Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative-Chesapeake Bay Watershed, 78667-78673 [2010-31648]

Download as PDF 78667 Notices Federal Register Vol. 75, No. 241 Thursday, December 16, 2010 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative—Chesapeake Bay Watershed Commodity Credit Corporation and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice of Request for proposals. The purpose of this request for proposals is to solicit proposals from potential partner applicants who seek to enter into partnership agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative— Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CCPI–CBW) in order to provide assistance to producers enrolled in a conservation program. The NRCS is the administrator of CCPI–CBW. CCPI–CBW was established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act). CCPI–CBW is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of certain conservation programs, combined with resources from eligible partners who have entered into partnership agreements with NRCS, to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands. Through fiscal year (FY) 2011 CCPI–CBW, NRCS will make Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) funds available to eligible producers in approved CCPI–CBW project areas. Special priority consideration will be given to applications/projects in the river basins of the Patuxent, Potomac (North and South), Shenandoah, and Susquehanna (see attached map). In addition, priority will be given to applications/projects in the NRCS Chesapeake Bay Watershed priority areas (see attached map). srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 Effective Date: The notice of request is effective December 16, 2010. Proposals must be received on or before January 31, 2011. ADDRESSES: Applicants are highly encouraged to submit proposals electronically to cbwi@wdc.usda.gov. Identify the proposal is for CCPI–CBW. Paper proposals may be submitted via courier service to Dana D. York, Director, Watershed and Landscape Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6015 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. CCPI–CBW proposal should be marked on the envelope. Do not send submissions via registered or certified mail. Do not send the same proposal to both the e-mail and mailing address; use only one method to submit a proposal. If submitting more than one project proposal, submit each one separately. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dana D. York, Director, Watershed and Landscape Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720–8851; Fax: (202) 720–2998; E-mail: cbwi@wdc.usda.gov. 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). DATES: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative—Chesapeake Bay Watershed Overview of the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative— Chesapeake Bay Watershed The CCPI–CBW is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of certain conservation programs, combined with resources from eligible partners, to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands in order to enhance conservation outcomes and achieve resource conservation objectives. The functions of CCPI–CBW are described in two parts: CCPI–CBW PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 partners and CCPI–CBW program participants. CCPI–CBW Partners Under CCPI–CBW, eligible potential partners may submit proposals addressing the criteria outlined in this request for proposals. Partners who may enter into partnership agreements with NRCS include federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of 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–CBW proposals. When Submitting a Proposal and Being a Partner Proposals will be evaluated in a competitive review process. NRCS will use the proposal ranking score along with other review commentary to select proposals for funding. After selection, the partners will enter into a partnership agreement with NRCS. The partnership agreement will not obligate funds, but will address: 1. The role of the partner; 2. The role of NRCS; 3. The responsibilities of the partner as it relates to the monitoring and evaluation; 4. The frequency and duration of monitoring and evaluation to be completed by the partner; 5. The format and frequency of reports (semi-annual, annual, and final) required as a condition of the partnership agreement; 6. Budget which includes other funding sources (if applicable) for financial and technical assistance; 7. The specified project schedule and timeframe; and 8. Other requirements deemed necessary by NRCS to further the purposes of the CCPI–CBW project. 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 program’s statutory and regulatory program authorities. An example of a program adjustment may E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 78668 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES be to expedite the applicable program ranking process in a situation where a partner has identified the producers approved to participate in the project. Another example of a program adjustment may include flexibility in payment rate, or using a single areawide plan of operations rather than individual plan of operations. An example of program authority that cannot be waived under the provision of CCPI–CBW flexibility includes program payment limits, maximum practice payment percentages, and participant eligibility requirements. Questions regarding proposed requests for CCPI– CBW flexibility may be directed to: CCPI@wdc.usda.gov. CCPI–CBW 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– CBW partnership agreement. However, if requested by a partner, the State Conservationist may consider developing a separate contribution agreement to provide funding for delivery of technical services to producers participating in an approved CCPI–CBW project. CCPI–CBW Program Participants Once the agency approves and announces the selected partner projects, eligible agricultural producers located within the approved project areas may apply directly to NRCS for funding through one or more of the following programs: EQIP and WHIP. The CCPI– CBW uses the funds, policies, and processes of these programs to deliver assistance to eligible producers to implement approved conservation practices, enhancements, and activities. Producers interested in applying must meet the eligibility requirements of the program for which they are applying. Individual applications from eligible producers will be evaluated