual requirements for submission of the proposal are not significantly different and pose no additional burden or workload. Availability of Funding Effective on the publication date of this notice, NRCS announces the availability of at least $5 million in financial assistance to support new projects during FY 2010. NRCS will implement CCPI by entering into partnership agreements with eligible State and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers. NRCS will implement CCPI by entering into partnership agreements with eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands to address priority natural resource concerns. Eligible partners must submit complete proposals to Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division. Proposals are submitted by eligible partners, and project evaluation will be based upon a competitive process and the criteria established in this notice. Once the Chief approves and announces the proposals selected, agricultural producers within the approved project areas may submit an application directly to NRCS for one or more of the following programs that may be PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18473 approved for the project: EQIP, CSP, or WHIP. The following are eligible to submit a proposal and enter into a partnership agreement with NRCS: Federally recognized Indian tribes; State and local units of government; producer associations; farmer cooperatives; and institutions of higher education or nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers. Nongovernmental organizations are entities as defined by the Internal Revenue Service and as cited in the definitions section of this notice. This is not a grant program, and all Federal funds made available through this request for proposals will be paid directly to producers through program contract agreements. No technical assistance funding may be provided to a partner through the CCPI partner agreement. However, if requested by a partner, the State Conservationist may consider development of a separate contribution agreement with a qualified partner to provide funding for delivery of technical services to producers participating in an approved CCPI project. Individual agricultural producers are not CCPI eligible entities and may not submit proposals, nor may they apply for program benefits through this proposal submission process. No Federal CCPI funding may be used to cover partner’s administrative expenses. Administrative activities include any indirect or direct costs relating to submitting or implementing the project proposal. This notice provides information about CCPI and instructions for submitting partner proposals. Project approval and development of partnership agreements for projects will be based on competitive evaluation and the criteria established in this notice. Definitions Agricultural land means cropland, grassland, rangeland, pasture, and other agricultural land on which agricultural and forest-related products or livestock are produced and resource concerns may be addressed. Other agricultural lands may include cropped woodland, marshes, incidental areas included in the agricultural operation, and other types of agricultural land used for production of livestock. Agricultural operation in reference to CSP means all agricultural land and other land, as determined by NRCS, whether contiguous or noncontiguous: (1) Which is under the effective control of the producer for the term of the proposed contract; and E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES 18474 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices (2) Which is operated by the producer with equipment, labor, management, and production or cultivation practices that are substantially separate from other operations. Animal waste storage or treatment facility means a structural conservation practice used for storing or treating animal waste. Applicant means a person, legal entity, joint operation, or tribe that has an interest in an agricultural or forestry operation, as defined in 7 CFR part 1400, who has requested to participate in EQIP, CSP, or WHIP. Beginning Farmer or Rancher means a person or legal entity who: (1) Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years. This requirement applies to all members of an entity who will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch. (2) In the case of a contract with an individual, individually, or with the immediate family, material and substantial participation requires that the individual provide substantial dayto-day labor and management of the farm or ranch consistent with the practices in the county or State where the farm is located. (3) In the case of a contract with an entity or joint operation, all members must materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch. Material and substantial participation requires that each of the members provide some amount of the management or labor necessary for dayto-day activities, such that if each of the members did not provide these inputs, operation of the farm or ranch would be seriously impaired. Chief means the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or designee. Conservation Activity Plan means a resource-specific conservation plan prepared by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) as authorized by the 2008 Act for financial assistance payment through EQIP for eligible land of the producer. Conservation activities related to CSP means conservation systems, practices, or management measures needed to address a resource concern or improve environmental quality through the treatment of natural resources, and includes structural, vegetative, and management activities, as determined by NRCS. In general and for other programs, the term conservation activities includes any kind of measure, treatment, practice, or activity associated with an agricultural operation which may or may not be VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 associated with an NRCS conservation practice or program support. Conservation Measurement Tool means procedures developed by NRCS to estimate the level of environmental benefit to be achieved by a producer using the proxy of conservation performance improvement. Conservation planning means using the NRCS planning process outlined in the NRCS National Planning Procedures Handbook (NPPH). The NPPH is available at: http:// directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/. Conservation practice means one or more conservation improvements and planning activities including structural practices, land management practices, vegetative practices, forest management practices, and other improvements that achieve the program purposes that are planned and installed in accordance with standards and specifications contained in the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). Only EQIP may provide financial assistance for support of the activity of conservation planning. Conservation practices funded through CCPI are subject to requirements of each of the authorized programs: (1) EQIP regulation 7 CFR part 1466.—http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ programs/eqip. (2) CSP regulation 7 CFR part 1470— http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ new_csp/csp.html/. (3) WHIP regulation 7 CFR part 636— http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ whip/. Conservation Stewardship Plan means a record of the participant’s decisions that describes the schedule of operations and conservation activities to be implemented, managed, maintained, or improved. Associated supporting information that identifies and inventories resource concerns and existing conservation activities, establishes benchmark data, and documents the participant’s conservation objectives will be maintained with the plan. Conservation system means a combination of conservation practices, management measures, and enhancements used to address natural resource and environmental concerns in a comprehensive, holistic, and integrated manner. Contract as defined in the EQIP and CSP regulation means a legal document that specifies the rights and obligations of any participant accepted to participate in EQIP or CSP. A program contract is a binding agreement for the transfer of assistance from USDA to the participant to share in the costs of applying conservation practices. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Cost-share agreement as defined in the WHIP regulation means a legal document that specifies the rights and obligations of any participant accepted into WHIP. A WHIP cost-share agreement is a binding agreement for the transfer of assistance from USDA to the participant to share in the costs of applying conservation. Conservation Stewardship Program means a program administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1470, which provides for technical and financial assistance to encourage producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. Cropland means land used primarily for the production of adapted crops for harvest, including but not limited to land in row crops or close-grown crops, forage crops that are in a rotation with row or close-grown crops, permanent hayland, horticultural crops, orchards, vineyards, cropped woodland, marshes, cranberry bogs, and other lands used for crop production. Cropped woodland and marshes means woodland and marshes in which at least 50 percent of the area is actively managed to produce an agricultural product. The crop may be grown symbiotically within the system, such as ginseng and wild rice, or harvested directly from the trees, such as maple syrup. Once established, the agricultural product is harvested annually. Designated conservationist means an NRCS employee whom the State Conservationist has designated as responsible for administration of NRCS programs at the local level. Enhancement means a type of conservation activity associated with CSP used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. Environmental Quality Incentives Program means a program administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1466 (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ programs/eqip) which provides technical and financial assistance to eligible producers for the installation and implementation of conservation practices and activities on private agricultural and nonindustrial forest land. Field Office Technical Guide means the official local NRCS source of E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices resource information, conservation practice standards, specifications, and interpretation of guidelines, criteria, and requirements for planning and applying conservation practices and conservation management systems. It contains natural resource quality criteria to be achieved to provide for the conservation and sustainability of soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources applicable to the geographic area where resource concerns are addressed. The FOTG can be accessed online at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/efotg/. Financial assistance means a payment made to the program participant. Forest Management Plan means a sitespecific plan that is prepared by a professional resource manager, in consultation with the participant, and is approved by the State Conservationist. Forest management plans may include a forest stewardship plan, as specified in Section 5 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2103a); another practice plan approved by the State Forester; or another plan determined appropriate by the State Conservationist. The plan must comply with Federal, State, tribal, and local laws, regulations, and permit requirements. Hayland means a subcategory of cropland managed for the production of forage crops that are machine harvested. The crop may be grasses, legumes, or a combination of both. Indian land is an inclusive term describing all lands held in trust by the United States for individual Indians or tribes, or all lands, titles to which are held by individual Indians or tribes, subject to Federal restrictions against alienation or encumbrance, or all lands that are subject to the rights of use, occupancy, and benefit of certain tribes. For purposes of this notice, the term Indian land also includes land for which the title is held in fee status by Indian tribes, and the U.S. Government owned land under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) that is federally recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. Joint agreement means a business arrangement where two or more participants cooperate to carry out conservation practices that can best be accomplished by combining resources. Such agreements must be formally VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 documented and signed by all applicable parties. Joint operation means a general partnership, joint venture, or other similar business arrangement in which the members are jointly and severally liable for the obligations of the organization. Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher means: (1) A person with direct or indirect gross farm sales of not more than $155,200 in each of the previous 2 years (adjusted for inflation using Prices Paid by Farmer Index as compiled by the National Agricultural Statistical Service); and (2) Has a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or less than 50 percent of county median household income in each of the previous 2 years (to be determined annually using Department of Commerce data). Local working group means the advisory body pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 3861 and described in 7 CFR part 610. Information regarding these groups can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ programs/StateTech/. Management measure means one or more specific actions that is not a conservation practice, but has the effect of alleviating problems or improving the treatment of the natural resources. National Organic Program means the program, administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, which regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to market an agricultural product as organically produced. Natural Resources Conservation Service means an agency of the USDA which has responsibility for administering programs such as EQIP, WHIP, and CSP using the funds, facilities, and authorities of the CCC. Nongovernmental organization is any legal entity that is organized for, and at all times since, the formation of the organization has been operated principally for one or more of the conservation purposes specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of section 170(h)(4)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) or that is described in section 509(a)(2) of that Code; or is described in section 509(a)(3) of that Code and Nonindustrial private forest land means rural land, as determined by the Secretary, that has existing tree cover or is suitable for growing trees and is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or other PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18475 private legal entity that has definitive decisionmaking authority over the land. Participant means a person or legal entity, joint operation, or tribe that is receiving payment or is responsible for implementing the terms and conditions of a contract or cost-share agreement under a program covered by CCPI. Partner means an entity that enters into a partnership agreement with NRCS to carry out the approved CCPI project. Eligible partners include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, and institutions of higher education or nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers. Note: Individual agricultural producers are not partners under provisions of CCPI and are not eligible to submit proposals as outlined in this notice. Partnership agreement means a multiyear agreement between NRCS and the partner. The CCPI partnership agreement describes the activities and resources, such as technical or financial assistance, that may be provided by NRCS and the partner to help producers meet the objectives of CCPI in an approved project area. The CCPI partnership agreement does not transfer financial or technical assistance funding to a partner, nor provide for the administrative expenses of the partner. Individual producers may not enter into partnership agreements under CCPI authority. Pastureland means grazing lands comprised of introduced or domesticated native forage species that are used primarily for the production of livestock. They receive periodic renovation and cultural treatments such as tillage, fertilization, mowing, weed control, and may be irrigated. They are not grown in rotation with crops. Payment means financial assistance provided to a program participant under the terms of the contract or cost-share agreement. Payments and payment rates are established by program rule. Payments are only provided to assist with implementation of approved conservation practices and activities listed in the FOTG and must meet all other applicable program requirements. Priority resource concern means a resource concern that is identified by the State Conservationist, with advice from the State Technical Committee and local work groups, as a priority for a State or the specific geographic areas within a State. Producer means a person, legal entity, or joint operation who has an interest in the agricultural operation, according to E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES 18476 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices 7 CFR part 1400, or who is engaged in agricultural production or forestry management. Projects of special environmental significance means projects, as defined in 7 CFR 1466(d) and approved by the Chief, which meet the following criteria: (1) Site-specific evaluations have been completed, documenting that the project will have substantial positive impacts on critical resources in or near the project area (e.g., impaired water bodies or at-risk species); (2) The project clearly addresses a national priority and State, tribal, or local priorities, as applicable; and (3) The project assists the participant in complying with Federal, State, and local regulatory requirements. Rangeland means land on which the historic climax plant community is predominantly grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs and includes lands revegetated naturally or artificially when routine management of that vegetation is accomplished mainly through manipulation of grazing. