[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 10, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10225-10231]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-5089]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation, Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Notice of request for proposals; request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: Section 2707 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 
(2008 Act) establishes the Cooperative Conservation Partnership 
Initiative (CCPI) by amending Section 1243 of the Food Security Act of 
1985 [16 U.S.C. 3843]. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the 
authority for CCPI to the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation 
Service (NRCS), who is a Vice President of the Commodity Credit 
Corporation (CCC). NRCS is an agency of the United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). Congress established CCPI to assist potential 
partners with focusing conservation assistance in defined project areas 
to achieve high-priority natural resource objectives. In fiscal year 
(FY) 2009, NRCS will make Environmental Quality Incentives Program 
(EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) funds available to 
owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest 
lands who will participate in CCPI projects.
    The purpose of this notice is to inform potential partners and 
producers that include nonindustrial private forest landowners of the 
availability of CCPI funds and other assistance and to solicit 
proposals from potential partners who seek to enter into partnership 
agreements with NRCS to enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural 
and nonindustrial private forest land.
    Additionally, NRCS requests public comment on how CCPI can 
contribute to the Nation's efforts on energy, climate change, and 
carbon sequestration within the framework of the Initiative.

[[Page 10226]]


DATES: Proposals must be received in the NRCS State office or National 
office (where the project areas are multi-State or national) within 45 
days of the date of this notice. Comments must be received within 30 
days of the date of this notice.
    Addresses for Submitting Proposals: Written proposals should be 
sent to the appropriate State Conservationist, Natural Resources 
Conservation Service. The telephone numbers and addresses of the NRCS 
State Conservationists are attached in the appendix of this notice. For 
multi-State proposals, written proposals should be sent to the Chief, 
Attention: Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Room 5241 
South Building (Subject: CCPI Proposals), PO Box 2890, Washington, DC 
20013. If the project is multi-state in scope, all State 
Conservationists in the project area must be sent the proposal for 
review. State Conservationist(s) must submit letters to NRCS National 
Headquarters by May 8, 2009. A list of NRCS State office addresses and 
phone numbers is included at the end of the notice. Potential partners 
are encouraged to consult with the appropriate State Conservationist(s) 
during proposal development to discuss the letter of review.
    Addresses for Submitting Comments: You may send comments which will 
be available to the public in their entirety, using any of the 
following methods:
    Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://regulations.gov 
and follow the instructions for sending comments electronically.
    Mail: Financial Assistance Programs Division, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Room 5241 South Building (Subject: CCPI Comments), 
Washington, DC 20250-2890; Fax: (202) 720-4265. Hand Delivery Room: 
Room 5241 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5237, 
Washington, DC 20250, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal Holidays.
    This notice may be accessed via Internet. Users can access the NRCS 
homepage at  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/; select the Farm Bill link from 
the menu; select the Notices link from beneath the Federal Register 
Notices Index title. Persons with disabilities who require alternative 
means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should 
contact the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
    To view public comments, please ask the guard at the entrance to 
the South Building to call (202) 720-4527 to be escorted into the 
building.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Director, Financial Assistance 
Programs Division, NRCS; phone: (202) 720-1845; fax: (202) 720-4265; or 
e-mail: CCPI2008@wdc.usda.gov; Subject: CCPI; or via Internet. Users 
can access the NRCS homepage at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/; select the 
Farm Bill link from the menu; select the Notices link from beneath the 
Federal Register Notices Index title. Persons with disabilities who 
require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, 
audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720-
2600 (voice and TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Funding

    Effective on the publication date of this notice, the CCC announces 
the availability until September 30, 2009, of up to $52.4 million of 
financial assistance funds for CCPI. Under CCPI, the NRCS State 
Conservationist or Chief enters into multi-year agreements with State 
and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, producer 
associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, 
and nongovernmental organizations with a history of working 
cooperatively with producers. The Chief has designated $5.8 million of 
financial assistance funds for multi-State or national projects. 
Partnership agreement selection for National and State projects will be 
based on the criteria established in this notice.