and ranked to ensure that the producer applications selected for funding are most likely to achieve project objectives. Once applications are selected, the producers may enter into a contract or cost-share agreement with NRCS. Participants may enter into multiple program contracts through CCPI–CBW if more than one program is needed to accomplish the project objectives. During FY 2011, an objective of CCPI– CBW is to deliver EQIP and WHIP assistance to producers to achieve highpriority conservation objectives in geographic areas defined by the partner. Depending upon the program available in the project area, the assistance VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 provided enables eligible producers to implement conservation practices and enhancements, including the development and adoption of innovative conservation practices and management approaches. Availability of Funding Effective on the publication date of this notice, the CCC announces the availability of up to $3.5 million in EQIP and WHIP financial assistance for CCPI–CBW during FY 2011. Proposal Information Proposal Format It is highly recommended that the proposal be submitted via e-mail. Consult the NRCS national CCPI Web site for an example of an acceptable proposal document at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CCPI/. Do not submit other documents or letters of endorsement. The entire proposal may not exceed 12 pages in length including summary, maps, reference materials, and related reports. resources, a letter or other documentation from these partners confirming a commitment of resources is required. Partners need to clearly state, by project objective, how they intend to leverage Federal funds along with 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–CBW. 3. Project Objectives and Natural Resource Concerns: a. Identify and provide details about the project objectives. Objectives should be specific, measureable, achievable, and results-oriented. b. Identify and provide details about the natural resource concern(s) to be addressed in this project. Include in this description how the proposal objectives will address the listed resource concerns. Required Information Note: 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/. The proposal must include the following: 1. Proposal Cover Sheet and Summary (not to exceed two pages): a. Project Title. b. Project director/manager name, telephone number, and mailing and email addresses. c. Name and contact information for lead partner entity submitting the proposal. d. Name and contact information for other collaborating partners. e. Short summary of project including: i. Project start and end dates (not to exceed a period of 5 years); ii. Site map; iii. Project objectives and resource concerns to be addressed; and iv. Amount of CCPI–CBW financial assistance being requested by program. 2. Partner Background and Experience: a. A description of the partner or partners’ history of working with agricultural producers to address conservation priorities. b. A description of how the partner(s) will collaborate to achieve the objectives of the agreement. Include: i. The roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the partner(s); and ii. The financial or technical commitments of each of the partners and how they will be leveraged by the Federal contribution through EQIP or WHIP. If partners are not the submitter of the proposal and intend to commit 4. Project Description: a. A detailed description of the geographic area covered by the proposal including: i. Types of lands to be treated; ii. The location and size of the proposed project area; and iii. Twelve digit Hydrologic Unit Coordinates (12 digit HUCs). (Note: Contact the appropriate State Conservationist(s) serving the State(s) where the proposed project is located to obtain information on 12 digit HUCs. The State Conservationists contact information is at the end of this request for proposals). b. A detailed map showing the project area. Include on the map: i. Outlined areas which need conservation treatments; ii. What conservation treatments are needed in what areas; and iii. The order of priority for the different areas to be treated. c. A description of the project timeline. Include: i. Duration of the project, not to exceed 5 years in length; ii. Project implementation schedule that details when different objectives and conservation practices will be completed; iii. When partner and Federal resources will be used within the timeframe of the project. Include the total amount of financial assistance funds requested for each fiscal year of the project to be made available for producer contracts and cost-share PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices agreements (for multi-State projects, provide the funds or acres by State as appropriate). The proposal must request NRCS program funds for obligation in producer contracts during FY 2011 (October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011). Proposals which request funding starting after FY 2011 (September 30, 2011), will not be evaluated or considered during this funding cycle; and iv. When the final project report will be submitted. d. A description of the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on progress made toward achieving the objectives of the agreement. e. Identify potential criteria to be used by NRCS to prioritize and rank agricultural producers’ applications for EQIP and WHIP in the project area. Potential partners should collaborate with NRCS to develop meaningful criteria that NRCS can use to evaluate and rank producer’ program applications. This will ensure that applications which will best accomplish the project’s objectives will be selected. f. 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. Provide details such as how the partner will encourage producer participation; whether the project includes any tribal producers, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, or limited resource farmers or ranchers; and whether there are groups of producers who may submit joint applications to address resource issues of common interest and need. g. 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. Describe any activities that are innovative or include outcomebased performance measures implemented by the partner. Information about approved NRCS practice standards is found at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ standards/nhcp.html. For each conservation practice, estimate the amount of practice extent (feet, acres, number, etc.) the partner expects producers to implement and the amount of financial assistance requested to support implementation of each practice through producer contracts. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 h. Indicate whether the project will address regulatory compliance and any other outcomes that partner expects to complete during the project period. i. A detailed 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. j. 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. k. 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. Ranking Considerations The agency will evaluate proposals using a national competitive process. A higher priority may be given to proposals that: 1. Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or managing working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands included in the proposed project area; 2. Are in the river basins of the Patuxent, Potomac (North and South), Shenandoah, and Susquehanna; 3. Control erosion and reduce sediment and nutrient levels in ground and surface waters in designated 12 digit HUC priority watersheds (Note: Contact the appropriate State Conservationist(s) serving the State(s) where the proposed project is located to obtain information on 12 digit HUCs. The State Conservationist contact information is at the end of this request for proposals); 4. Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical resources; 5. Coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts; 6. Deliver high percentages of applied conservation practices to address water quality; water conservation; or State, regional, or national conservation initiatives; 7. Provide innovation in approved conservation practices, conservation methods, and delivery including outcome-based performance measures and methods; 8. 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; 9. Assist the participants in meeting local, State, and Federal regulatory requirements; PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78669 10. Provide for monitoring and evaluation of conservation practices, enhancements, and activities; 11. Provide for matching financial funds or technical assistance to assist participants with the implementation of their EQIP contracts and WHIP costshare agreements; 12. 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 13. Identify other factors and criteria which best achieve the purposes of CCPI–CBW. General CCPI–CBW Proposal Information State Conservationist Letter of Review Once a project proposal is received, the agency will provide a copy to the appropriate State Conservationist(s) for evaluation and ranking. The State Conservationist(s) will submit a letter of review to the NRCS National Headquarters to address: 1. Potential duplication of efforts with other projects or existing programs; 2. Adherence to, and consistency with, program regulations including requirements related to land and producer eligibility and use of approved NRCS resource concerns and conservation practices, enhancements, and other program requirements; 3. Expected benefits for project implementation in their State(s); 4. Other issues or concerns the State Conservationist is aware of that should be considered by the agency; and 5. A general recommendation for support or denial of project approval. Proposal Submission, Review, and Notification When submitting a proposal either by email or courier service, mark on the email or courier service envelope that the proposal is for CCPI–CBW. Your proposal must address, in sufficient detail, all the criteria outlined in the ‘‘Proposal Information’’ section of this notice. This will enable agency reviewers to understand your proposal’s priority resource concerns, objectives, and expected outcomes. State Conservationists are expected to provide, once requested, 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 E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 78670 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES developing a proposal. NRCS may not assist in writing or submission of any proposal. CCPI–CBW 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 resubmit the proposal. Incomplete proposals or 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. Partner proposals may be withdrawn by written notice to the Director, Watershed and Landscape Programs Division at any time prior to selection (see ‘‘Addresses’’ section in this notice). NRCS will review and evaluate the proposals based on the criteria set forth in the respective ‘‘Proposal Information’’ section of this notice for CCPI–CBW. Positive consideration will be given to proposals that thoroughly address the issues outlined in the respective ‘‘Ranking Considerations’’ section. Partners whose proposal is selected will receive a letter of official notification. Upon notification of selection, the partner should contact the appropriate State Conservationist to develop the required partnership VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 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. Partner submissions of proposals that were not selected will also be notified. Waiver Authority To assist in the implementation of CCPI–CBW projects, the NRCS Chief may waive the applicability of the Adjusted Gross Income Limitation in producer program contracts, on a caseby-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 this 9th day of December, 2010, in Washington, DC. Dave White, Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation and Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Addresses and phone number of NRCS State Conservationists in States having land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Delaware: Russell Morgan Suite 100, 1221 College Park Drive Dover, DE 19904–8713 Phone: (302) 678–4160 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Fax: (302) 678–0843 russell.morgan@de.usda.gov Maryland: Jon Hall John Hanson Business Center, Suite 301 339 Busch’s Frontage Road Annapolis, MD 21409–5543 Phone: (410) 757–0861 Ext. 315 Fax: (410) 757–6504 jon.hall@md.usda.gov New York: Astor Boozer Suite 354, 441 South Salina Street Syracuse, NY 13202–2450 Phone: (315) 477–6504 Fax: (315) 477–6560 astor.boozer@ny.usda.gov Pennsylvania: Denise Coleman Suite 340, One Credit Union Place Harrisburg, PA 17110–2993 Phone: (717) 237–2203 Fax: (717) 237–2238 denise.coleman@pa.usda.gov Virginia: Jack Bricker Culpeper Building, Suite 209 1606 Santa Rosa Road Richmond, VA 23229–5014 Phone: (804) 287–1691 Fax: (804) 287–1737 jack.bricker@va.usda.gov West