Whitman County, WA –(Released from the Palouse Conservation District). The Palouse River Watershed Partnership is pleased to announce $500,000 in conservation easement funding assistance for permanent land conservation in Whitman County through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The RCPP partnership is a locally led voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to private landowners to improve conservation outcomes.
The purpose of the permanent conservation easements under the Palouse River Watershed RCPP is to protect native Palouse Prairie habitat, agricultural land, and related natural resources on private lands. Under the program, Palouse Land Trust works with eligible producers and entities interested in applying for financial assistance through this special RCPP. The partnership is spearheaded by Palouse Conservation District, with Palouse Land Trust as a qualified local conservation organization eligible to hold easements.
Conversion of fertile, working farmland and wildlife habitat to alternative land uses has been growing at an exponential pace across the Palouse in the last several decades. The program provides compensation to eligible landowners through fair market purchase of development rights. For landowners who might be exploring options for succession, this can make it possible to receive fair value without selling the land for development, and also makes the land more affordable for the next generation facing cost barriers to land ownership.
Landowners interested in the Palouse River Watershed RCPP easement opportunity may contact Palouse Land Trust to discuss the application requirements and process. Applications must be received by May 1, 2023, to be considered for funding.