Definitions

    Agricultural land means cropland, grassland, rangeland, pasture, 
and other agricultural land, on which agricultural and forest-related 
products or livestock are produced and resource concerns may be 
addressed. Other agricultural lands may include cropped woodland, 
marshes, incidental areas included in the agricultural operation, and 
other types of agricultural land used for production of livestock.
    Beginning Farmer or Rancher means a person or legal entity who:
    (a) Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or 
ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years. This requirement applies 
to all members of an entity who will materially and substantially 
participate in the operation of the farm or ranch.
    (b) In the case of a contract with an individual, individually, or 
with the immediate family, material and substantial participation 
requires that the individual provide substantial day-to-day labor and 
management of the farm or ranch consistent with the practices in the 
county or State where the farm is located.
    (c) In the case of a contract with an entity or joint operation, 
all members must materially and substantially participate in the 
operation of the farm or ranch. Material and substantial participation 
requires that each of the members provide some amount of the management 
or labor and management necessary for day-to-day activities, such that 
if each of the members did not provide these inputs, operation of the 
farm or ranch would be seriously impaired.
    Chief means the Chief of NRCS, USDA.
    Conservation practice means one or more conservation improvements 
and activities including structural practices, land management 
practices, vegetative practices, forest management practices, and other 
improvements that achieve the program purposes that are planned and 
installed in accordance with NRCS standards and specifications.
    Contract means a legal document that specifies the rights and 
obligations of any participant accepted to participate in EQIP. A 
contract is a binding agreement for the transfer of assistance from 
USDA to the participant to share in the costs of applying conservation 
practices.
    Cost-share agreement means a legal document that specifies the 
rights and obligations of any participant accepted into WHIP. A WHIP 
cost-share agreement is a binding agreement for the transfer of 
assistance from USDA to the participant to share in the costs of 
applying conservation.
    Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) means a program 
administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1466, which provides 
for the installation and implementation of conservation practices on 
agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land.
    Field Office Technical Guide means the official local NRCS source 
of resource information and interpretation of guidelines, criteria, and 
standards for planning and applying conservation treatments and 
conservation management systems. It contains detailed information on 
the conservation of soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources 
applicable to the local area for which it is prepared.
    Forest management plan means a site-specific plan that is prepared 
by a professional resource manager, in consultation with the 
participant, and is approved by the State Conservationist. Forest 
management plans may include a forest stewardship plan, as specified in

[[Page 10227]]