Virginia: Kevin Wickey Room 301, 75 High Street Morgantown, WV 26505 Phone: (304) 284–7540 Fax: (304) 284–4839 kevin.wickey@wv.usda.gov BILLING CODE 3410–16–P E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 78671 EN16DE10.002</GPH> srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 EN16DE10.003</GPH> srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES 78672 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / Notices [FR Doc. 2010–31648 Filed 12–15–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–C DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Study To Assess the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation on Food Security in the Post-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Environment Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed collection. This is a new collection for the contract Assessing the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation on Food Security in the Post-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Environment. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before February 14, 2011. ADDRESSES: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed data collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has 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 assumptions that were 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 are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Steven Carlson, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Steven Carlson at 703–305–2576 or via e-mail to Steve.Carlson@fns.usda.gov. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instruction for submitting comments electronically. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:00 Dec 15, 2010 Jkt 223001 All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at Room 1014, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will also be a matter of public record. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Steven Carlson on 703–305–2017. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Study To Assess the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation on Food Security in the Post-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Environment. OMB Number: [0584–NEW.] Expiration Date: [Not Yet Assigned.] Type of Request: New collection. Abstract: The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the food and nutrition assistance programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SNAP, the new name of the Food Stamp Program, remains the cornerstone of the Nation’s nutrition assistance safety net. SNAP provides nutrition assistance benefits and nutrition education services to low-income individuals and families in an effort to reduce hunger and improve the health and well-being of low-income people and families. The implementation of ARRA presents a unique opportunity to measure the impact of increased benefits on food insecurity. For decades, policy makers, advocates, and those implementing the program have hypothesized that increasing benefit amounts would reduce food insecurity and, perhaps, draw more individuals into the program who may have been reticent to apply. The ARRA increases the maximum allotments of SNAP participants by 13.6 percent, eases eligibility requirements for childless adults without jobs, and provides additional funding to State agencies responsible for administering the program. The natural experiment offered by the ARRA’s benefit increase will be used to measure its impact on reducing food insecurity and hunger. This collection notice pertains to this effort, The Study To Assess the Effect of SNAP Participation on Food Security in the Post-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Environment, which is funded by the FNS to determine whether and to what extent food insecurity declines with SNAP PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78673 participation in a post-ARRA environment. The study has several objectives: (1) Determine how, if at all, the prevalence of household food insecurity and amount of food expenditures vary with SNAP participation; (2) determine how, if at all, the observed results vary by key household characteristics and circumstances; and (3) determine what factors distinguish between food secure and food insecure SNAP households with children. To meet the first two objectives, FNS will collect information from two representative samples: One from new SNAP households and one from SNAP households who in their current spell have participated in the program 6–7 months. The new SNAP households will be interviewed twice—first, the baseline survey will occur soon after they have been approved to receive benefits and the second, the follow-up survey, will occur approximately 6–7 months later for those new entrants who continue to participate in the SNAP program. Among households participating in SNAP at the time of the baseline survey, samples of new entrants and ongoing participants will be chosen for individual in-depth in-person interviews. The purpose of these interviews is to supplement the quantitative analysis of the household interview data by developing tentative generalizations and hypotheses about the causes and results of food insecurity. SNAP participants from 30 states will be sampled via a two-stage sampling process where the states are the first stage and sampled with probability proportional to size based on the number of SNAP participant households in each state. Within the selected states that agree to participate, SNAP participants will be randomly sampled. To ensure sufficient sample for the follow-up interviews, an oversample will be drawn of the new SNAP households for the baseline survey. Affected Public: Individuals/ Household. Type of Respondents: SNAP Participants. Estimated Number of Respondents: Out of the estimated 17,100 individuals initially sampled, 1,710 will not be contacted due to invalid or incomplete contact information. The remaining 15,390 individuals in a total of 30 states are expected to be contacted (see table below). Of those, 3,770 will refuse or be determined to be ineligible. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1 to 2 responses. 7,529 respondents will have participated in E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 241 (Thursday, December 16, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78667-78673]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31648]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 241 / Thursday, December 16, 2010 / 
Notices