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, most deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows. Resource concern means a specific natural resource problem that represents a significant concern in a State or region, and is identified in the proposal to be addressed through the implementation of conservation practices by producers. Resource concerns used by NRCS are found in section III of each State or local FOTG which can be viewed at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/efotg/. Examples of natural resource concerns include soil quality, water conservation, water quality, plant condition, air quality, domestic animals, fish and wildlife habitat, and other subcategories of resource concerns. Resource-conserving crop means a crop that is one of the following: (1) A perennial grass, legume, or grass/legume grown for use as forage, seed for planting, or green manure. (2) A high residue producing crop. (3) A cover crop following an annual crop. Resource-conserving crop rotation means a crop rotation that: (1) Includes at least one resource conserving crop as determined by the State Conservationist. (2) Reduces erosion. (3) Improves soil fertility and tilth. (4) Interrupts pest cycles. (5) Reduces depletion of soil moisture or otherwise reduces the need for irrigation in applicable areas. Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher means a farmer or rancher who VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Those groups include African Americans, American Indians or Alaskan natives, Hispanics, Asians, and native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders. State Conservationist means the NRCS employee who is authorized to implement conservation programs administered by NRCS and who directs and supervises NRCS activities in a State, the Caribbean Area, or the Pacific Islands Area. State Technical Committee means a committee established by the USDA Secretary in a State pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 3861 and described in 7 CFR part 610. Information regarding these committees can be found at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ StateTech/. Technical assistance means technical expertise, information, and tools necessary for the conservation of natural resources on land active in agricultural, forestry, or related uses. The term includes: (1) Technical services provided directly to farmers, ranchers, and other eligible entities, such as conservation planning, technical consultation, and assistance with design and implementation of conservation practices; and (2) technical infrastructure including activities, processes, tools, and agency functions needed to support delivery of technical services, such as technical standards, resource inventories, training, data, technology, monitoring, and effects analyses. Information regarding technical assistance can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ cta/. Technical Service Provider means an individual, private-sector entity, or public agency certified by NRCS, in accordance with 7 CFR part 652, to provide technical services to program participants in lieu of or on behalf of NRCS. Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program means a program administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 636, which provides for technical and financial assistance to protect, restore, develop, and enhance wildlife habitat. Overview of the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative Background The CCPI is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of certain conservation programs along with resources of eligible partners to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 nonindustrial private forest lands and will enhance conservation outcomes. Depending upon the program available, the assistance provided enables participants to implement conservation practices and enhancements, including the development and adoption of innovative conservation practices and management approaches. The partner is not required to provide financial or technical resources toward the project (match); however, proposals that include or offer partner provided resources will be given higher priority consideration in the evaluation process. CCPI financial assistance is delivered directly to producers in approved project areas through program contracts or cost-share agreements; no CCPI funding may be used to cover the partner’s administrative expenses. CCPI uses the funds, policies, and processes of EQIP, CSP, and WHIP to deliver assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land to implement approved conservation practices and activities. Under CCPI, NRCS enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land. As part of the partnership agreement, approved partners may also help facilitate the submission of producers’ program applications, or they may provide additional technical or financial assistance to participating agricultural producers or provide other resources as defined in the partnership agreement. A primary intent of CCPI is to leverage non-Federal government resources along with NRCS program resources to achieve resource conservation objectives. The purposes of the CCPI partnership agreement are to: (1) Address conservation priorities involving agriculture and nonindustrial private forest land on local, State, multiState, or regional levels; (2) Encourage producers to cooperate in meeting applicable Federal, State, and local regulatory requirements related to production; (3) Encourage producers to cooperate in the installation and maintenance of conservation practices; and (4) Promote the development and demonstration of innovative conservation practices and delivery methods, including practices associated with specialty crop and organic production and precision agriculture operations. Partners who may enter into partnership agreements with NRCS include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers to effectively address conservation priorities related to agricultural production and nonindustrial private forest land. Individual agricultural producers are not an eligible partner entity and may not submit CCPI proposals. Potential entity partners may submit proposals that request assistance for a specified project area that may be defined by geo-political boundaries, watershed boundaries, or resource concern. The written proposal must describe the area to be covered by the project, conservation priorities in the area, conservation objectives to be achieved, and the number of producers including nonindustrial private forest landowners who are likely to participate; a description of the partner or partners collaborating to achieve the objectives of the agreement, and the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the partner(s); the resources requested from the Chief and the partner; the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on progress made towards achieving the objectives of the agreement; and other information that may be required. Once a partnership proposal is selected and the project announced, eligible individual producers located within the project area may apply directly to NRCS for funding under the appropriate conservation program. Individual applications from eligible producers will be evaluated and ranked to ensure that producer applications selected for funding are most likely to achieve project objectives. All Federal funds made available through this CCPI request for proposals will be provided directly to eligible participants through EQIP and CSP program contracts and WHIP cost-share agreements. Producers interested in applying must meet the eligibility requirements of the program for which they are applying. No technical or financial assistance funding may be provided to a partner through the CCPI partner agreement. However, if requested by a partner, the State Conservationists or Chief may consider development of a separate funding agreement with a qualified partner for delivery of technical services to producers participating in an approved CCPI project. During FY 2010, an objective of CCPI is to deliver EQIP, CSP, and WHIP assistance to producers to achieve highpriority conservation objectives in geographic areas defined by the partner. Where flexibility is needed to meet VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 project objectives, the partner may request that program adjustments be allowed, provided such policy adjustments are within the scope of the applicable programs’ statutory and regulatory program authorities. An example of a program adjustment may be to expedite the applicable program ranking process in a situation where a partner has identified the producers approved to participate in the project. Other examples of program adjustments may include flexibility in payment rate, or using a single area-wide plan of operations rather than individual plans of operations. Submitting Proposals Potential partners must submit proposals to Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, addressing all questions and items listed in the ‘‘Proposal Requirements’’ section of this notice. The proposals must be submitted by the date and time identified in this notice. The proposal must include sufficient detail to allow agency reviewers to understand the partner’s priority resource concerns, objectives, and expected outcomes. Incomplete proposals and those that do not meet the requirements set forth in this notice will not be considered, and notification of elimination will be mailed to the applicant. State Conservationists are expected to provide guidance to potential partners regarding resource concerns that may be addressed in the proposed project area, local working group and State Technical Committee natural resource priorities, approved conservation practices and activities, and other program requirements the partner should consider when developing a proposal. No agency form is provided; potential partners must provide a narrative proposal following the requirements set forth in this notice. NRCS will review and evaluate the proposals based on the criteria set forth in this notice. Positive consideration will be given to proposals that provide for outreach to beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes within the area covered by the project. Priority consideration will also be given to proposals that both achieve program purposes, including regional efforts that cross State boundaries, and further the Nation’s efforts with renewable energy production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration. CCPI proposals submitted to NRCS become PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18477 the property of the agency for use in the administration of the program, may be filed or disposed of by the agency, and will not be returned to the potential partner. Once proposals have been submitted for review and ranking, there will be no further opportunity to change or re-submit the proposal. Partner Entity Eligibility Those eligible to participate as partners include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, or nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers to effectively address conservation priorities related to agricultural production and nonindustrial private forest land. Individual producers are not eligible to submit proposals under CCPI authorities. Land Eligibility The following land is eligible for enrollment in the CCPI: • Private agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land • Land meeting the covered programs (EQIP, CSP, and WHIP) eligibility rules Eligible land is defined for each program in regulation: • EQIP: 7 CFR 1466.8(c) • CSP: 7 CFR 1470.6(b) • WHIP: 7 CFR 636.4(b) Producer Application and Program Contracts Producers interested in participating in an approved CCPI project may apply for assistance at their local USDA service center. The designated conservationist will help the producer determine which program (EQIP, CSP, or WHIP) is appropriate based on the practices and activities the applicant seeks to install or perform to meet the approved partner project objectives. Producers seeking to participate in a CCPI project must meet all programspecific eligibility requirements. The requirements that apply to the contract or cost-share agreement are determined by the program selected. For information on program payment limitations and benefits or other program requirements that may apply to land and producers enrolled in EQIP, CSP, and WHIP, consult the appropriate programs’ regulation as stated in this notice. Additional information can be found at NRCS Web site at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/. An agricultural producer may elect to use a TSP for technical assistance associated with conservation planning or practice design and implementation. Producers E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 18478 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices applying for CCPI are not required to have an existing program contract, although they must be determined eligible for the assistance being requested from each program prior to entering into a program contract. Proposal Requirements For consideration of a proposal, a potential partner must submit five copies of the written proposal and one electronic copy. Projects may not exceed 5 years in length. The proposal must be in the following format and contain the information set forth below: Proposal Format: There are no forms required or associated with the CCPI proposal process. Five copies of the proposal should be typewritten or printed on 81⁄2″ x 11″ white paper. The text of the application should be in a font no smaller than 12-point, with oneinch margins. One additional copy of the proposal shall be in a format such as Microsoft Word or PDF on one CD ROM. If submitting more than one project proposal, submit a separate complete document for each project. Consult the NRCS national CCPI Web site for an example of an acceptable CCPI proposal document at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ccpi/. The entire project proposal may not exceed 12 pages in length including summary, maps, reference materials, and related reports. sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Proposal Summary The basic format for the CCPI proposal is a narrative written response to the questions and information requested in this notice. The proposal must include the following: (1) Proposal Cover and Summary: The first two pages of the proposal must include: (a) Project Title. (b) Project director/manager name, telephone number, and e-mail address. (c) Name of lead partner entity submitting proposal and other collaborating partners. (d) Mailing address and telephone numbers for lead partner submitting proposal. (e) Short general description/ summary of project and description of resource issues to be addressed. Identify the specific natural resource concerns to be addressed. (f) List of approved FOTG conservation practices, enhancements, and conservation activity plans that will be used to address those resource concerns. (g) Specify the geographic location: State; county(s); congressional districts; and whether proposal is a national VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 multi-State or within-State proposal. Include a general location map. (h) Proposed project start and end dates (not to exceed a period of 5 years). (i) Total amount of CCPI financial assistance being requested for project. (2) Project Natural Resource Objectives and Actions: The proposal must include the project objectives and the natural resource concerns that will be addressed. A complete list of NRCS approved natural resource concerns may be found on the CCPI Web site at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ccpi/. (a) Identify and provide detail about the natural resource concern(s) to be addressed and how the proposal objectives will address those concerns. Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, resultsoriented, and include a timeline for completion. (b) For each objective, identify the actions to be completed to achieve the objective and to address the identified natural resource concern. Note which actions are to be addressed through this project using NRCS program assistance and which are being addressed through alternate non-Federal funding sources or other resources provided. (3) Detailed Proposal Criteria: Potential partners must fully describe their project and demonstrate their history of working with agricultural producers to address resource issues. Information provided in the proposal must include: (a) A description of the partner or partners’ history of working with agricultural producers to address the conservation objectives to be achieved. (b) A detailed description of the geographic area covered by the proposal, conservation priorities in the area, conservation objectives to be achieved, lands to be treated, and the expected level of participation by producers. (1) Include a detailed map showing the project area. Describe the location and size of the proposed project area. Are the size and scope of the project and the proposed practices to address resource concerns reasonable and achievable? (2) Outline on the maps the areas which need conservation treatment and identify the number of acres involved. What kinds of conservation practices or enhancements needed to treat priority resource concerns in each area? Are specific areas or conservation practices prioritized in the project area so they will best address specific resource concerns? Which priority areas need to be addressed first? PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (c) A description of how the partner(s) will collaborate to achieve the objectives of the agreement and the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the partner(s). Proposals that include resources from other than the submitter of the proposal must include a letter or other documentation from the other partners confirming this commitment of resources. Proposals that demonstrate efforts to collaborate with other partners and producers are likely to provide increased environmental benefits, meet the objectives of CCPI, and receive higher ranking consideration in the evaluation process. (d) A description of the project duration which cannot exceed 5 years in length, plan of action, and project implementation schedule that details when the potential partner anticipates finishing the project and submitting a final report. (e) A description of the resources (financial and technical assistance) requested from each of the applicable NRCS programs (EQIP, WHIP, and CSP) and the non-Federal resources provided by the partner that will be leveraged by the Federal contribution. A primary intent of CCPI is to leverage other nonFederal resources along with NRCS program resources to achieve project objectives. The partner is not required to provide financial or technical resources (match) toward the project; however, proposals that include or offer nonFederal resources will be given higher priority through the evaluation process. Partners need to clearly state, by project objective, how they intend to leverage Federal funds along with partner resources. The funding and time contribution by agricultural producers to implement agreed-to conservation practices in program contracts may not be considered any part of a match from the potential partner for purposes of CCPI. One purpose of CCPI is to leverage non-Federal resources from partners above and beyond those contributions made by individual producers. (f) A description of the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on progress made toward achieving the objectives of the agreement. Priority will be given to projects where the partner can provide resources or services or conduct activities to monitor and evaluate effects of conservation practices and activities implemented through the project. (g) Identify potential criteria to be used by NRCS to prioritize and rank agricultural producers’ CCPI applications in the project area. Potential partners should collaborate with NRCS in the State where the E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices project is proposed to develop meaningful criteria that NRCS can use to evaluate and rank producer program applications. For approved projects, this joint effort will help NRCS select producer applications which will best accomplish the projects’ intended conservation goals and address priority resource issues identified by the partner in the proposal. Additional information regarding the process NRCS uses to evaluate and rank individual producer applications is found in each of the authorized programs’ regulations. Proposals which include specific ranking criteria developed in collaboration with NRCS may receive higher consideration in the evaluation process. Additional guidance and assistance to develop appropriate criteria may be obtained from State NRCS office where the project will be located. (h) An estimate of the percentage of producers, including nonindustrial private forest landowners, in the project area that may participate in the project along with an estimate of the total number of producers located in the project area. Producer participation is a requirement for delivery of CCPI program benefits. How will the partner encourage participation to guarantee success of the project? Does the project include any tribal producers, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, or limited resource farmers or ranchers? If so, how many are expected to participate? Are there groups of producers who may submit joint applications to address resource issues of common interest and need? (i) A listing and description of the conservation practices, conservation activity plans, enhancements, and partner activities to be implemented during the project timeframe and the general sequence of implementation of the project. Also address technical assistance efforts that will be made by the partner and those that the partner requests NRCS implement using eligible approved conservation practices, enhancements, and project financial assistance funding. In this section, list all the NRCS conservation practices and enhancements the partner wishes NRCS to offer to producers through the CCPI project. Information about approved NRCS practices is found in the FOTG at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ efotg/ and descriptions of practices at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ standards/. For each conservation practice, estimate the amount of practice extent (feet, acres, number, etc.) the partner expects producers to implement each fiscal year during the life of the VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 project and the amount of financial assistance requested to support implementation of each practice through producer contracts. Information on eligible enhancements can be found at the CSP Web site at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/ csp.html. Indicate whether the project will address regulatory compliance and any other outcomes that partner expects to complete during the project period. Describe any activities that are innovative or include outcome-based performance measures implemented by the partner. (j) A description of the amount of CPPI financial assistance funds needed annually for producer contracts that will be used to implement the conservation practices and enhancements identified in previous sections. This section of the proposal must include the total amount of financial assistance funds requested for each fiscal year of the project (for multi-State projects, provide the funds or acres by State as appropriate) to be made available for producer contracts and cost-share agreements. (k) A description of any requested policy adjustments, by program, with an explanation of why the adjustment is needed in order to achieve the objectives of the project. If a partner is requesting specific program flexibilities that depend on detailed participant or project information, the proposal must provide the needed information. Partners should contact their State Conservationist, or designee, to determine the specific information that may be required. (l) A description of how the partner will provide for outreach to beginning farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes. (m) A description of how the proposal’s objectives may provide additional benefits to address renewable energy production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration, if applicable. (4) State Conservationist Letter of Review: Potential partners must include a copy of the letter showing that the written proposal was sent to the appropriate State Conservationist(s). If a project is multi-State in scope, all State Conservationists in the proposed project area must be sent the proposal for review. A list of NRCS State Conservationists, addresses, and phone numbers is included as an attachment at the end of this notice. The State PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18479 Conservationist(s) will review the proposal to address: (a) Potential duplication of efforts with other projects or existing programs. (b) Adherence to, and consistency with, program regulation including requirements related to land and producer eligibility and use of approved NRCS resource concerns and conservation practices, enhancements, and other program requirements. (c) Expected benefits for project implementation in their State(s). (d) Other issues or concerns the State Conservationist is aware of that should be considered by the Chief. (e) A general recommendation for support or denial of project approval. State Conservationists must submit letters of review to Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division no later than 10 calendar days after the deadline for proposal submission. Prior to submission of the proposal, potential partners are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate State Conservationist(s) during proposal development to obtain guidance as to appropriate resource concerns to address conservation practices needed and other details of the project proposal. All CCPI proposals become the property of NRCS for use in the administration of the program, may be filed or disposed of by the agency, and will not be returned to the partner. Once proposals have been submitted to the agency for review and ranking, there will be no further opportunity to change or re-submit the proposal document. Acknowledgement of Submission and Notifications Partners whose proposals have been selected will receive a letter of official notification. Upon notification of selection, the partner should contact the State Conservationist listed in the letter to develop the required partnership agreement and other project implementation requirements. Potential partners should note that, depending upon available funding and agency priorities, NRCS may offer a reduced amount of program financial assistance from what was requested in the proposal. Applicants of CCPI proposals not selected will be notified by official letter. Withdrawal of Proposals Partner proposals may be withdrawn by written notice to the Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division at any time prior to selection. Ranking Considerations The Chief or designee will evaluate proposals using a national competitive E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 18480 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES process. A higher priority may be given to proposals that: (a) Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or managing working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands included in the proposed project area; (b) Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical resources and coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts; (c) Deliver high percentages of applied conservation practices to address water quality, water conservation, or State, regional, or national conservation initiatives; (d) Provide innovation in approved conservation practices, conservation methods, and delivery, including outcome-based performance measures and methods; (e) Complete the application of the conservation practices and activities on all of the covered program contracts or cost-share agreements in 5 years or less; (f) Assist the participants in meeting local, State, and Federal regulatory requirements; (g) Provide for monitoring and evaluation of conservation practices, enhancements, and activities; (h) Provide for matching financial funds or technical assistance to assist participants with the implementation of their EQIP and CSP contracts and WHIP cost-share agreements; (i) Further the Nation’s efforts with renewable energy production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration; (j) Provide for outreach to, and participation of, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes within the proposed project area; and (k) Identify other factors and criteria which best achieve the purposes of CCPI. Partnership Agreements Upon selection and approval, NRCS will enter into a partnership agreement with the partner. The partnership agreement will not obligate funds, but will address: (a) The role of the partner; (b) The role of NRCS; (c) The responsibilities of the partner as it relates to the monitoring and evaluation; (d) The frequency and duration of monitoring and evaluation to be completed by the partner; (e) The format and frequency of reports (semi-annual, annual, and final) required as a condition of the partnership agreement; VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 (f) Budget which includes other funding sources (if applicable) for financial and technical assistance; (g) The specified project schedule and timeframe; and (h) Other requirements deemed necessary by NRCS to further the purposes of the CCPI project. Once a proposal is selected, the partnership agreement is signed, and subject to the availability of funding, NRCS begins entering into EQIP and CSP contracts or WHIP cost-share agreements directly with eligible producers including nonindustrial private forest landowners who are participating in the project and located in the approved geographic area. Producer