Section 5 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 
2103a); another practice plan approved by the State Forester; or 
another plan determined appropriate by the State Conservationist. The 
plan must comply with Federal, State, tribal, and local laws, 
regulations, and permit requirements.
    Indian land means: (1) Land held in trust by the United States for 
individual Indians or Indian tribes, or (2) land, the title to which is 
held by individual Indians or Indian tribes subject to Federal 
restrictions against alienation or encumbrance, or (3) land which is 
subject to rights of use, occupancy, and/or benefit of certain Indian 
tribes, or (4) land held in fee title by an Indian, Indian family, or 
Indian tribe.
    Indian tribe means any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other 
organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or 
regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant 
to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) 
which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services 
provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as 
Indians.
    Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher means:
    (a) A person with direct or indirect gross farm sales not more than 
$155,200 in each of the previous 2 years (adjusted for inflation using 
Prices Paid by Farmer Index as compiled by National Agricultural 
Statistical Service), and
    (b) Has a total household income at or below the national poverty 
level for a family of four, or less than 50 percent of county median 
household income in each of the previous 2 years (to be determined 
annually using Commerce Department Data).
    Nonindustrial private forest land means rural land, as determined 
by the Secretary, that has existing tree cover or is suitable for 
growing trees; and is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, 
group, association, corporation, Indian Tribe, or other private legal 
entity that has definitive decisionmaking authority over the land.
    Partner means an entity that enters into a partnership agreement 
with NRCS to carry out the CCPI activities. Eligible partners include 
federally recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of 
government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, and 
institutions of higher education or nongovernmental organizations with 
a history of working cooperatively with producers.
    Participant means a person or legal entity, joint operation, or 
tribe that is receiving payment or is responsible for implementing the 
terms and conditions of a contract or cost-share agreement under a 
program covered by CCPI.
    Partnership agreement means a multi-year agreement between NRCS and 
the partner.
    Payment means financial assistance provided to a participant in 
accordance with a program contract or cost-share agreement. Payments 
and payment rates are guided by the existing program rules.
    Producer means a person, legal entity, or joint operation who has 
an interest in the agricultural operation, according to 7 CFR part 
1400, or who is engaged in agricultural production or forestry 
management.
    Resource Concern means a specific natural resource problem that 
represents a significant concern in a State or region, and is likely to 
be addressed successfully through the implementation of conservation 
activities by producers.
    Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher means a farmer or rancher 
who has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their 
identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual 
qualities.
    State Conservationist means the NRCS employee who is authorized to 
implement conservation programs, administered by NRCS, and who directs 
and supervises NRCS activities in a State, the Caribbean Area, or the 
Pacific Islands Area.
    State Technical Committee means a committee established by the 
Secretary in a State pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 3861.
    Technical assistance means technical expertise, information, and 
tools necessary for the conservation of natural resources on land 
active in agricultural, forestry, or related uses. The term includes 
the following: (1) Technical services provided directly to farmers, 
ranchers, and other eligible entities such as conservation planning, 
technical consultation, and assistance with design and implementation 
of conservation practices; and (2) technical infrastructure including 
activities, processes, tools, and agency functions needed to support 
delivery of technical services, such as technical standards, resource 
inventories, training, data, technology, monitoring, and effects 
analyses.
    Technical Service Provider means an individual, private-sector 
entity, or public agency certified by NRCS to provide technical 
services to program participants, in lieu of or on behalf of NRCS.
    Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) means a program 
administered by NRCS in accordance with 7 CFR 636, which provides for 
technical and financial assistance to protect, restore, develop, and 
enhance wildlife habitat.

Overview of the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

Background

    The CCPI is a voluntary conservation initiative that establishes 
specific parameters for working with eligible partners to provide 
financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of 
agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands. The assistance 
provided enables participants to install and maintain conservation 
practices, including the development and adoption of innovative 
conservation practices and management approaches.
    CCPI uses the funds, policies, and processes of EQIP and WHIP to 
deliver flexible conservation assistance to owners and operators of 
agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land. Under CCPI, NRCS 
enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to 
enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural and nonindustrial private 
forest land. The intent of CCPI is for the Federal government to 
leverage investment in natural resources conservation and enhancement 
from non-Federal sources and to coordinate Federal efforts with other 
Federal, State, tribal, and local efforts. The purposes of a CCPI 
partnership agreement are to: (1) Address conservation priorities 
involving agriculture and nonindustrial private forest land on a local, 
State, multi-State, or regional level; (2) to encourage producers to 
cooperate in meeting applicable Federal, State, and local regulatory 
requirements related to production; (3) to encourage producers to 
cooperate in the installation and maintenance of conservation practices 
that affect multiple agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land; 
and (4) to promote the development and demonstration of innovative 
conservation practices and delivery methods, including those for 
specialty crop and organic production and precision agriculture 
producers.
    Partners who may enter into partnership agreements with NRCS 
include federally recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of 
government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of 
higher education, and nongovernmental organizations with a history of 
working cooperatively with producers to effectively address 
conservation priorities related to agricultural production and 
nonindustrial private forest land. Potential partners may submit 
proposals that request assistance for a specified project area which 
may

[[Page 10228]]