[[Page 78667]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative--Chesapeake Bay 
Watershed

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

ACTION: Notice of Request for proposals.

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

SUMMARY: The purpose of this request for proposals is to solicit 
proposals from potential partner applicants who seek to enter into 
partnership agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service 
(NRCS) through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative--
Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CCPI-CBW) in order to provide assistance to 
producers enrolled in a conservation program. The NRCS is the 
administrator of CCPI-CBW.
    CCPI-CBW was established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 
of 2008 (2008 Act). CCPI-CBW is a voluntary conservation initiative 
that enables the use of certain conservation programs, combined with 
resources from eligible partners who have entered into partnership 
agreements with NRCS, to provide financial and technical assistance to 
owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest 
lands. Through fiscal year (FY) 2011 CCPI-CBW, NRCS will make 
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat 
Incentive Program (WHIP) funds available to eligible producers in 
approved CCPI-CBW project areas. Special priority consideration will be 
given to applications/projects in the river basins of the Patuxent, 
Potomac (North and South), Shenandoah, and Susquehanna (see attached 
map). In addition, priority will be given to applications/projects in 
the NRCS Chesapeake Bay Watershed priority areas (see attached map).

DATES: Effective Date: The notice of request is effective December 16, 
2010. Proposals must be received on or before January 31, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Applicants are highly encouraged to submit proposals 
electronically to cbwi@wdc.usda.gov. Identify the proposal is for CCPI-
CBW.
    Paper proposals may be submitted via courier service to Dana D. 
York, Director, Watershed and Landscape Programs Division, Department 
of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6015 South Building, Washington, DC 
20250. CCPI-CBW proposal should be marked on the envelope.
    Do not send submissions via registered or certified mail. Do not 
send the same proposal to both the e-mail and mailing address; use only 
one method to submit a proposal. If submitting more than one project 
proposal, submit each one separately.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dana D. York, Director, Watershed and 
Landscape Programs Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 
5239 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720-8851; 
Fax: (202) 720-2998; E-mail: cbwi@wdc.usda.gov.
    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: 

The Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative--Chesapeake Bay 
Watershed

Overview of the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative--
Chesapeake Bay Watershed

    The CCPI-CBW is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables 
the use of certain conservation programs, combined with resources from 
eligible partners, to provide financial and technical assistance to 
owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest 
lands in order to enhance conservation outcomes and achieve resource 
conservation objectives. The functions of CCPI-CBW are described in two 
parts: CCPI-CBW partners and CCPI-CBW program participants.
CCPI-CBW Partners
    Under CCPI-CBW, eligible potential partners may submit proposals 
addressing the criteria outlined in this request for proposals. 
Partners who may enter into partnership agreements with NRCS include 
federally recognized Indian tribes, State and local units of 
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-CBW 
proposals.
When Submitting a Proposal and Being a Partner
    Proposals will be evaluated in a competitive review process. NRCS 
will use the proposal ranking score along with other review commentary 
to select proposals for funding. After selection, the partners will 
enter into a partnership agreement with NRCS. The partnership agreement 
will not obligate funds, but will address:
    1. The role of the partner;
    2. The role of NRCS;
    3. The responsibilities of the partner as it relates to the 
monitoring and evaluation;
    4. The frequency and duration of monitoring and evaluation to be 
completed by the partner;
    5. The format and frequency of reports (semi-annual, annual, and 
final) required as a condition of the partnership agreement;
    6. Budget which includes other funding sources (if applicable) for 
financial and technical assistance;
    7. The specified project schedule and timeframe; and
    8. Other requirements deemed necessary by NRCS to further the 
purposes of the CCPI-CBW project.
    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 program's statutory 
and regulatory program authorities. An example of a program adjustment 
may