applicants must meet all program eligibility requirements. The program used will depend upon the type of conservation practices to be applied. Participants may have multiple contracts through CCPI if more than one covered program is needed to accomplish the project objectives. Waiver Authority To assist in the implementation of CCPI projects through EQIP, CSP, or WHIP, the Chief may waive the applicability of the Adjusted Gross Income Limitation, on a case-by-case basis in accordance with 7 CFR 1400.500(d)(2). Such waiver requests must be submitted in writing from the program applicant, addressed to the Chief, and submitted through the local designated conservationist. Signed the 5th day of April, 2010, in Washington, DC. Dave White, Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation and Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. State Conservationists AL—William E. Puckett, 3381 Skyway Drive, P.O. Box 311, Auburn, Alabama 36830, Phone: 334/887– 4500, Fax: 334/887–4552, (V) 9027– 4557, (E) william.puckett@al.usda.gov AK—Robert Jones, 800 West Evergreen, Atrium Building, Suite 100, Palmer, Alaska 99645–6539, Phone: 907/761– 7760, Fax: 907/761–7790, (V) 9035– 2227, (E) robert.jones@ak.nrcs.usda.gov AZ—David L. McKay, 230 North First Avenue, Suite 509, Phoenix, Arizona 85003–1706, Phone: 602/280–8801, Fax: 602/280–8809 or 8805, (V) 9011– 8810, (E) david.mckay@az.nrcs.usda.gov AR—Michael E. Sullivan, Federal Building, Room 3416, 700 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201–3228, Phone: 501/301–3100, PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Fax: 501/301–3194, (V) 9044–3110, (E) michael.sullivan@ar.usda.gov CA—Lincoln E. (Ed) Burton, 430 G Street, Suite 4164, Davis, California 95616–4164, Phone: 530/792–5600, Fax: 530/792–5790, (V) 9040–5601, (E) ed.burton@ca.usda.gov CO—Allen Green, 655 Parfet Street, Room E200C, Lakewood, Colorado 80215–5521, Phone: 720–544–2810, Fax: 720–544–2965, (V) 9059–2802, (E) allen.green@co.usda.gov CT—Douglas Zehner, 344 Merrow Road, Suite A, Tolland, Connecticut 06084, Phone: 860/871–4011, Fax: 860/871– 4054, (V) 9013–114, (E) douglas.zehner@ct.usda.gov DE—Russell Morgan, 1221 College Park Drive, Suite 100, Dover, Delaware 19904–8713, Phone: 302/678–4160, Fax: 302/678–0843, (V) 9060–199, (E) russell.morgan@de.usda.gov FL—Carlos Suarez, 2614 NW. 43rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606– 6611 or P.O. Box 141510, Gainesville, FL 32614, Phone: 352/338–9500, Fax: 352/338–9574, (V) 9012–3501, (E) carlos.suarez@fl.usda.gov GA—James Tillman, Federal Building, Stop 200, 355 East Hancock Avenue, Athens, Georgia 30601–2769, Phone: 706/546–2272, Fax: 706/546–2120, (V) 9021–2082, (E) james.tillman@ga.usda.gov GU—Lawrence T. Yamamoto, Director, Pacific Basin Area, FHB Building, Suite 301, 400 Route 8, Mongmong, Guam 96910, Phone: 671/472–7490, Fax: 671/472–7288, (V) 9000–822– 1265, (E) larry.yamamoto@pb.usda.gov HI—Lawrence T. Yamamoto 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 4–118, P.O. Box 50004, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850– 0002, Phone: 808/541–2600 x107, Fax: 808/541–1335, (V) 9042–108, (E) larry.yamamoto@hi.nrcs.usda.gov ID—Jeffrey B. Burwell, 9173 West Barnes Drive, Suite C, Boise, Idaho 83709, Phone: 208/378–5700, Fax: 208/378–5735, (V) 9000–291–4551, (E) jeffrey.burwell@id.usda.gov IL—William J. Gradle, 2118 W. Park Court, Champaign, Illinois 61821, Phone: 217/353–6601, Fax: 217/353– 6676, (V) 9057–6601, (E) bill.gradle@il.usda.gov IN—Jane E. Hardisty, 6013 Lakeside Blvd., Indianapolis, Indiana 46278– 2933, Phone: 317/290–3200, Fax: 317/ 290–3225, (V) 9029–301, (E) jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov IA—Richard Sims, 693 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Suite 693, Des Moines, Iowa 50309–2180, Phone: 515/284–6655, Fax: 515/284– 4394, (V) 9000–945–1065, (E) richard.sims@ia.usda.gov E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices KS—Kasey Taylor, Acting, Eric B. Banks, 760 South Broadway, Salina, Kansas 67401–4642, Phone: 785/823– 4565, Fax: 785/452–3369, (V) 9000– 345–8770, (E) eric.banks@ks.usda.gov KY—Tom Perrin, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 110, Lexington, Kentucky 40503–5479, Phone: 859/224–7350, Fax: 859/224–7399, (V) 9032–7390, (E) tom.perrin@ky.usda.gov LA—Kevin D. Norton, 3737 Government Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302, Phone: 318/473–7751, Fax: 318/473– 7626, (V) 9000–965–1635, (E) kevin.norton@la.usda.gov ME—Juan Hernandez, 967 Illinois Avenue, Suite #3, Bangor, Maine 04401, Phone: 207/990–9100, ext. #3, Fax: 207/990–9599, (V) 9000–757– 1028, (E) juan.hernandez@me.usda.gov MD—Jon F. Hall, John Hanson Business Center, 339 Busch’s Frontage Road, Suite 301, Annapolis, Maryland 21401–5534, Phone: 410/757–0861 x315, Fax: 410/757–0687, (V) 9053– 315, (E) jon.hall@md.usda.gov MA—Christine Clarke, 451 West Street, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002–2995, Phone: 413/253–4351, Fax: 413/253– 4375, (V) 9047–4352, (E) Christine.clarke@ma.usda.gov MI—Salvador Salinas, Acting, Garry D. Lee, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 250, East Lansing, Michigan 48823–6350, Phone: 517/324–5270, Fax: 517/324– 5171, (V) 9048–5277, (E) garry.lee@mi.usda.gov MN—Jennifer Heglund, Acting, 375 Jackson Street, Suite 600, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101–1854, Phone: 651/ 602–7900, Fax: 651/602–7913 or 7914, (V) 9041–7854, (E) Jennifer.heglund@mn.usda.gov MS—Homer Wilkes, Suite 1321, Federal Building, 100 West Capitol Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39269–1399, Phone: 601/965–5205, Fax: 601/965– 4940, (V) 9000–965–2065, (E) homer.wilkes@ms.nrcs.usda.gov MO—J.R. Flores, Parkade Center, Suite 250, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Columbia, Missouri 65203–2546, Phone: 573/876–0901, Fax: 573/876– 9439, (V) 9034–1367, (E) jr.flores@mo.usda.gov MT—Joyce Swartzendruber, Federal Building, Room 443, 10 East Babcock Street, Bozeman, Montana 59715– 4704, Phone: 406/587–6813, Fax: 406/ 587–6761, (V) 9056–6813, (E) joyce.swartzendruber@mt.usda.gov NE—Stephen K. Chick, Federal Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial Mall, North, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508–3866, Phone: 402/437–5300, Fax: 402/437–5327, (V) 9026–4103, (E) steve.chick@ne.usda.gov VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 NV—Bruce Petersen, 5301 Longley Lane, Building F, Suite 201, Reno, Nevada 89511–1805, Phone: 775/857– 8500, Fax: 775/857–8524, (V) 9000– 784–1390, (E) bruce.petersen@nv.usda.gov NH—George Cleek, Federal Building, 2 Madbury Road, Durham, New Hampshire 03824–2043, Phone: 603/ 868–7581 ext. 125, Fax: 603/868– 5301, (V) 9000–868–8035, (E) george.cleek@nh.usda.gov NJ—Thomas Drewes, 220 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey 08873, Phone: 732/537–6040, Fax: 732/537– 6095, (V) 9000–767–1000, (E) tom.drewes@nj.usda.gov NM—Dennis L. Alexander, 6200 Jefferson Street, NE., Suite 305, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109– 3734, Phone: 505/761–4402 (Rita), Fax: 505/761–4481, (V) 9016–4401, (E) dennis.alexander@nm.usda.gov NY—Astor Boozer, 441 South Salina Street, Suite 354, Syracuse, New York 13202–2450, Phone: 315/477–6504, Fax: 315/477–6550, (V) 9015–6501, (E) astor.boozer@ny.usda.gov NC—J.B. Martin, Acting, 4405 Bland Road, Suite 205, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609–6293, Phone: 919/ 873–2102, Fax: 919/873–2156, (V) 9025–2101, (E) JB.martin@nc.usda.gov ND—Paul Sweeney, 220 E. Rosser Avenue, Room 278, P.O. Box 1458, Bismarck, North Dakota 58502–1458, Phone: 701/530–2000, Fax: 701/530– 2110, (V) 9051–2003, (E) paul.sweeney@nd.usda.gov OH—Terry J. Cosby, 200 North High Street, Room 522, Columbus, Ohio 43215–2478, Phone: 614/255–2472, Fax: 614/255–2548, (V) 9000–881– 1870, (E) terry.cosby@oh.usda.gov OK—Ronald L. Hilliard, 100 USDA, Suite 206, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074–2655, Phone: 405/742–1204, Fax: 405/742–1126, (V) 9037–1280, (E) ron.hillard@ok.usda.gov OR—Ron Alvarado, 101 SW Main Street Suite 1300, Portland, Oregon 97204– 3221, Phone: 503/414–3200, Fax: 503/ 414–3103, (V) 9019–3201, (E) ron.alvarado@or.usda.gov PA—Dave Brown, Acting, 1 Credit Union Place, Suite 340, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110–2993, Phone: 717/237–2203, Fax: 717/237–2238, (V) 9039–2203, (E) dave.brown@pa.usda.gov PR—Angel Figueroa, Acting, Director, Caribbean Area, IBM Building, Suite 604, 654 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918–4123, Phone: 787/766–5206, ext. 237, Fax: 787/ 766–5987, (V) 9000–769–1030, (E) angel.figueroa@wdc.usda.gov RI—Richard ‘‘Pooh’’ Vongkhamdy, 60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46, Warwick, PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18481 Rhode Island 02886–0111, Phone: 401/828–1300, Fax: 401/828–0433, (V) 9023–115, (E) pooh.vongkhamdy@ri.usda.gov SC—Keisha Brown, Acting, Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly Street, Room 950, Columbia, South Carolina 29201– 2489, Phone: 803/253–3935, Fax: 803/ 253–3670, (V) 9031–3940, (E) Keisha.brown@sc.usda.gov SD—Janet L. Oertly, Federal Building, Room 203, 200 Fourth Street, S.W., Huron, South Dakota 57350–2475, Phone: 605/352–1200, Fax: 605/352– 1288, (V) 9036–1201, (E) janet.oertly@sd.usda.gov TN—Kevin Brown, 675 U.S. Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee 37203–3878, Phone: 615/ 277–2531, Fax: 615/277–2578, (V) 9058–2530, (E) kevin.brown@tn.usda.gov TX—Donald W. Gohmert, W.R. Poage Federal Building, 101 South Main Street, Temple, Texas 76501–7602, Phone: 254/742–9800, Fax: 254/742– 9819, (V) 9038–9803, (E) don.gohmert@tx.usda.gov UT—Sylvia A. Gillen, W.F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4402, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, Phone: 801/524–4555, Fax: 801/524–4403, (V) 9000–625– 1550, (E) sylvia.gillen@ut.usda.gov VT—Judith M. Doerner, 356 Mountain View Drive, Suite 105, Colchester, Vermont 05446, Phone: 802/951– 6795, Fax: 802/951–6327, (V) 9000– 768–1240, (E) judy.doerner@vt.usda.gov VA—Vicky Drew, Acting, Jack Bricker, Culpeper Building, Suite 209, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, Richmond, Virginia 23229–5014, Phone: 804/287–1691, Fax: 804/287–1737, (V) 9003–1682, (E) jack.bricker@va.usda.gov WA—Roylene Rides at the Door, Rock Pointe Tower II, W. 316 Boone Avenue, Suite 450, Spokane, Washington 99201–2348, Phone: 509/ 323–2900, Fax: 509/323–2909, (V) 9035–2901, (E) door@wa.usda.gov WV—Kevin Wickey, 75 High Street, Room 301, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, Phone: 304/284–7540, Fax: 304/284–4839, (V) 9049–7542, (E) kevin.wickey@wv.usda.gov WI—Ivan Dozier, Acting, Patricia Leavenworth, 8030 Excelsior Drive, Suite 200, Madison, Wisconsin 53717, Phone: 608/662–4422, Fax: 608/662– 4430, (V) 9018–222, (E) pat.leavenworth@wi.usda.gov WY—J. Xavier Montoya, Federal Building, Room 3124, 100 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601–1911, Phone: 307/233–6750, Fax: 307/233– E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 18482 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 69 / Monday, April 12, 2010 / Notices Comments may also be sent via e-mail to dritter@fs.fed.us or via facsimile to 406–777–5461. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at 88 Main Street, Stevensville, MT 59870. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to 406– 777–5461 to facilitate entry into the building. 6753, (V) 9000–951–1015, (E) Xavier.montoya@wy.usda.gov [FR Doc. 2010–8244 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Shasta County Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Shasta County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet at the USDA Service Center in Redding, California, on April 28, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss project updates and proposals, information on monitoring efforts and a timeline for the upcoming year. DATES: Wednesday, April 28 at 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the USDA Service Center, 3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding, California 96002. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Resource Advisory Committee Coordinator Rita Vollmer at (530) 226– 2595 or rvollmer@fs.fed.us. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting is open to the public. Public input sessions will be provided and individuals will have the opportunity to address the Shasta County Resource Advisory Committee. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel G. Ritter, District Ranger, or Nancy Trotter Coordinator 406–777– 5461. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting is open to the public. Council discussion is limited to Forest Service staff and Council members. However, persons who wish to bring bio hazards use matters to the attention of the Council may file written statements with the Council staff before or after the meeting. Public input sessions will be provided and individuals who made written requests by April 19, 2010 will have the opportunity to address the Council at those sessions. Environmental Technologies Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482–0359. This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to OEEI at (202) 482–5225. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This meeting is open to the public and time will be permitted for public comment from 3–3:30 p.m. Written comments concerning ETTAC affairs are welcome anytime before or after the meeting. Minutes will be available within 30 days of this meeting. The ETTAC is mandated by Public Law 103–392. It was created to advise the U.S. government on environmental trade policies and programs, and to help it to focus its resources on increasing the exports of the U.S. environmental industry. ETTAC operates as an advisory committee to the Secretary of Commerce and the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). ETTAC was originally chartered in May of 1994. It was most recently rechartered until September 2010. Dated: April 7, 2010. Edward A. O’Malley, Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries. Dated: April 6, 2010. Julie K. King, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2010–8240 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] Dated: April 5, 2010. J. Sharon Heywood, Forest Supervisor, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. [FR Doc. 2010–8257 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [FR Doc. 2010–8250 Filed 4–9–10; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE BILLING CODE 3510–DR–P BILLING CODE 3410–11–M National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration BILLING CODE M Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Hamilton, Montana. The purpose of the meeting is presentation on research of generating plants that have been built and project reviews. DATES: The meeting will be held April 27, 2010. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at 1801 N. First Street. Written comments should be sent to Stevensville RD, 88 Main Street, Stevensville, MT 59870. 17:58 Apr 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 Fish and Wildlife Service AGENCY: International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. Forest Service VerDate Nov<24>2008 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR RIN 0648–XV36 SUMMARY: The Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) will hold its quarterly meeting to discuss environmental technologies trade liberalization, industry competitiveness issues, and general Committee administrative items. DATES: April 23, 2010. ADDRESSES: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230, Room 4830. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Bohon, Office of Energy and AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior (DOI). ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement, multispecies habitat conservation plan, and receipt of application; notice of public meeting. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Stanford University Habitat Conservation Plan SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Authorization for Incidental Take and Implementation of Stanford University E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1

