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Middle Columbia Steelhead Partnership RCPP Project 2022-2026

$6.87 Million in Technical and Financial Assistance Awarded to the Middle Columbia (Yakima and Klickitat watersheds) for Landowners and Agricultural Producers

The Yakama Nation and 14 non-governmental, state and federal partners, including the Kittitas County Conservation District, were awarded funds through the FY2021 RCPP solicitation to work with producers and landowners to restore Mid-Columbia Steelhead habitat through implementation of conservation practices. The project prioritizes farm and ranch operators whose property contains riparian, wetland or floodplain habitat that impact this Steelhead species.

The project can provide financial and technical assistance with on-farm irrigation system improvements, livestock management practices (fences, watering facilities), fish screen and fish passage structures, and riparian and instream habitat improvements in Kittitas County. Funding is provided by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) through land management contracts with farmers, ranchers and water management entities. The contract payment rate pays for a portion of the cost of the contracted conservation practices implemented by the farmer or rancher. Depending on the project and conservation practices additional cost share funding may be available through the KCCD.

February 24, 2023, Application Due Date Announced for RCPP Cost Share Program

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (January 19, 2023) – The Kittitas County Conservation District will accept applications starting January 19, 2023, until February 24, 2023 for the “Middle Columbia Steelhead Partnership” Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project. This RCPP project includes lands in Kittitas County and prioritizes farm and ranch operators who’s property contains streams, wetland or floodplain habitat impacting mid Columbia summer steelhead.

The project can provide financial and technical assistance with on-farm irrigation system improvements, livestock management practices (fences, watering facilities) and riparian and instream habitat. The RCPP funding is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through land management contracts with farmers and ranchers. The contract  payment rate pays for a portion of the cost of the contracted conservation practices implemented by the farmer or rancher.

The District is accepting applications immediately. Interested farmers, ranchers or landowners should contact the District at 509-925-3352 or 2211 W Dolarway Road, Ellensburg. Interested parties must meet all requirements of the USDA NRCS. Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and complete all Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements. For more information about those requirements, contact the local USDA Service Center field office at 2211 W Dolarway Road, Suite 6, Ellensburg or 509-925-8585 ext. 115.

RCPP funding is limited, and applications will be subject to a ranking system. This is the first of three annual sign-ups in Kittitas County occurring as part of the Middle Columbia Steelhead Partnership project. The project was one of 85 high projects across the country that was approved for funding through the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program solicitation for fiscal year 2021. For more information, visit the project webpage at



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Are you a landowner or agricultural producer interested in applying for RCPP assistance?

The 2023 sign-up is underway now with a deadline of February 27, 2023

Contact the KCCD office at 925-3352 or stop by 2211 W Dolarway Road, Ellensburg 


The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land.

By leveraging collective resources and collaborating on common goals, RCPP demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships in delivering results for agriculture and conservation.

RCPP projects fall under two different categories: RCPP Classic and RCPP Grants. RCPP Classic projects are implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners and communities, in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP Grants, the lead partner must work directly with agricultural producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic.

Producer and Landowner Eligibility

Once NRCS selects a project and executes an RCPP agreement with a lead partner, agricultural producers may participate in an RCPP project. Producers seeking to carry out conservation activities consistent with a RCPP project in the project’s geographic area can apply directly to KCCD and NRCS.

Land Eligibility

RCPP projects must be carried out on agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land or associated land on which NRCS determines an eligible activity would help achieve conservation benefits (i.e., improved condition of natural resources resulting from implementation of conservation activities).

Eligible conservation activities may be implemented on public lands when those activities will benefit eligible lands as determined by NRCS and are included in the scope of an approved RCPP project.


Project leads include KCCD, Yakama Nation, North Yakima Conservation District, and Washington Water Trust.


North Yakima Conservation District


Partners also contributing funding for this project include:

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