NRCS Announces Kittatinny Ridge RCPP Project

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

Phone: 717-783-3167

2. PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Bureau of Recreation and Conservation

Contact Person: Ashley Rebert, Chief

Land Conservation and Stewardship

Phone: 717-772-3322

3. PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Bureau of Environmental Management

Contact Person: Daryl Valley, ACUB Program Manager

Phone:  717-861-2634

Or:

Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation

Contact Person:  Tom Inge

Phone: 434-470-1776

4. Pennsylvania Game Commission

Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management

Contact Person: John Taucher, Private Lands Section Chief

Phone: 717-787-4250

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, mvibbert@manada.org

Phone: 717-566-4122

7. Berks Nature

Contact Person: Sarah Chudnovsky, Land Protection Specialist for Berks and Schuylkill Counties

Phone: 610-372-4992 ext. 104

sarah.chudnovsky@berksnature.org

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, bmummert@centralpaconservancy.org

9. Lebanon Valley Conservancy

Contact: Courtney Reimann, Executive Director and Jon Schach, Board President

Phone: 717-273-6400


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