be defined by geo-political boundaries, watershed boundaries, or 
resource concern. The proposal must describe the area to be covered by 
the project, conservation priorities in the area, conservation 
objectives to be achieved, the number of producers, including 
nonindustrial private forest landowners, which are likely to 
participate; a description of the partner, or partners, collaborating 
to achieve the objectives of the agreement, and the roles, 
responsibilities, and capabilities of the partners; a description of 
the resources that are requested from the Secretary and the 
contributions of the partners; a description of the plan for 
monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on progress made towards 
achieving the objectives of the agreement; and other information that 
may be required by the Secretary.
    Once a partnership proposal is selected, eligible individuals 
wishing to participate in the project must apply directly to NRCS for 
funding. Individual applications will be evaluated to ensure that 
applications selected for funding are most aligned with the project 
objective. All Federal funds made available through this CCPI request 
for proposals (RFP) will be provided directly to eligible participants 
through EQIP contracts and WHIP cost-share agreements. Producers 
interested in applying must meet the eligibility requirements of the 
program for which they are applying.
    In FY 2009, the aim of CCPI is to deliver EQIP and WHIP assistance 
to achieve high-priority conservation objectives in geographic areas 
defined by the partner. Where flexibility is needed to meet project 
objectives, program adjustments may be made provided such adjustments 
are within the scope of the applicable programs' statutory and 
regulatory program authorities. An example of a program adjustment may 
be bypassing the applicable program ranking process in a situation 
where a partner has identified the producers approved to participate in 
the project. Other examples of program adjustments may include 
flexibility in payment levels, or using a single area-wide plan of 
operations rather than individual plans of operations.

Submitting Proposals

    Prospective partners submit complete proposals to the appropriate 
State Conservationist (State Initiatives) or the Chief (if the project 
is multi-State or national). All proposals must be submitted to the 
appropriate State Conservationist or Chief (Attn: Director, Financial 
Assistance Programs Division) within 45 days of the date of this 
notice. If a project is multi-state in scope, all State 
Conservationists in the project area must be sent the proposal for 
review. State Conservationist(s) must submit letters to the NRCS 
National Headquarters by May 8, 2009. A list of NRCS State office 
addresses and phone numbers is included at the end of the notice. 
Potential partners are encouraged to consult with the appropriate State 
Conservationist(s) during proposal development to discuss the letter of 
review. No agency form is provided; rather, applicants must provide a 
narrative proposal following the requirements set forth in this notice.
    The Chief or State Conservationist will review and evaluate the 
proposals based on the criteria set forth in this notice. Incomplete 
proposals will not be considered and will be returned to the submitting 
entity. Positive consideration will be given to proposals that provide 
for outreach to beginning, socially disadvantaged, and limited resource 
farmers or ranchers within the area covered by the project. Positive 
consideration will also be given to proposals that both achieve program 
purposes and further the Nation's efforts with renewable energy 
production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate 
change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon 
sequestration. An example of this type of activity may be planting 
trees along riparian corridors, which not only enhances wildlife 
habitat and controls erosion, but also sequesters carbon. Once a 
proposal is selected, NRCS will enter into contracts or cost-share 
agreements, depending on the applicable program, with eligible 
participants to install and perform conservation practices and/or 
enhancements to meet objectives described in the project proposal.
    Producers interested in participating in CCPI may apply for 
designated CCPI funds at their local United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) service center. The designated conservationist will 
determine the applicable program (EQIP and WHIP) requirements depending 
on the practices and/or activities which the applicant seeks to install 
or perform. For example, a State Conservationist will enter into an 
EQIP contract with an applicant who seeks to apply an agricultural 
waste management facility, while an applicant who wishes to apply a 
conservation practice that enhances habitat for at-risk or declining 
species enters into a WHIP cost-share agreement.
    Producers seeking to participate in a CCPI project must meet all 
program-specific eligibility requirements. The requirements that apply 
to the contract or cost-share agreement are determined by the program 
selected, as adjusted by any approved flexibility. For information on 
the limitations and benefits, including appropriate payment limitations 
which apply to land and participants enrolled in EQIP and WHIP, please 
consult the appropriate programs' statutory authority and regulations: 
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (U.S.C. 3836a, 7 CFR 1466) and 
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (16 U.S.C. 3839bb-1, 7 CFR 636). You 
may also visit the NRCS Web site at www.nrcs.usda.gov for additional 
information by selecting the ``Programs'' tab.

