Conservation Innovations - Winter 2017

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service | Conservation Innovations

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NRCS staff and a landowner examine a soil sample from his farm.


Apply for a Conservation Innovation Grant

Do you or your organization have an innovative idea for solving a conservation challenge? Looking for a funding partner to help turn your idea into reality? The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service wants to help. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.

Read the News Release

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Organic soybean plants emerge from under a protective cover crop.


Advances in Grazing, Organics & Soil Health

Since its inception in 2004, CIG has funded hundreds of projects to test new approaches for addressing natural resource concerns facing the Nation’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. This year’s national CIG program focuses on soil health, grazing lands and organic agriculture. Here are a few snapshots highlighting the success of past CIG projects in each of these three focus areas.

Learn About CIG Successes

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Photo of ranchers and cattle. Courtesy of the Sage Grouse Initiative


Pay for Success

Through CIG, partners are developing new financing approaches and market-based solutions to the conservation challenges facing landowners. Pay for Success (PFS), one cutting-edge financing model, leverages private investment to achieve outcomes with a public benefit. Learn about how PFS is helping to address resource challenges such as sage grouse habitat and wildfire mitigation—all while driving investment in working lands.

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View our Multimedia Story

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Image of a male sage grouse. Photo courtesy of BLM


CIG in the News

CIG was big news in 2017! From National Geographic to the Missouri Ruralist, check out what the media across America are saying about the farmers, partners and grantees advancing conservation technology and practices through CIG.

National Geographic Water Currents Blog: California Dairies Join Forces with Conservationists

Missouri Ruralist: Mobile grazing app for forage management

Piscataquis Observer: Small Scale Biochar Production

Elk Daily: Nevada’s First Sage Grouse Credit Transaction


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Visit CIG online

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The Conservation Innovations Team (CIT) stimulates the development and adoption of next-generation solutions to natural resource challenges. The CIT administers Conservation Innovation Grants, a competitive grant program driving innovation in resource conservation. The CIT is also breaking new ground in ecosystem services, environmental markets and conservation finance to generate additional revenue streams and sources of investment capital for producers.