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[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 69 (Monday, April 12, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18472-18482]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-8244]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and Natural Resources Conservation 
Service, Department of Agriculture.

ACTION: Notice of request for proposals.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Section 2707 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 
(2008 Act) establishes the Cooperative Conservation Partnership 
Initiative (CCPI) by amending section 1243 of the Food Security Act of 
1985 [16 U.S.C. 3843]. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the 
authority to administer CCPI to the Chief of the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service (NRCS), who is Vice President of the Commodity 
Credit Corporation (CCC). NRCS is an agency of the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). The CCPI is a voluntary conservation initiative 
that enables the use of certain conservation programs along with 
resources of eligible partners to provide financial and technical 
assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial 
private forest lands. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, NRCS will make 
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation 
Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program 
(WHIP) funds available to owners and operators of agricultural and 
nonindustrial private forest lands who participate in approved CCPI 
project areas.
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals from potential 
partners who seek to enter into partnership agreements with NRCS to 
provide assistance to producers enrolled in the various programs listed 
above, and to inform agricultural producers of the potential 
availability of program funds through approved projects.

DATES: Effective Date: The notice of request is effective April 12, 
2010.

[[Page 18473]]

    Eligible partners may submit proposals by mail or via courier.
     By mail: Proposals must be postmarked May 27, 2010.
     By courier: Proposals must be delivered by: May 27, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Written proposals should be submitted to the addresses 
identified below, with copies to the appropriate NRCS State 
Conservationist whose names and addresses are identified as an 
attachment to this notice. If a project is multi-State in scope, 
potential partners must send each State Conservationist in the proposed 
project area the proposal for review.
     By mail: Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial 
Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, ``National CCPI Proposal,'' 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 
20250. (Note: Registered or Certified Mail to a Post Office Box will 
not be accepted.)
     By courier: Gregory K. Johnson, Director, Financial 
Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, ``National CCPI Proposal,'' 1400 
Independence Ave., SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. 
Proposals will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please ask the guard at 
the entrance to the South Building to call (202) 720-1845.

    Note: Proposals submitted by fax, e-mail, or after the deadline 
date listed in this notice will not be considered.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Johnson, Director, Financial 
Assistance Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 
5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720-1845; 
fax: (202) 720-4265; or e-mail: CCPI@wdc.usda.gov. Additional 
information regarding CCPI is available at the following NRCS Web page: 
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CCPI/.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact 
the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Revisions to the CCPI Notice

    The fiscal year (FY) 2010 notice of request for proposals includes 
significant additions in comparison with the notice issued in FY 2009. 
Generally, the basic authority, procedures, and program requirements 
have not changed. Partners who responded to the FY 2009 notice reported 
difficulty in understanding where and how to apply, confusion about 
administration and purpose of the new CCPI authority and requirements 
of partners, misunderstanding that CCPI was not a grant program for 
partners, lack of knowledge about NRCS resource concerns and 
conservation practices that needed to be addressed through the 
partnership, frustration in NRCS terminology used in the notice, and 
other concerns. As the result of these concerns, the agency is revising 
this notice to provide better explanation of the program and 
requirements for proposal submission. This notice includes more 
explanation of the program, added definitions, clarification of the 
requirements and criteria to be addressed in the proposal, links to 
resources to help partners apply, and other general improvements. While 
the FY 2010 notice is longer than the FY 2009, the actual requirements 
for submission of the proposal are not significantly different and pose 
no additional burden or workload.

Availability of Funding

    Effective on the publication date of this notice, NRCS announces 
the availability of at least $5 million in financial assistance to 
support new projects during FY 2010. NRCS will implement CCPI by 
entering into partnership agreements with eligible State and local 
governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, producer associations, 
farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, and 
nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively 
with producers.
    NRCS will implement CCPI by entering into partnership agreements 
with eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to 
owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest 
lands to address priority natural resource concerns. Eligible partners 
must submit complete proposals to Gregory K. Johnson, Director, 
Financial Assistance Programs Division. Proposals are submitted by 
eligible partners, and project evaluation will be based upon a 
competitive process and the criteria established in this notice. Once 
the Chief approves and announces the proposals selected, agricultural 
producers within the approved project areas may submit an application 
directly to NRCS for one or more of the following programs that may be 
approved for the project: EQIP, CSP, or WHIP.
    The following are eligible to submit a proposal and enter into a 
partnership agreement with NRCS: Federally recognized Indian tribes; 
State and local units of government; producer associations; farmer 
cooperatives; and institutions of higher education or nongovernmental 
organizations with a history of working cooperatively with producers. 
Nongovernmental organizations are entities as defined by the Internal 
Revenue Service and as cited in the definitions section of this notice. 
This is not a grant program, and all Federal funds made available 
through this request for proposals will be paid directly to producers 
through program contract agreements. No technical assistance funding 
may be provided to a partner through the CCPI partner agreement. 
However, if requested by a partner, the State Conservationist may 
consider development of a separate contribution agreement with a 
qualified partner to provide funding for delivery of technical services 
to producers participating in an approved CCPI project.
    Individual agricultural producers are not CCPI eligible entities 
and may not submit proposals, nor may they apply for program benefits 
through this proposal submission process. No Federal CCPI funding may 
be used to cover partner's administrative expenses. Administrative 
activities include any indirect or direct costs relating to submitting 
or implementing the project proposal. This notice provides information 
about CCPI and instructions for submitting partner proposals. Project 
approval and development of partnership agreements for projects will be 
based on competitive evaluation and the criteria established in this 
notice.

Definitions

    Agricultural land means cropland, grassland, rangeland, pasture, 
and other agricultural land on which agricultural and forest-related 
products or livestock are produced and resource concerns may be 
addressed. Other agricultural lands may include cropped woodland, 
marshes, incidental areas included in the agricultural operation, and 
other types of agricultural land used for production of livestock.
    Agricultural operation in reference to CSP means all agricultural 
land and other land, as determined by NRCS, whether contiguous or 
noncontiguous:
    (1) Which is under the effective control of the producer for the 
term of the proposed contract; and

[[Page 18474]]

    (2) Which is operated by the producer with equipment, labor, 
management, and production or cultivation practices that are 
substantially separate from other operations.
    Animal waste storage or treatment facility means a structural 
conservation practice used for storing or treating animal waste.
    Applicant means a person, legal entity, joint operation, or tribe 
that has an interest in an agricultural or forestry operation, as 
defined in 7 CFR part 1400, who has requested to participate in EQIP, 
CSP, or WHIP.
    Beginning Farmer or Rancher means a person or legal entity who:
    (1) Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or 
ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years. This requirement applies 
to all members of an entity who will materially and substantially 
participate in the operation of the farm or ranch.
    (2) In the case of a contract with an individual, individually, or 
with the immediate family, material and substantial participation 
requires that the individual provide substantial day-to-day labor and 
management of the farm or ranch consistent with the practices in the 
county or State where the farm is located.
    (3) In the case of a contract with an entity or joint operation, 
all members must materially and substantially participate in the 
operation of the farm or ranch. Material and substantial participation 
requires that each of the members provide some amount of the management 
or labor necessary for day-to-day activities, such that if each of the 
members did not provide these inputs, operation of the farm or ranch 
would be seriously impaired.
    Chief means the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation 
Service, or designee.
    Conservation Activity Plan means a resource-specific conservation 
plan prepared by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) as 
authorized by the 2008 Act for financial assistance payment through 
EQIP for eligible land of the producer.
    Conservation activities related to CSP means conservation systems, 
practices, or management measures needed to address a resource concern 
or improve environmental quality through the treatment of natural 
resources, and includes structural, vegetative, and management 
activities, as determined by NRCS. In general and for other programs, 
the term conservation activities includes any kind of measure, 
treatment, practice, or activity associated with an agricultural 
operation which may or may not be associated with an NRCS conservation 
practice or program support.
    Conservation Measurement Tool means procedures developed by NRCS to 
estimate the level of environmental benefit to be achieved by a 
producer using the proxy of conservation performance improvement.
    Conservation planning means using the NRCS planning process 
outlined in the NRCS National Planning Procedures Handbook (NPPH). The 
NPPH is available at: http://directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/.
    Conservation practice means one or more conservation improvements 
and planning activities including structural practices, land management 
practices, vegetative practices, forest management practices, and other 
improvements that achieve the program purposes that are planned and 
installed in accordance with standards and specifications contained in 
the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). Only EQIP may provide 
financial assistance for support of the activity of conservation 
planning. Conservation practices funded through CCPI are subject to 
requirements of each of the authorized programs:
    (1) EQIP regulation 7 CFR part 1466.--http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip.
    (2) CSP regulation 7 CFR part 1470--http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html/.
    (3) WHIP regulation 7 CFR part 636--http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/.
    Conservation Stewardship Plan means a record of the participant's 
decisions that describes the schedule of operations and conservation 
activities to be implemented, managed, maintained, or improved. 
Associated supporting information that identifies and inventories 
resource concerns and existing conservation activities, establishes 
benchmark data, and documents the participant's conservation objectives 
will be maintained with the plan.
    Conservation system means a combination of conservation practices, 
management measures, and enhancements used to address natural resource 
and environmental concerns in a comprehensive, holistic, and integrated 
manner.
    Contract as defined in the EQIP and CSP regulation means a legal 
document that specifies the rights and obligations of any participant 
accepted to participate in EQIP or CSP. A program contract is a binding 
agreement for the transfer of assistance from USDA to the participant 
to share in the costs of applying conservation practices.
    Cost-share agreement as defined in the WHIP regulation means a 
legal document that specifies the rights and obligations of any 
participant accepted into WHIP. A WHIP cost-share agreement is a 
binding agreement for the transfer of assistance from USDA to the 
participant to share in the costs of applying conservation.
    Conservation Stewardship Program means a program administered by 
NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1470, which provides for technical 
and financial assistance to encourage producers to address resource 
concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional 
conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing 
existing conservation activities.
    Cropland means land used primarily for the production of adapted 
crops for harvest, including but not limited to land in row crops or 
close-grown crops, forage crops that are in a rotation with row or 
close-grown crops, permanent hayland, horticultural crops, orchards, 
vineyards, cropped woodland, marshes, cranberry bogs, and other lands 
used for crop production.
    Cropped woodland and marshes means woodland and marshes in which at 
least 50 percent of the area is actively managed to produce an 
agricultural product. The crop may be grown symbiotically within the 
system, such as ginseng and wild rice, or harvested directly from the 
trees, such as maple syrup. Once established, the agricultural product 
is harvested annually.
    Designated conservationist means an NRCS employee whom the State 
Conservationist has designated as responsible for administration of 
NRCS programs at the local level.
    Enhancement means a type of conservation activity associated with 
CSP used to treat natural resources and improve conservation 
performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management 
intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource 
concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied 
in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the 
standard.
    Environmental Quality Incentives Program means a program 
administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1466 (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip) which provides technical and financial 
assistance to eligible producers for the installation and 
implementation of conservation practices and activities on private 
agricultural and nonindustrial forest land.
    Field Office Technical Guide means the official local NRCS source 
of