Partner and Land Eligibility

    Entities eligible to participate as partners include federally 
recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, producer 
associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education, or 
nongovernmental organizations with a history of working cooperatively 
with producers to effectively address conservation priorities related 
to agricultural production and nonindustrial private forest land.
    The following land is eligible for enrollment in the CCPI:
     Private agricultural and nonindustrial private forest 
land,
     Land meeting the covered programs (EQIP and WHIP) 
eligibility rules. Eligible land is defined for each program in 
regulation:
     EQIP: 7 CFR 1466.8(c)
     WHIP: 7 CFR 636.4

Proposal Criteria

    To be eligible for selection, prospective partners must submit a 
complete proposal to the Chief or the appropriate State 
Conservationist. The proposal must contain the information set forth 
below in order to receive consideration:
    (a) A description of the partner(s) history of working with 
producers to address the conservation objectives to be achieved;
    (b) A description of the geographic area covered by the proposal, 
conservation priorities in the area, conservation objectives to be 
achieved, and the expected level of participation by producers;
    (c) A description of the partner(s) collaborating to achieve the 
objectives of the agreement and the roles, responsibilities, and 
capabilities of the partner(s);
    (d) A description of the project duration, not to exceed 5 years in 
length, and schedule that details when the potential partner 
anticipates

[[Page 10229]]

finishing the project and submitting a final report;
    (e) A description of the resources that are requested from the 
Secretary, and the non-Federal resources that will be leveraged by the 
Federal contribution;
    (f) A description of the plan for monitoring, evaluating, and 
reporting on progress made towards achieving the objectives of the 
agreement;
    (g) A list of the criteria to be used to prioritize individual 
producer applications to ensure that applications most aligned with the 
proposal's objectives receive priority;
    (h) An estimate of the percentage of producers, including 
nonindustrial private forest landowners, in the project area that are 
likely to participate in the project;
    (i) A description of the conservation practices and activities to 
be applied on the landscape within the project timeframe;
    (j) An estimate of the financial assistance program funds and acres 
needed to implement the conservation practices and activities within 
the project area (for multi-State or national projects, provide the 
funds/acres by State);
    (k) A description of any requested program adjustments, by program, 
with explanation of why the adjustment is needed in order to achieve 
the objectives of the project. If a partner is requesting specific 
program flexibilities that depend on detailed participant or project 
information, the proposal must provide the needed information. Partners 
should contact their local NRCS office to determine the specific 
information required;
    (l) A description of how the partner will provide for outreach to 
beginning, limited resource, and small and disadvantaged farmers and 
ranchers and Indian Tribes; and
    (m) A description of how the proposal's objectives further the 
Nation's efforts with renewable energy production, energy conservation, 
mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change 
adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration, if applicable.

Ranking Considerations

    Once the Chief or appropriate State Conservationist has assessed 
the merits of each proposal, the Chief or appropriate State 
Conservationist will rank the proposals via a competitive process. The 
Chief or State Conservationist shall give a higher priority to 
proposals that:
     Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or 
managing working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands 
included in the area covered by the agreement;
     Complete the application of the conservation practices 
and/or activities on all of the covered program contracts or cost-share 
agreements in 5 years or less;
     Assist the participants in meeting local, State, and/or 
Federal regulatory requirements;
     Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical 
resources and coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts;
     Provide for matching technical assistance funds to assist 
participants with the implementation of their EQIP contracts and WHIP 
cost-share agreements;
     Deliver high percentages of applied conservation to 
address water quality, water conservation, or State, regional, or 
national conservation initiatives;
     Provide innovation in conservation methods and delivery, 
including outcome-based performance measures and methods;
     Further the Nation's efforts with renewable energy 
production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate 
change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon 
sequestration; or
     Provide for outreach to, and participation of, beginning 
farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, 
limited resource farmers or ranchers, and Indian Tribes within the area 
covered by the agreement.