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be to expedite the applicable program ranking process in a situation 
where a partner has identified the producers approved to participate in 
the project. Another example of a program adjustment may include 
flexibility in payment rate, or using a single area-wide plan of 
operations rather than individual plan of operations. An example of 
program authority that cannot be waived under the provision of CCPI-CBW 
flexibility includes program payment limits, maximum practice payment 
percentages, and participant eligibility requirements. Questions 
regarding proposed requests for CCPI-CBW flexibility may be directed 
to: CCPI@wdc.usda.gov.
    CCPI-CBW 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-CBW partnership 
agreement. However, if requested by a partner, the State 
Conservationist may consider developing a separate contribution 
agreement to provide funding for delivery of technical services to 
producers participating in an approved CCPI-CBW project.
CCPI-CBW Program Participants
    Once the agency approves and announces the selected partner 
projects, eligible agricultural producers located within the approved 
project areas may apply directly to NRCS for funding through one or 
more of the following programs: EQIP and WHIP. The CCPI-CBW uses the 
funds, policies, and processes of these programs to deliver assistance 
to eligible producers to implement approved conservation practices, 
enhancements, and activities.
    Producers interested in applying must meet the eligibility 
requirements of the program for which they are applying. Individual 
applications from eligible producers will be evaluated and ranked to 
ensure that the producer applications selected for funding are most 
likely to achieve project objectives. Once applications are selected, 
the producers may enter into a contract or cost-share agreement with 
NRCS. Participants may enter into multiple program contracts through 
CCPI-CBW if more than one program is needed to accomplish the project 
objectives.
    During FY 2011, an objective of CCPI-CBW is to deliver EQIP and 
WHIP assistance to producers to achieve high-priority conservation 
objectives in geographic areas defined by the partner. Depending upon 
the program available in the project area, the assistance provided 
enables eligible producers to implement conservation practices and 
enhancements, including the development and adoption of innovative 
conservation practices and management approaches.

Availability of Funding

    Effective on the publication date of this notice, the CCC announces 
the availability of up to $3.5 million in EQIP and WHIP financial 
assistance for CCPI-CBW during FY 2011.

Proposal Information

Proposal Format
    It is highly recommended that the proposal be submitted via e-mail. 
Consult the NRCS national CCPI Web site for an example of an acceptable 
proposal document at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CCPI/. Do not 
submit other documents or letters of endorsement. The entire proposal 
may not exceed 12 pages in length including summary, maps, reference 
materials, and related reports.
Required Information
    The proposal must include the following:
    1. Proposal Cover Sheet and Summary (not to exceed two pages):
    a. Project Title.
    b. Project director/manager name, telephone number, and mailing and 
e-mail addresses.
    c. Name and contact information for lead partner entity submitting 
the proposal.
    d. Name and contact information for other collaborating partners.
    e. Short summary of project including:
    i. Project start and end dates (not to exceed a period of 5 years);
    ii. Site map;
    iii. Project objectives and resource concerns to be addressed; and
    iv. Amount of CCPI-CBW financial assistance being requested by 
program.
    2. Partner Background and Experience:
    a. A description of the partner or partners' history of working 
with agricultural producers to address conservation priorities.
    b. A description of how the partner(s) will collaborate to achieve 
the objectives of the agreement. Include:
    i. The roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the partner(s); 
and
    ii. The financial or technical commitments of each of the partners 
and how they will be leveraged by the Federal contribution through EQIP 
or WHIP. If partners are not the submitter of the proposal and intend 
to commit resources, a letter or other documentation from these 
partners confirming a commitment of resources is required. Partners 
need to clearly state, by project objective, how they intend to 
leverage Federal funds along with 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-CBW.
    3. Project Objectives and Natural Resource Concerns:
    a. Identify and provide details about the project objectives. 
Objectives should be specific, measureable, achievable, and results-
oriented.
    b. Identify and provide details about the natural resource 
concern(s) to be addressed in this project. Include in this description 
how the proposal objectives will address the listed resource concerns.