[[Page 18475]]

resource information, conservation practice standards, specifications, 
and interpretation of guidelines, criteria, and requirements for 
planning and applying conservation practices and conservation 
management systems. It contains natural resource quality criteria to be 
achieved to provide for the conservation and sustainability of soil, 
water, air, plant, and animal resources applicable to the geographic 
area where resource concerns are addressed. The FOTG can be accessed 
online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/efotg/.
    Financial assistance means a payment made to the program 
participant.
    Forest Management Plan means a site-specific plan that is prepared 
by a professional resource manager, in consultation with the 
participant, and is approved by the State Conservationist. Forest 
management plans may include a forest stewardship plan, as specified in 
Section 5 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 
2103a); another practice plan approved by the State Forester; or 
another plan determined appropriate by the State Conservationist. The 
plan must comply with Federal, State, tribal, and local laws, 
regulations, and permit requirements.
    Hayland means a subcategory of cropland managed for the production 
of forage crops that are machine harvested. The crop may be grasses, 
legumes, or a combination of both.
    Indian land is an inclusive term describing all lands held in trust 
by the United States for individual Indians or tribes, or all lands, 
titles to which are held by individual Indians or tribes, subject to 
Federal restrictions against alienation or encumbrance, or all lands 
that are subject to the rights of use, occupancy, and benefit of 
certain tribes. For purposes of this notice, the term Indian land also 
includes land for which the title is held in fee status by Indian 
tribes, and the U.S. Government owned land under Bureau of Indian 
Affairs jurisdiction.
    Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other 
organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or 
regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant 
to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) 
that is federally recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
services provided by the United States to Indians because of their 
status as Indians.
    Joint agreement means a business arrangement where two or more 
participants cooperate to carry out conservation practices that can 
best be accomplished by combining resources. Such agreements must be 
formally documented and signed by all applicable parties.
    Joint operation means a general partnership, joint venture, or 
other similar business arrangement in which the members are jointly and 
severally liable for the obligations of the organization.
    Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher means:
    (1) A person with direct or indirect gross farm sales of not more 
than $155,200 in each of the previous 2 years (adjusted for inflation 
using Prices Paid by Farmer Index as compiled by the National 
Agricultural Statistical Service); and
    (2) Has a total household income at or below the national poverty 
level for a family of four, or less than 50 percent of county median 
household income in each of the previous 2 years (to be determined 
annually using Department of Commerce data).
    Local working group means the advisory body pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 
3861 and described in 7 CFR part 610. Information regarding these 
groups can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/StateTech/.
    Management measure means one or more specific actions that is not a 
conservation practice, but has the effect of alleviating problems or 
improving the treatment of the natural resources.
    National Organic Program means the program, administered by the 
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, which regulates the standards for 
any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to 
market an agricultural product as organically produced.
    Natural Resources Conservation Service means an agency of the USDA 
which has responsibility for administering programs such as EQIP, WHIP, 
and CSP using the funds, facilities, and authorities of the CCC.
    Nongovernmental organization is any legal entity that is organized 
for, and at all times since, the formation of the organization has been 
operated principally for one or more of the conservation purposes 
specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of section 170(h)(4)(A) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; is an organization described in 
section 501(c)(3) or that is described in section 509(a)(2) of that 
Code; or is described in section 509(a)(3) of that Code and
    Nonindustrial private forest land means rural land, as determined 
by the Secretary, that has existing tree cover or is suitable for 
growing trees and is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, 
group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or other private legal 
entity that has definitive decisionmaking authority over the land.
    Participant means a person or legal entity, joint operation, or 
tribe that is receiving payment or is responsible for implementing the 
terms and conditions of a contract or cost-share agreement under a 
program covered by CCPI.
    Partner means an entity that enters into a partnership agreement 
with NRCS to carry out the approved CCPI project. Eligible partners 
include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of 
government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, and 
institutions of higher education or nongovernmental organizations with 
a history of working cooperatively with producers.

    Note: Individual agricultural producers are not partners under 
provisions of CCPI and are not eligible to submit proposals as 
outlined in this notice.

    Partnership agreement means a multi-year agreement between NRCS and 
the partner. The CCPI partnership agreement describes the activities 
and resources, such as technical or financial assistance, that may be 
provided by NRCS and the partner to help producers meet the objectives 
of CCPI in an approved project area. The CCPI partnership agreement 
does not transfer financial or technical assistance funding to a 
partner, nor provide for the administrative expenses of the partner. 
Individual producers may not enter into partnership agreements under 
CCPI authority.
    Pastureland means grazing lands comprised of introduced or 
domesticated native forage species that are used primarily for the 
production of livestock. They receive periodic renovation and cultural 
treatments such as tillage, fertilization, mowing, weed control, and 
may be irrigated. They are not grown in rotation with crops.
    Payment means financial assistance provided to a program 
participant under the terms of the contract or cost-share agreement. 
Payments and payment rates are established by program rule. Payments 
are only provided to assist with implementation of approved 
conservation practices and activities listed in the FOTG and must meet 
all other applicable program requirements.
    Priority resource concern means a resource concern that is 
identified by the State Conservationist, with advice from the State 
Technical Committee and local work groups, as a priority for a State or 
the specific geographic areas within a State.
    Producer means a person, legal entity, or joint operation who has 
an interest in the agricultural operation, according to

[[Page 18476]]

7 CFR part 1400, or who is engaged in agricultural production or 
forestry management.
    Projects of special environmental significance means projects, as 
defined in 7 CFR 1466(d) and approved by the Chief, which meet the 
following criteria:
    (1) Site-specific evaluations have been completed, documenting that 
the project will have substantial positive impacts on critical 
resources in or near the project area (e.g., impaired water bodies or 
at-risk species);
    (2) The project clearly addresses a national priority and State, 
tribal, or local priorities, as applicable; and
    (3) The project assists the participant in complying with Federal, 
State, and local regulatory requirements.
    Rangeland means land on which the historic climax plant community 
is predominantly grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs and 
includes lands revegetated naturally or artificially when routine 
management of that vegetation is accomplished mainly through 
manipulation of grazing. Rangelands include natural grasslands, 
savannas, shrublands, most deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal 
marshes, and wet meadows.
    Resource concern means a specific natural resource problem that 
represents a significant concern in a State or region, and is 
identified in the proposal to be addressed through the implementation 
of conservation practices by producers. Resource concerns used by NRCS 
are found in section III of each State or local FOTG which can be 
viewed at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/efotg/. Examples of 
natural resource concerns include soil quality, water conservation, 
water quality, plant condition, air quality, domestic animals, fish and 
wildlife habitat, and other sub-categories of resource concerns.
    Resource-conserving crop means a crop that is one of the following:
    (1) A perennial grass, legume, or grass/legume grown for use as 
forage, seed for planting, or green manure.
    (2) A high residue producing crop.
    (3) A cover crop following an annual crop.
    Resource-conserving crop rotation means a crop rotation that:
    (1) Includes at least one resource conserving crop as determined by 
the State Conservationist.
    (2) Reduces erosion.
    (3) Improves soil fertility and tilth.
    (4) Interrupts pest cycles.
    (5) Reduces depletion of soil moisture or otherwise reduces the 
need for irrigation in applicable areas.
    Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher means a farmer or rancher 
who has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their 
identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual 
qualities. Those groups include African Americans, American Indians or 
Alaskan natives, Hispanics, Asians, and native Hawaiians or other 
Pacific Islanders.
    State Conservationist means the NRCS employee who is authorized to 
implement conservation programs administered by NRCS and who directs 
and supervises NRCS activities in a State, the Caribbean Area, or the 
Pacific Islands Area.
    State Technical Committee means a committee established by the USDA 
Secretary in a State pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 3861 and described in 7 CFR 
part 610. Information regarding these committees can be found at: 
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/StateTech/.
    Technical assistance means technical expertise, information, and 
tools necessary for the conservation of natural resources on land 
active in agricultural, forestry, or related uses. The term includes: 
(1) Technical services provided directly to farmers, ranchers, and 
other eligible entities, such as conservation planning, technical 
consultation, and assistance with design and implementation of 
conservation practices; and (2) technical infrastructure including 
activities, processes, tools, and agency functions needed to support 
delivery of technical services, such as technical standards, resource 
inventories, training, data, technology, monitoring, and effects 
analyses. Information regarding technical assistance can be found at: 
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cta/.
    Technical Service Provider means an individual, private-sector 
entity, or public agency certified by NRCS, in accordance with 7 CFR 
part 652, to provide technical services to program participants in lieu 
of or on behalf of NRCS.
    Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program means a program administered by 
NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 636, which provides for technical 
and financial assistance to protect, restore, develop, and enhance 
wildlife habitat.

Overview of the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

Background

    The CCPI is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the 
use of certain conservation programs along with resources of eligible 
partners to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and 
operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands and 
will enhance conservation outcomes. Depending upon the program 
available, the assistance provided enables participants to implement 
conservation practices and enhancements, including the development and 
adoption of innovative conservation practices and management 
approaches. The partner is not required to provide financial or 
technical resources toward the project (match); however, proposals that 
include or offer partner provided resources will be given higher 
priority consideration in the evaluation process. CCPI financial 
assistance is delivered directly to producers in approved project areas 
through program contracts or cost-share agreements; no CCPI funding may 
be used to cover the partner's administrative expenses.
    CCPI uses the funds, policies, and processes of EQIP, CSP, and WHIP 
to deliver assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and 
nonindustrial private forest land to implement approved conservation 
practices and activities. Under CCPI, NRCS enters into partnership 
agreements with eligible entities that want to enhance conservation 
outcomes on agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land. As part 
of the partnership agreement, approved partners may also help 
facilitate the submission of producers' program applications, or they 
may provide additional technical or financial assistance to 
participating agricultural producers or provide other resources as 
defined in the partnership agreement. A primary intent of CCPI is to 
leverage non-Federal government resources along with NRCS program 
resources to achieve resource conservation objectives. The purposes of 
the CCPI partnership agreement are to:
    (1) Address conservation priorities involving agriculture and 
nonindustrial private forest land on local, State, multi-State, or 
regional levels;
    (2) Encourage producers to cooperate in meeting applicable Federal, 
State, and local regulatory requirements related to production;
    (3) Encourage producers to cooperate in the installation and 
maintenance of conservation practices; and
    (4) Promote the development and demonstration of innovative 
conservation practices and delivery methods, including practices 
associated with specialty crop and organic production and precision 
agriculture operations.
    Partners who may enter into partnership agreements with NRCS 
include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of

[[Page 18477]]

government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of 
higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of 
working cooperatively with producers to effectively address 
conservation priorities related to agricultural production and 
nonindustrial private forest land. Individual agricultural producers 
are not an eligible partner entity and may not submit CCPI proposals. 
Potential entity partners may submit proposals that request assistance 
for a specified project area that may be defined by geo-political 
boundaries, watershed boundaries, or resource concern. The written 
proposal must describe the area to be covered by the project, 
conservation priorities in the area, conservation objectives to be 
achieved, and the number of producers including nonindustrial private 
forest landowners who are likely to participate; a description of the 
partner or partners collaborating to achieve the objectives of the 
agreement, and the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the 
partner(s); the resources requested from the Chief and the partner; the 
plan for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on progress made towards 
achieving the objectives of the agreement; and other information that 
may be required.
    Once a partnership proposal is selected and the project announced, 
eligible individual producers located within the project area may apply 
directly to NRCS for funding under the appropriate conservation 
program. Individual applications from eligible producers will be 
evaluated and ranked to ensure that producer applications selected for 
funding are most likely to achieve project objectives. All Federal 
funds made available through this CCPI request for proposals will be 
provided directly to eligible participants through EQIP and CSP program 
contracts and WHIP cost-share agreements. Producers interested in 
applying must meet the eligibility requirements of the program for 
which they are applying.
    No technical or financial assistance funding may be provided to a 
partner through the CCPI partner agreement. However, if requested by a 
partner, the State Conservationists or Chief may consider development 
of a separate funding agreement with a qualified partner for delivery 
of technical services to producers participating in an approved CCPI 
project.
    During FY 2010, an objective of CCPI is to deliver EQIP, CSP, and 
WHIP assistance to producers to achieve high-priority conservation 
objectives in geographic areas defined by the partner. Where 
flexibility is needed to meet project objectives, the partner may 
request that program adjustments be allowed, provided such policy 
adjustments are within the scope of the applicable programs' statutory 
and regulatory program authorities. An example of a program adjustment 
may be to expedite the applicable program ranking process in a 
situation where a partner has identified the producers approved to 
participate in the project. Other examples of program adjustments may 
include flexibility in payment rate, or using a single area-wide plan 
of operations rather than individual plans of operations.