Partnership Agreements

    NRCS will enter a partnership agreement with a selected partner as 
the mechanism for participation in CCPI. The partnership agreement will 
not obligate funds, but will address among other things:
     The role of the partner;
     The role of NRCS;
     The responsibilities of the partner as it relates to the 
monitoring and evaluation;
     The format and frequency of reports (semi-annual, annual, 
and final) that are required as a condition of the agreement;
     The frequency and duration of the monitoring and 
evaluation that will take place within the project area;
     Plan of Work and Budget to identify other funding sources 
(if applicable) for financial and/or technical assistance;
     The specified project timeframe; and
     Other requirements deemed necessary by NRCS to further the 
purposes of the CCPI project.
    Once a proposal is selected and a partnership agreement is signed, 
and subject to the availability of funding, NRCS begins entering into 
EQIP contracts and/or WHIP cost-share agreements directly with 
producers that include nonindustrial private forest landowners who are 
participating in the project. The program used will depend upon the 
type of practices or activities anticipated to be applied. Participants 
may have multiple contracts through CCPI if more than one covered 
program is needed to accomplish the project objectives.

Request for Public Input

    USDA furthers the Nation's ability to increase renewable energy 
production and conservation, mitigate the effects and adapt to climate 
change, and reduce net carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 
through various assistance programs.
    USDA is increasing renewable energy production through facilitating 
the availability, adoption, and use of wind, solar, and biofuel energy 
sources. USDA encourages renewable energy production by funding biofuel 
technology transfer under Conservation Innovation Grants and through 
facilitating wind and solar power generation facilities for on-farm use 
on conservation lands under the Conservation Reserve Program and the 
Grassland Reserve Program.
    Energy conservation is improved through more efficient equipment 
and processes. EQIP fosters energy conservation on farms and ranches by 
promoting efficient water irrigation systems, no-till, and nutrient 
management and promoting renewable energy production by installing 
solar-generated electric fences.
    The effects of climate change can be mitigated through improving 
the adaptability of ecosystems and flexibility of agricultural 
management systems including reductions in GHG emissions. WHIP improves 
ecosystem adaptability by enhancing wildlife habitat biodiversity and 
the Agricultural Management Assistance program promotes flexible 
management system through integrative pest management.
    Climate change adaptation occurs through the adoption of 
alternative management systems which respond to changes such as 
decreasing precipitation, longer growing seasons, and increasing 
vulnerability to pest damage. USDA conservation programs, such as the 
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, encourage the adoption of water 
conservation systems and dry land farming.
    Net carbon emissions can be reduced by either reducing fossil fuel 
use or increasing the land's carbon storage

[[Page 10230]]

capacity. USDA conservation programs, such as EQIP, assist participants 
with reducing fossil fuel use through no-till and other conservation-
tillage cropping systems which require fewer trips over a field with a 
tractor. The Wetlands Reserve Program and Healthy Forests Reserve 
Program sequester carbon by encouraging agricultural land 
reforestation. The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages 
conservation tillage activities that improve soil carbon storage.
    While much is underway, USDA has adopted a proactive strategy to 
increase its ability to meet these critical national needs. Therefore, 
CCC is using this rulemaking opportunity to obtain input from the 
public on how CCPI can achieve its program purposes and further the 
Nation's efforts with renewable energy production, energy conservation, 
mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change 
adaptation, or reducing net carbon emissions. For further information 
on these subjects, you may wish to look at the following Web site: 
http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/exhibitgcc/.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on this date, March 5, 2009.
Dave White,
Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation and Chief, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service.

NRCS State Conservationists

Alabama

William Puckett, 3381 Skyway Drive, Post Office Box 311, Auburn, AL 
36830, Phone: (334) 887-4535, Fax: (334) 887-4551, 
bill.puckett@al.usda.gov.

Alaska

Robert Jones, Atrium Building, Suite 100, 800 West Evergreen, 
Palmer, AK 99645-6539, Phone: (907) 761-7760, Fax: (907) 761-7790, 
robert.jones@ak.usda.gov.

Arizona

David McKay, 230 N First Avenue, Suite 509, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1733, 
Phone: (602) 280-8801, Fax: (602) 280-8809, david.mckay@az.usda.gov.

Arkansas

Kalven L. Trice, Federal Building, Room 3416, 700 West Capitol 
Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201-3228, Phone: (501) 301-3100, Fax: 
(501) 301-3194, kalven.trice@ar.usda.gov.

California

Lincoln (Ed) Burton, Suite 4164, 430 G Street, Davis, CA 95616-4164, 
Phone: (530) 792-5600, Fax: (530) 792-5790, ed.burton@ca.usda.gov.

