Bangor, Maine — Juan Hernandez, State Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has announced that up to $200,000 is available in grants for new technology or approaches through Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). NRCS is seeking grant applications from Maine farmers; landowners; State, tribal, and local government entities; and non-governmental organizations to help solve Maine’s natural resource challenges. The deadline for submitting proposals is April 1, 2013.
CIG, a component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. The program enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the State’s most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with Federal, State, and local regulations.
Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process. Typically, successful projects will support innovative on-the-ground conservation using methods such as pilot projects and/or field demonstrations. NRCS will consider proposals addressing nutrient management, energy efficiency, soil health, and wildlife habitat.
The grants of up to $75,000 for a project require a 50 percent non-federal match. Projects may be single or multi-year, not to exceed three years. Eligible projects must involve at least one agricultural producer who is eligible for the EQIP program.
Applications must be received at the NRCS Maine Headquarters by 4:00 p.m. EST on April 1, 2013. Additional information and the Announcement of Program Funding can be found on the web at www.me.nrcs.usda.gov or at http://grants.gov.
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