Submitting Proposals

    Potential partners must submit proposals to Gregory K. Johnson, 
Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, addressing all 
questions and items listed in the ``Proposal Requirements'' section of 
this notice. The proposals must be submitted by the date and time 
identified in this notice. The proposal must include sufficient detail 
to allow agency reviewers to understand the partner's priority resource 
concerns, objectives, and expected outcomes.
    Incomplete proposals and those that do not meet the requirements 
set forth in this notice will not be considered, and notification of 
elimination will be mailed to the applicant. State Conservationists are 
expected to provide guidance to potential partners regarding resource 
concerns that may be addressed in the proposed project area, local 
working group and State Technical Committee natural resource 
priorities, approved conservation practices and activities, and other 
program requirements the partner should consider when developing a 
proposal. No agency form is provided; potential partners must provide a 
narrative proposal following the requirements set forth in this notice.
    NRCS will review and evaluate the proposals based on the criteria 
set forth in this notice. Positive consideration will be given to 
proposals that provide for outreach to beginning farmers or ranchers, 
socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or 
ranchers, and Indian tribes within the area covered by the project. 
Priority consideration will also be given to proposals that both 
achieve program purposes, including regional efforts that cross State 
boundaries, and further the Nation's efforts with renewable energy 
production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate 
change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon 
sequestration. CCPI proposals submitted to NRCS become the property of 
the agency for use in the administration of the program, may be filed 
or disposed of by the agency, and will not be returned to the potential 
partner. Once proposals have been submitted for review and ranking, 
there will be no further opportunity to change or re-submit the 
proposal.

Partner Entity Eligibility

    Those eligible to participate as partners include federally 
recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of government, producer 
associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, or 
nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively 
with producers to effectively address conservation priorities related 
to agricultural production and nonindustrial private forest land. 
Individual producers are not eligible to submit proposals under CCPI 
authorities.

Land Eligibility

    The following land is eligible for enrollment in the CCPI:
     Private agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land
     Land meeting the covered programs (EQIP, CSP, and WHIP) 
eligibility rules Eligible land is defined for each program in 
regulation:
     EQIP: 7 CFR 1466.8(c)
     CSP: 7 CFR 1470.6(b)
     WHIP: 7 CFR 636.4(b)

Producer Application and Program Contracts

    Producers interested in participating in an approved CCPI project 
may apply for assistance at their local USDA service center. The 
designated conservationist will help the producer determine which 
program (EQIP, CSP, or WHIP) is appropriate based on the practices and 
activities the applicant seeks to install or perform to meet the 
approved partner project objectives.
    Producers seeking to participate in a CCPI project must meet all 
program-specific eligibility requirements. The requirements that apply 
to the contract or cost-share agreement are determined by the program 
selected. For information on program payment limitations and benefits 
or other program requirements that may apply to land and producers 
enrolled in EQIP, CSP, and WHIP, consult the appropriate programs' 
regulation as stated in this notice. Additional information can be 
found at NRCS Web site at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/. An 
agricultural producer may elect to use a TSP for technical assistance 
associated with conservation planning or practice design and 
implementation. Producers

[[Page 18478]]

applying for CCPI are not required to have an existing program 
contract, although they must be determined eligible for the assistance 
being requested from each program prior to entering into a program 
contract.

Proposal Requirements

    For consideration of a proposal, a potential partner must submit 
five copies of the written proposal and one electronic copy. Projects 
may not exceed 5 years in length. The proposal must be in the following 
format and contain the information set forth below:
    Proposal Format: There are no forms required or associated with the 
CCPI proposal process. Five copies of the proposal should be 
typewritten or printed on 8\1/2\ x 11 white 
paper. The text of the application should be in a font no smaller than 
12-point, with one-inch margins. One additional copy of the proposal 
shall be in a format such as Microsoft Word or PDF on one CD ROM. If 
submitting more than one project proposal, submit a separate complete 
document for each project. Consult the NRCS national CCPI Web site for 
an example of an acceptable CCPI proposal document at: http://
www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ccpi/. The entire project proposal may not 
exceed 12 pages in length including summary, maps, reference materials, 
and related reports.

Proposal Summary

    The basic format for the CCPI proposal is a narrative written 
response to the questions and information requested in this notice. The 
proposal must include the following:
    (1) Proposal Cover and Summary: The first two pages of the proposal 
must include:
    (a) Project Title.
    (b) Project director/manager name, telephone number, and e-mail 
address.
    (c) Name of lead partner entity submitting proposal and other 
collaborating partners.
    (d) Mailing address and telephone numbers for lead partner 
submitting proposal.
    (e) Short general description/summary of project and description of 
resource issues to be addressed. Identify the specific natural resource 
concerns to be addressed.
    (f) List of approved FOTG conservation practices, enhancements, and 
conservation activity plans that will be used to address those resource 
concerns.
    (g) Specify the geographic location: State; county(s); 
congressional districts; and whether proposal is a national multi-State 
or within-State proposal. Include a general location map.
    (h) Proposed project start and end dates (not to exceed a period of 
5 years).
    (i) Total amount of CCPI financial assistance being requested for 
project.
    (2) Project Natural Resource Objectives and Actions:
    The proposal must include the project objectives and the natural 
resource concerns that will be addressed. A complete list of NRCS 
approved natural resource concerns may be found on the CCPI Web site 
at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ccpi/.
    (a) Identify and provide detail about the natural resource 
concern(s) to be addressed and how the proposal objectives will address 
those concerns. Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, 
results-oriented, and include a timeline for completion.
    (b) For each objective, identify the actions to be completed to 
achieve the objective and to address the identified natural resource 
concern. Note which actions are to be addressed through this project 
using NRCS program assistance and which are being addressed through 
alternate non-Federal funding sources or other resources provided.
    (3) Detailed Proposal Criteria:
    Potential partners must fully describe their project and 
demonstrate their history of working with agricultural producers to 
address resource issues. Information provided in the proposal must 
include:
    (a) A description of the partner or partners' history of working 
with agricultural producers to address the conservation objectives to 
be achieved.
    (b) A detailed description of the geographic area covered by the 
proposal, conservation priorities in the area, conservation objectives 
to be achieved, lands to be treated, and the expected level of 
participation by producers.
    (1) Include a detailed map showing the project area. Describe the 
location and size of the proposed project area. Are the size and scope 
of the project and the proposed practices to address resource concerns 
reasonable and achievable?
    (2) Outline on the maps the areas which need conservation treatment 
and identify the number of acres involved. What kinds of conservation 
practices or enhancements needed to treat priority resource concerns in 
each area? Are specific areas or conservation practices prioritized in 
the project area so they will best address specific resource concerns? 
Which priority areas need to be addressed first?
    (c) A description of how the partner(s) will collaborate to achieve 
the objectives of the agreement and the roles, responsibilities, and 
capabilities of the partner(s). Proposals that include resources from 
other than the submitter of the proposal must include a letter or other 
documentation from the other partners confirming this commitment of 
resources. Proposals that demonstrate efforts to collaborate with other 
partners and producers are likely to provide increased environmental 
benefits, meet the objectives of CCPI, and receive higher ranking 
consideration in the evaluation process.
    (d) A description of the project duration which cannot exceed 5 
years in length, plan of action, and project implementation schedule 
that details when the potential partner anticipates finishing the 
project and submitting a final report.
    (e) A description of the resources (financial and technical 
assistance) requested from each of the applicable NRCS programs (EQIP, 
WHIP, and CSP) and the non-Federal resources provided by the partner 
that will be leveraged by the Federal contribution. A primary intent of 
CCPI is to leverage other non-Federal resources along with NRCS program 
resources to achieve project objectives. The partner is not required to 
provide financial or technical resources (match) toward the project; 
however, proposals that include or offer non-Federal resources will be 
given higher priority through the evaluation process. Partners need to 
clearly state, by project objective, how they intend to leverage 
Federal funds along with partner resources. The funding and time 
contribution by agricultural producers to implement agreed-to 
conservation practices in program contracts may not be considered any 
part of a match from the potential partner for purposes of CCPI. One 
purpose of CCPI is to leverage non-Federal resources from partners 
above and beyond those contributions made by individual producers.
    (f) A description of the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and 
reporting on progress made toward achieving the objectives of the 
agreement. Priority will be given to projects where the partner can 
provide resources or services or conduct activities to monitor and 
evaluate effects of conservation practices and activities implemented 
through the project.
    (g) Identify potential criteria to be used by NRCS to prioritize 
and rank agricultural producers' CCPI applications in the project area. 
Potential partners should collaborate with NRCS in the State where the

[[Page 18479]]

project is proposed to develop meaningful criteria that NRCS can use to 
evaluate and rank producer program applications. For approved projects, 
this joint effort will help NRCS select producer applications which 
will best accomplish the projects' intended conservation goals and 
address priority resource issues identified by the partner in the 
proposal. Additional information regarding the process NRCS uses to 
evaluate and rank individual producer applications is found in each of 
the authorized programs' regulations. Proposals which include specific 
ranking criteria developed in collaboration with NRCS may receive 
higher consideration in the evaluation process. Additional guidance and 
assistance to develop appropriate criteria may be obtained from State 
NRCS office where the project will be located.
    (h) An estimate of the percentage of producers, including 
nonindustrial private forest landowners, in the project area that may 
participate in the project along with an estimate of the total number 
of producers located in the project area. Producer participation is a 
requirement for delivery of CCPI program benefits. How will the partner 
encourage participation to guarantee success of the project? Does the 
project include any tribal producers, beginning farmers or ranchers, 
socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, or limited resource farmers 
or ranchers? If so, how many are expected to participate? Are there 
groups of producers who may submit joint applications to address 
resource issues of common interest and need?
    (i) A listing and description of the conservation practices, 
conservation activity plans, enhancements, and partner activities to be 
implemented during the project timeframe and the general sequence of 
implementation of the project. Also address technical assistance 
efforts that will be made by the partner and those that the partner 
requests NRCS implement using eligible approved conservation practices, 
enhancements, and project financial assistance funding. In this 
section, list all the NRCS conservation practices and enhancements the 
partner wishes NRCS to offer to producers through the CCPI project. 
Information about approved NRCS practices is found in the FOTG at: 
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/efotg/ and descriptions of practices 
at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/standards/. For each 
conservation practice, estimate the amount of practice extent (feet, 
acres, number, etc.) the partner expects producers to implement each 
fiscal year during the life of the project and the amount of financial 
assistance requested to support implementation of each practice through 
producer contracts. Information on eligible enhancements can be found 
at the CSP Web site at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html. Indicate whether the project will address regulatory 
compliance and any other outcomes that partner expects to complete 
during the project period. Describe any activities that are innovative 
or include outcome-based performance measures implemented by the 
partner.
    (j) A description of the amount of CPPI financial assistance funds 
needed annually for producer contracts that will be used to implement 
the conservation practices and enhancements identified in previous 
sections. This section of the proposal must include the total amount of 
financial assistance funds requested for each fiscal year of the 
project (for multi-State projects, provide the funds or acres by State 
as appropriate) to be made available for producer contracts and cost-
share agreements.
    (k) A description of any requested policy adjustments, by program, 
with an explanation of why the adjustment is needed in order to achieve 
the objectives of the project. If a partner is requesting specific 
program flexibilities that depend on detailed participant or project 
information, the proposal must provide the needed information. Partners 
should contact their State Conservationist, or designee, to determine 
the specific information that may be required.
    (l) A description of how the partner will provide for outreach to 
beginning farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, 
socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes.
    (m) A description of how the proposal's objectives may provide 
additional benefits to address renewable energy production, energy 
conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating 
climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration, if 
applicable.
    (4) State Conservationist Letter of Review:
    Potential partners must include a copy of the letter showing that 
the written proposal was sent to the appropriate State 
Conservationist(s). If a project is multi-State in scope, all State 
Conservationists in the proposed project area must be sent the proposal 
for review. A list of NRCS State Conservationists, addresses, and phone 
numbers is included as an attachment at the end of this notice. The 
State Conservationist(s) will review the proposal to address:
    (a) Potential duplication of efforts with other projects or 
existing programs.
    (b) Adherence to, and consistency with, program regulation 
including requirements related to land and producer eligibility and use 
of approved NRCS resource concerns and conservation practices, 
enhancements, and other program requirements.
    (c) Expected benefits for project implementation in their State(s).
    (d) Other issues or concerns the State Conservationist is aware of 
that should be considered by the Chief.
    (e) A general recommendation for support or denial of project 
approval.
    State Conservationists must submit letters of review to Gregory K. 
Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division no later than 
10 calendar days after the deadline for proposal submission. Prior to 
submission of the proposal, potential partners are strongly encouraged 
to consult with the appropriate State Conservationist(s) during 
proposal development to obtain guidance as to appropriate resource 
concerns to address conservation practices needed and other details of 
the project proposal. All CCPI proposals become the property of NRCS 
for use in the administration of the program, may be filed or disposed 
of by the agency, and will not be returned to the partner. Once 
proposals have been submitted to the agency for review and ranking, 
there will be no further opportunity to change or re-submit the 
proposal document.