Caribbean Area

Juan A. Martinez, Director, IBM Building, Suite 604, 654 Munoz 
Rivera Avenue, Hato Rey, PR 00918-4123, Phone: (787) 766-5206, Fax: 
(787) 766-5987, juan.martinez@pr.usda.gov.

Colorado

James Allen Green, Room E200C, 655 Parfet Street, Lakewood, CO 
80215-5521, Phone: (720) 544-2810, Fax: (720) 544-2965, 
allen.green@co.usda.gov.

Connecticut

Douglas Zehner, 344 Merrow Road, Suite A, Tolland, CT 06084, Phone: 
(860) 871-4011, Fax: (860) 871-4054, doug.zehner@ct.usda.gov.

Delaware

Russell Morgan, Suite 100, 1221 College Park Drive, Dover, DE 19904-
8713, Phone: (302) 678-4160, Fax: (302) 678-0843, 
russell.morgan@de.usda.gov.

Florida

Carlos Suarez, 2614 N.W. 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606-6611, 
Phone: (352) 338-9500, Fax: (352) 338-9574, 
carlos.suarez@fl.usda.gov.

Georgia

James Tillman, Federal Building, Stop 200, 355 East Hancock Avenue, 
Athens, GA 30601-2769, Phone: (706) 546-2272, Fax: (706) 546-2120, 
james.tillman@ga.usda.gov.

Pacific Islands Area

Lawrence T. Yamamoto, Room 4-118, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, 
HI 96850-0002, Phone: (808) 541-2600, Ext. 100, Fax: (808) 541-1335, 
larry.yamamoto@hi.usda.gov.

Idaho

Jeff Burwell, Suite C, 9173 West Barnes Drive, Boise, ID 83709, 
Phone: (208) 378-5700, Fax: (208) 378-5735, 
jeffery.burwell@id.usda.gov.

Illinois

William J. Gradle, 2118 W. Park Court, Champaign, IL 61821, Phone: 
(217) 353-6600, Fax: (217) 353-6676, bill.gradle@il.usda.gov.

Indiana

Jane E. Hardisty, 6013 Lakeside Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46278-2933, 
Phone: (317) 290-3200, Fax: (317) 290-3225, 
jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov.

Iowa

Richard Sims, 693 Federal Building, Suite 693, 210 Walnut Street, 
Des Moines, IA 50309-2180, Phone: (515) 284-6655, Fax: (515) 284-
4394, richard.sims@ia.usda.gov.

Kansas

Eric Banks, 760 South Broadway, Salina, KS 67401-4642, Phone: (785) 
823-4500, Fax: (785) 452-3369, eric.banks@ks.usda.gov.

Kentucky

Tom Perrin, Suite 210, 771 Corporate Drive, Lexington, KY 40503-
5479, Phone: (859) 224-7350, Fax: (859) 224-7399, 
tom.perrin@ky.usda.gov.

Louisiana

Kevin Norton, 3737 Government Street, Alexandria, LA 71302, Phone: 
(318) 473-7751, Fax: (318) 473-7626, kevin.norton@la.usda.gov.

Maine

Juan Hernandez, Suite 3, 967 Illinois Avenue, Bangor, ME 04401, 
Phone: (207) 990-9100, Ext. 3, Fax: (207) 990-9599, 
juan.hernandez@me.usda.gov.

Maryland

Jon Hall, John Hanson Business Center, Suite 301, 339 Busch's 
Frontage Road, Annapolis, MD 21409-5543, Phone: (410) 757-0861 Ext. 
315, Fax: (410) 757-6504, jon.hall@md.usda.gov.

Massachusetts

Christine Clarke, 451 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002-2995, Phone: 
(413) 253-4351, Fax: (413) 253-4375, christine.clarke@ma.usda.gov.

Michigan

Garry Lee, Suite 250, 3001 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, MI 48823-
6350, Phone: (517) 324-5270, Fax: (517) 324-5171, 
garry.lee@mi.usda.gov.