    Note: 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/.

    4. Project Description:
    a. A detailed description of the geographic area covered by the 
proposal including:
    i. Types of lands to be treated;
    ii. The location and size of the proposed project area; and
    iii. Twelve digit Hydrologic Unit Coordinates (12 digit HUCs). 
(Note: Contact the appropriate State Conservationist(s) serving the 
State(s) where the proposed project is located to obtain information on 
12 digit HUCs. The State Conservationists contact information is at the 
end of this request for proposals).
    b. A detailed map showing the project area. Include on the map:
    i. Outlined areas which need conservation treatments;
    ii. What conservation treatments are needed in what areas; and
    iii. The order of priority for the different areas to be treated.
    c. A description of the project timeline. Include:
    i. Duration of the project, not to exceed 5 years in length;
    ii. Project implementation schedule that details when different 
objectives and conservation practices will be completed;
    iii. When partner and Federal resources will be used within the 
timeframe of the project. Include the total amount of financial 
assistance funds requested for each fiscal year of the project to be 
made available for producer contracts and cost-share

[[Page 78669]]

agreements (for multi-State projects, provide the funds or acres by 
State as appropriate). The proposal must request NRCS program funds for 
obligation in producer contracts during FY 2011 (October 1, 2010 to 
September 30, 2011). Proposals which request funding starting after FY 
2011 (September 30, 2011), will not be evaluated or considered during 
this funding cycle; and
    iv. When the final project report will be submitted.
    d. A description of the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and 
reporting on progress made toward achieving the objectives of the 
agreement.
    e. Identify potential criteria to be used by NRCS to prioritize and 
rank agricultural producers' applications for EQIP and WHIP in the 
project area. Potential partners should collaborate with NRCS to 
develop meaningful criteria that NRCS can use to evaluate and rank 
producer' program applications. This will ensure that applications 
which will best accomplish the project's objectives will be selected.
    f. 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. Provide details such as how 
the partner will encourage producer participation; whether the project 
includes any tribal producers, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially 
disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, or limited resource farmers or 
ranchers; and whether there are groups of producers who may submit 
joint applications to address resource issues of common interest and 
need.
    g. 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. Describe any activities that 
are innovative or include outcome-based performance measures 
implemented by the partner. Information about approved NRCS practice 
standards is found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/standards/nhcp.html. For each conservation practice, estimate the amount of 
practice extent (feet, acres, number, etc.) the partner expects 
producers to implement and the amount of financial assistance requested 
to support implementation of each practice through producer contracts.
    h. Indicate whether the project will address regulatory compliance 
and any other outcomes that partner expects to complete during the 
project period.
    i. A detailed 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.
    j. 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.
    k. 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.

Ranking Considerations

    The agency will evaluate proposals using a national competitive 
process. A higher priority may be given to proposals that:
    1. Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or managing 
working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands included in 
the proposed project area;
    2. Are in the river basins of the Patuxent, Potomac (North and 
South), Shenandoah, and Susquehanna;
    3. Control erosion and reduce sediment and nutrient levels in 
ground and surface waters in designated 12 digit HUC priority 
watersheds (Note: Contact the appropriate State Conservationist(s) 
serving the State(s) where the proposed project is located to obtain 
information on 12 digit HUCs. The State Conservationist contact 
information is at the end of this request for proposals);
    4. Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical 
resources;
    5. Coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts;
    6. Deliver high percentages of applied conservation practices to 
address water quality; water conservation; or State, regional, or 
national conservation initiatives;
    7. Provide innovation in approved conservation practices, 
conservation methods, and delivery including outcome-based performance 
measures and methods;
    8. 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;
    9. Assist the participants in meeting local, State, and Federal 
regulatory requirements;
    10. Provide for monitoring and evaluation of conservation 
practices, enhancements, and activities;
    11. Provide for matching financial funds or technical assistance to 
assist participants with the implementation of their EQIP contracts and 
WHIP cost-share agreements;
    12. 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
    13. Identify other factors and criteria which best achieve the 
purposes of CCPI-CBW.