Acknowledgement of Submission and Notifications

    Partners whose proposals have been selected will receive a letter 
of official notification. Upon notification of selection, the partner 
should contact the State Conservationist listed in the letter to 
develop the required partnership agreement and other project 
implementation requirements. Potential partners should note that, 
depending upon available funding and agency priorities, NRCS may offer 
a reduced amount of program financial assistance from what was 
requested in the proposal. Applicants of CCPI proposals not selected 
will be notified by official letter.

Withdrawal of Proposals

    Partner proposals may be withdrawn by written notice to the 
Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division at any time prior to 
selection.

Ranking Considerations

    The Chief or designee will evaluate proposals using a national 
competitive

[[Page 18480]]

process. A higher priority may be given to proposals that:
    (a) Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or 
managing working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands 
included in the proposed project area;
    (b) Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical 
resources and coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts;
    (c) Deliver high percentages of applied conservation practices to 
address water quality, water conservation, or State, regional, or 
national conservation initiatives;
    (d) Provide innovation in approved conservation practices, 
conservation methods, and delivery, including outcome-based performance 
measures and methods;
    (e) Complete the application of the conservation practices and 
activities on all of the covered program contracts or cost-share 
agreements in 5 years or less;
    (f) Assist the participants in meeting local, State, and Federal 
regulatory requirements;
    (g) Provide for monitoring and evaluation of conservation 
practices, enhancements, and activities;
    (h) Provide for matching financial funds or technical assistance to 
assist participants with the implementation of their EQIP and CSP 
contracts and WHIP cost-share agreements;
    (i) Further the Nation's efforts with renewable energy production, 
energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, 
facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon 
sequestration;
    (j) Provide for outreach to, and participation of, beginning 
farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, 
limited resource farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes within the 
proposed project area; and
    (k) Identify other factors and criteria which best achieve the 
purposes of CCPI.

Partnership Agreements

    Upon selection and approval, NRCS will enter into a partnership 
agreement with the partner. The partnership agreement will not obligate 
funds, but will address:
    (a) The role of the partner;
    (b) The role of NRCS;
    (c) The responsibilities of the partner as it relates to the 
monitoring and evaluation;
    (d) The frequency and duration of monitoring and evaluation to be 
completed by the partner;
    (e) The format and frequency of reports (semi-annual, annual, and 
final) required as a condition of the partnership agreement;
    (f) Budget which includes other funding sources (if applicable) for 
financial and technical assistance;
    (g) The specified project schedule and timeframe; and
    (h) Other requirements deemed necessary by NRCS to further the 
purposes of the CCPI project.
    Once a proposal is selected, the partnership agreement is signed, 
and subject to the availability of funding, NRCS begins entering into 
EQIP and CSP contracts or WHIP cost-share agreements directly with 
eligible producers including nonindustrial private forest landowners 
who are participating in the project and located in the approved 
geographic area. Producer applicants must meet all program eligibility 
requirements. The program used will depend upon the type of 
conservation practices to be applied. Participants may have multiple 
contracts through CCPI if more than one covered program is needed to 
accomplish the project objectives.

Waiver Authority

    To assist in the implementation of CCPI projects through EQIP, CSP, 
or WHIP, the Chief may waive the applicability of the Adjusted Gross 
Income Limitation, on a case-by-case basis in accordance with 7 CFR 
1400.500(d)(2). Such waiver requests must be submitted in writing from 
the program applicant, addressed to the Chief, and submitted through 
the local designated conservationist.

    Signed the 5th day of April, 2010, in Washington, DC.
Dave White,
Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation and Chief, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service.

State Conservationists

AL--William E. Puckett, 3381 Skyway Drive, P.O. Box 311, Auburn, 
Alabama 36830, Phone: 334/887-4500, Fax: 334/887-4552, (V) 9027-4557, 
(E) william.puckett@al.usda.gov
AK--Robert Jones, 800 West Evergreen, Atrium Building, Suite 100, 
Palmer, Alaska 99645-6539, Phone: 907/761-7760, Fax: 907/761-7790, (V) 
9035-2227, (E) robert.jones@ak.nrcs.usda.gov
AZ--David L. McKay, 230 North First Avenue, Suite 509, Phoenix, Arizona 
85003-1706, Phone: 602/280-8801, Fax: 602/280-8809 or 8805, (V) 9011-
8810, (E) david.mckay@az.nrcs.usda.gov
AR--Michael E. Sullivan, Federal Building, Room 3416, 700 West Capitol 
Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-3228, Phone: 501/301-3100, Fax: 
501/301-3194, (V) 9044-3110, (E) michael.sullivan@ar.usda.gov
CA--Lincoln E. (Ed) Burton, 430 G Street, Suite 4164, Davis, California 
95616-4164, Phone: 530/792-5600, Fax: 530/792-5790, (V) 9040-5601, (E) 
ed.burton@ca.usda.gov
CO--Allen Green, 655 Parfet Street, Room E200C, Lakewood, Colorado 
80215-5521, Phone: 720-544-2810, Fax: 720-544-2965, (V) 9059-2802, (E) 
allen.green@co.usda.gov
CT--Douglas Zehner, 344 Merrow Road, Suite A, Tolland, Connecticut 
06084, Phone: 860/871-4011, Fax: 860/871-4054, (V) 9013-114, (E) 
douglas.zehner@ct.usda.gov
DE--Russell Morgan, 1221 College Park Drive, Suite 100, Dover, Delaware 
19904-8713, Phone: 302/678-4160, Fax: 302/678-0843, (V) 9060-199, (E) 
russell.morgan@de.usda.gov
FL--Carlos Suarez, 2614 NW. 43rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606-
6611 or P.O. Box 141510, Gainesville, FL 32614, Phone: 352/338-9500, 
Fax: 352/338-9574, (V) 9012-3501, (E) carlos.suarez@fl.usda.gov
GA--James Tillman, Federal Building, Stop 200, 355 East Hancock Avenue, 
Athens, Georgia 30601-2769, Phone: 706/546-2272, Fax: 706/546-2120, (V) 
9021-2082, (E) james.tillman@ga.usda.gov
GU--Lawrence T. Yamamoto, Director, Pacific Basin Area, FHB Building, 
Suite 301, 400 Route 8, Mongmong, Guam 96910, Phone: 671/472-7490, Fax: 
671/472-7288, (V) 9000-822-1265, (E) larry.yamamoto@pb.usda.gov
HI--Lawrence T. Yamamoto
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 4-118, P.O. Box 50004, Honolulu, Hawaii 
96850-0002, Phone: 808/541-2600 x107, Fax: 808/541-1335, (V) 9042-108, 
(E) larry.yamamoto@hi.nrcs.usda.gov
ID--Jeffrey B. Burwell, 9173 West Barnes Drive, Suite C, Boise, Idaho 
83709, Phone: 208/378-5700, Fax: 208/378-5735, (V) 9000-291-4551, (E) 
jeffrey.burwell@id.usda.gov
IL--William J. Gradle, 2118 W. Park Court, Champaign, Illinois 61821, 
Phone: 217/353-6601, Fax: 217/353-6676, (V) 9057-6601, (E) 
bill.gradle@il.usda.gov
IN--Jane E. Hardisty, 6013 Lakeside Blvd., Indianapolis, Indiana 46278-
2933, Phone: 317/290-3200, Fax: 317/290-3225, (V) 9029-301, (E) 
jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov
IA--Richard Sims, 693 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Suite 693, 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2180, Phone: 515/284-6655, Fax: 515/284-4394, 
(V) 9000-945-1065, (E) richard.sims@ia.usda.gov

[[Page 18481]]

KS--Kasey Taylor, Acting, Eric B. Banks, 760 South Broadway, Salina, 
Kansas 67401-4642, Phone: 785/823-4565, Fax: 785/452-3369, (V) 9000-
345-8770, (E) eric.banks@ks.usda.gov
KY--Tom Perrin, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 110, Lexington, Kentucky 
40503-5479, Phone: 859/224-7350, Fax: 859/224-7399, (V) 9032-7390, (E) 
tom.perrin@ky.usda.gov
LA--Kevin D. Norton, 3737 Government Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 
71302, Phone: 318/473-7751, Fax: 318/473-7626, (V) 9000-965-1635, (E) 
kevin.norton@la.usda.gov
ME--Juan Hernandez, 967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 3, Bangor, 
Maine 04401, Phone: 207/990-9100, ext. 3, Fax: 207/990-9599, 
(V) 9000-757-1028, (E) juan.hernandez@me.usda.gov
MD--Jon F. Hall, John Hanson Business Center, 339 Busch's Frontage 
Road, Suite 301, Annapolis, Maryland 21401-5534, Phone: 410/757-0861 
x315, Fax: 410/757-0687, (V) 9053-315, (E) jon.hall@md.usda.gov
MA--Christine Clarke, 451 West Street, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002-
2995, Phone: 413/253-4351, Fax: 413/253-4375, (V) 9047-4352, (E) 
Christine.clarke@ma.usda.gov
MI--Salvador Salinas, Acting, Garry D. Lee, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 
250, East Lansing, Michigan 48823-6350, Phone: 517/324-5270, Fax: 517/
324-5171, (V) 9048-5277, (E) garry.lee@mi.usda.gov
MN--Jennifer Heglund, Acting, 375 Jackson Street, Suite 600, St. Paul, 
Minnesota 55101-1854, Phone: 651/602-7900, Fax: 651/602-7913 or 7914, 
(V) 9041-7854, (E) Jennifer.heglund@mn.usda.gov
MS--Homer Wilkes, Suite 1321, Federal Building, 100 West Capitol 
Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39269-1399, Phone: 601/965-5205, Fax: 601/
965-4940, (V) 9000-965-2065, (E) homer.wilkes@ms.nrcs.usda.gov
MO--J.R. Flores, Parkade Center, Suite 250, 601 Business Loop 70 West, 
Columbia, Missouri 65203-2546, Phone: 573/876-0901, Fax: 573/876-9439, 
(V) 9034-1367, (E) jr.flores@mo.usda.gov
MT--Joyce Swartzendruber, Federal Building, Room 443, 10 East Babcock 
Street, Bozeman, Montana 59715-4704, Phone: 406/587-6813, Fax: 406/587-
6761, (V) 9056-6813, (E) joyce.swartzendruber@mt.usda.gov
NE--Stephen K. Chick, Federal Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial Mall, 
North, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-3866, Phone: 402/437-5300, Fax: 402/437-
5327, (V) 9026-4103, (E) steve.chick@ne.usda.gov
NV--Bruce Petersen, 5301 Longley Lane, Building F, Suite 201, Reno, 
Nevada 89511-1805, Phone: 775/857-8500, Fax: 775/857-8524, (V) 9000-
784-1390, (E) bruce.petersen@nv.usda.gov
NH--George Cleek, Federal Building, 2 Madbury Road, Durham, New 
Hampshire 03824-2043, Phone: 603/868-7581 ext. 125, Fax: 603/868-5301, 
(V) 9000-868-8035, (E)