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Autumn Forest


Uplands to Lowlands Climate-Resilient Cores and Connectors


The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is an award program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). The Uplands to Lowlands Climate-Resilient Cores and Connectors is a project funded by the RCPP that supports land conservation and restoration efforts throughout three Regional Conservation Partnerships: the Berkshire Taconic Regional Conservation Partnership, Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Regional Conservation Partnership, and Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative.



The Uplands to Lowlands Climate-Resilient Cores and Connectors project allows conservation partners to collaborate with the NRCS through land management projects and conservation easements to help farmers, ranchers, and landowners conserve water, soil, and wildlife habitat—all while increasing climate resilience. In each awarded project, partners contribute to match the funded amount through staff time and resources.


Program Initiatives


Land Management Activities


(From PPA) Funds in this activity type should be targeted towards riparian buffers in nature-deprived regions. H2H RCP urban mapping model will be used to showcase where green infrastructure is needed most, and those maps will be used as part of the decision making as to where buffers are needed most.


Conservation Easements


Conservation easements are a legal agreement between willing landowners and the entity or agency holding the easement. Under the RCPP award, landowners can choose to acquire either an entity-held easement through a land trust or other nongovernmental organization, or a US-held easement through USDA-NRCS. Conservation easements can be used as a tool to help in the protection of conservation values on a parcel of land with the landowner maintaining ownership.


Based on the desired future use of the property, landowners can choose whether to pursue an entity-held or US-held easement and the level of restriction for the easement. The chosen easement type and level of restriction will determine the percentage of the value of the appraisal given to the landowner:


US-held Conservation Easement

Entity-held Conservation Easement

  • Highly restrictive – up to 100% of the appraised value

  • Moderately restrictive – up to 75% of the appraised value

  • Minimally restrictive – up to 25% of the appraised value

  • With U.S. Right of Enforcement – up to 50% cost-share

  • Without U.S. Right of Enforcement – up to 25% cost-share



Who is eligible to apply?


All landowners within the scope of the project area (as seen in map above). Describe priority areas and specific targeted land management activities?


How to apply?




Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose conservation easements?

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