General CCPI-CBW Proposal Information

State Conservationist Letter of Review

    Once a project proposal is received, the agency will provide a copy 
to the appropriate State Conservationist(s) for evaluation and ranking. 
The State Conservationist(s) will submit a letter of review to the NRCS 
National Headquarters to address:
    1. Potential duplication of efforts with other projects or existing 
programs;
    2. Adherence to, and consistency with, program regulations 
including requirements related to land and producer eligibility and use 
of approved NRCS resource concerns and conservation practices, 
enhancements, and other program requirements;
    3. Expected benefits for project implementation in their State(s);
    4. Other issues or concerns the State Conservationist is aware of 
that should be considered by the agency; and
    5. A general recommendation for support or denial of project 
approval.

Proposal Submission, Review, and Notification

    When submitting a proposal either by email or courier service, mark 
on the email or courier service envelope that the proposal is for CCPI-
CBW. Your proposal must address, in sufficient detail, all the criteria 
outlined in the ``Proposal Information'' section of this notice. This 
will enable agency reviewers to understand your proposal's priority 
resource concerns, objectives, and expected outcomes.
    State Conservationists are expected to provide, once requested, 
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

[[Page 78670]]

developing a proposal. NRCS may not assist in writing or submission of 
any proposal.
    CCPI-CBW 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. Incomplete proposals or 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. Partner 
proposals may be withdrawn by written notice to the Director, Watershed 
and Landscape Programs Division at any time prior to selection (see 
``Addresses'' section in this notice).
    NRCS will review and evaluate the proposals based on the criteria 
set forth in the respective ``Proposal Information'' section of this 
notice for CCPI-CBW. Positive consideration will be given to proposals 
that thoroughly address the issues outlined in the respective ``Ranking 
Considerations'' section.
    Partners whose proposal is selected will receive a letter of 
official notification. Upon notification of selection, the partner 
should contact the appropriate State Conservationist 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. Partner submissions of proposals that were not selected will 
also be notified.

Waiver Authority

    To assist in the implementation of CCPI-CBW projects, the NRCS 
Chief may waive the applicability of the Adjusted Gross Income 
Limitation in producer program contracts, on a case-by-case basis, in 
accordance with 7 CFR Sec.  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 this 9th day of December, 2010, in Washington, DC.
Dave White,
Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation and Chief, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service.
    Addresses and phone number of NRCS State Conservationists in States 
having land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed:
Delaware: Russell Morgan
Suite 100, 1221 College Park Drive
Dover, DE 19904-8713
Phone: (302) 678-4160
Fax: (302) 678-0843
russell.morgan@de.usda.gov

Maryland: Jon Hall
John Hanson Business Center, Suite 301
339 Busch's Frontage Road
Annapolis, MD 21409-5543
Phone: (410) 757-0861 Ext. 315
Fax: (410) 757-6504
jon.hall@md.usda.gov

New York: Astor Boozer
Suite 354, 441 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202-2450
Phone: (315) 477-6504
Fax: (315) 477-6560
astor.boozer@ny.usda.gov

Pennsylvania: Denise Coleman
Suite 340, One Credit Union Place
Harrisburg, PA 17110-2993
Phone: (717) 237-2203
Fax: (717) 237-2238
denise.coleman@pa.usda.gov

Virginia: Jack Bricker
Culpeper Building, Suite 209
1606 Santa Rosa Road
Richmond, VA 23229-5014
Phone: (804) 287-1691
Fax: (804) 287-1737
jack.bricker@va.usda.gov

West Virginia: Kevin Wickey
Room 301, 75 High Street
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: (304) 284-7540
Fax: (304) 284-4839
kevin.wickey@wv.usda.gov
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[FR Doc. 2010-31648 Filed 12-15-10; 8:45 am]
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