Pennsylvania agricultural landowners can apply for funding in a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Project called “Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape”.
The Kittatinny Ridge is a ridge and valley area in southcentral Pennsylvania. The project area encompasses 22 counties, including parts of Schuylkill, Berks, Northumberland, Lebanon, Dauphin, Perry, Cumberland, Franklin and Fulton counties in the project’s high-priority area. The Kittatinny Ridge, which is in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, is made up of productive agricultural land and forestland with important habitat areas.
Landowners and owners of non-industrial private forestland can apply for funding for USDA NRCS RCPP Entity Held Easements as part of the new project. RCPP Entity Held Easements provide funding to preserve agricultural land with a focus on prime and statewide important soils. NRCS conservationists will work with landowners to develop a conservation plan to identify concerns and opportunities, help determine objectives and recommend solutions.
“Our high-quality, comprehensive conservation plans can provide farmers and landowners with step-by-step recommendations they can use to improve their water quality, soil health and more – all while reducing input costs,” said Denise Coleman, Pennsylvania NRCS State Conservationist.
Eligible landowners can apply for funding year-round, but NRCS makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Pennsylvania landowners who apply by Jan. 4, 2022, will have a higher chance of selection in 2022, as funding is limited. The second cut-off deadline in 2022 is March 1.
The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape project is being led by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Landowners seeking more information can contact Stephanie Zimmerman at the PDA at 717-783-3167.
Nine partner entities are participating in the RCPP project, and their contact information is below.
RCPP Partner Entity Contact Information
1. PA Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Farmland Preservation
Contact Persons: Douglas Wolfgang, Director, or Stephanie Zimmerman, Administrative Officer
2. PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Bureau of Recreation and Conservation
Contact Person: Ashley Rebert, Chief
Land Conservation and Stewardship
3. PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Bureau of Environmental Management
Contact Person: Daryl Valley, ACUB Program Manager
Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation
Contact Person: Tom Inge
4. Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management
Contact Person: John Taucher, Private Lands Section Chief
5. The Nature Conservancy, PA/DE Chapter
Contact Person: Mari-Beth DeLucia, Land Conservation Manager
Phone: 717-232-6001 ext. 215
6. Manada Conservancy
Contact Person Sally Zaino, President P.O. Box 25 Hummelstown, PA 17036 Phone Office: 717-566-4122 Phone Mobile: 717-645-2908 www.manada.org
Secondary Contact is Mark Vibbert, Stewardship Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Berks Nature
Contact Person: Sarah Chudnovsky, Land Protection Specialist for Berks and Schuylkill Counties
Phone: 610-372-4992 ext. 104
8. Central Pennsylvania Conservancy
Contact Person: Anna N. Yelk, Executive Director 401 E. Louther St., Suite 308 Carlisle, PA 17013
Phone Office: 717-241-4360 Phone Cellular: 717-756-9763
Secondary contact: Ben Mummert, email@example.com
9. Lebanon Valley Conservancy
Contact: Courtney Reimann, Executive Director and Jon Schach, Board President