Minnesota

William Hunt, Suite 600, 375 Jackson, St. Paul, MN 55101-1854, 
Phone: (651) 602-7900, Fax: (651) 602-7913, 
william.hunt@mn.usda.gov.

Mississippi

Homer L. Wilkes, Suite 1321, Federal Building, 100 West Capitol 
Street, Jackson, MS 39269-1399, Phone: (601) 965-5205 ext. 130, Fax: 
(601) 965-4940, homer.wilkes@ms.nrcs.usda.gov.

Missouri

Roger A. Hansen, Parkade Center, Suite 250, 601 Business Loop 70 
West, West Columbia, MO 65203-2546, Phone: (573) 876-0901, Fax: 
(573) 876-0913, roger.hansen@mo.usda.gov.

Montana

Joyce Swartzendruber, Federal Building, Room 443, 10 East Babcock 
Street, Bozeman, MT 59715-4704, Phone: (406) 587-6811, Fax: (406) 
587-6761, joyce.swartzendruber@mt.usda.gov.

Nebraska

Stephen K. Chick, Federal Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial Mall 
N., Lincoln, NE 68508-3866, Phone: (402) 437-5300, Fax: (402) 437-
5327, steve.chick@ne.usda.gov.

Nevada

Bruce Petersen, 1365 Corporate Blvd, Reno, NV 89502, Phone: (775) 
857-8500 x. 102, Fax: (775) 857-8524, bruce.petersen@nv.usda.gov.

New Hampshire

George W. Cleek IV, Federal Building, 2 Madbury Road, Durham, NH 
03824-2043, Phone: (603) 868-9931, Ext. 125, Fax: (603) 868-5301, 
george.cleek@nh.usda.gov.

[[Page 10231]]

New Jersey

Thomas Drewes, 220 Davidson Avenue, 4th Floor, Somerset, NJ 08873-
3157, Phone: (732) 537-6040, Fax: (732) 537-6095, 
thomas.drewes@nj.usda.gov.

New Mexico

Dennis Alexander, Suite 305, 6200 Jefferson Street, NE, Albuquerque, 
NM 87109-3734, Phone: (505) 761-4400, Fax: (505) 761-4481, 
dennis.alexander@nm.usda.gov.

New York

Astor Boozer, Suite 354, 441 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 
13202-2450, Phone: (315) 477-6504, Fax: (315) 477-6560, 
astor.boozer@ny.usda.gov.

North Carolina

Mary K. Combs, 4407 Bland Road, Suite 117, Raleigh, NC 27609-6293, 
Phone: (919) 873-2101, Fax: (919) 873-2156, mary.combs@nc.usda.gov.

North Dakota

J.R. Flores, Jr., Federal Building Room 270, 220 E. Rosser Avenue, 
Bismarck, ND 58501-1458, Phone: (701) 530-2000, Fax: (701) 530-2110, 
jr.flores@nd.usda.gov.

Ohio

Terry Cosby, Room 522, 200 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-
2478, Phone: (614) 255-2472, Fax: (614) 255-2548, 
terry.cosby@oh.usda.gov.

Oklahoma

Ronald L. Hilliard, 100 USDA, Suite 206, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074-
2655, Phone: (405) 742-1204, Fax: (405) 742-1126, 
ron.hilliard@ok.usda.gov.

Oregon

Ron Alvarado, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 900, Portland, OR 97232, 
Phone: (503) 414-3200, Fax: (503) 414-3103, 
ron.alvarado@or.usda.gov.

Pennsylvania

Craig Derickson, Suite 340, One Credit Union Place, Harrisburg, PA 
17110-2993, Phone: (717) 237-2203, Fax: (717) 237-2238, 
craig.derickson@pa.usda.gov.

Rhode Island

Richard ``Pooh'' Vongkhamdy, Suite 46, 60 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 
02886-0111, Phone: (401) 828-1300 ext. 844, Fax: (401) 828-0433, 
michelle.moore@ri.usda.gov.

South Carolina

Niles Glasgow, Strom Thurmond Federal Building, Room 950, 1835 
Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201-2489, Phone: (803) 253-3935, 
Fax: (803) 253-3670, niles.glasgow@sc.usda.gov.

South Dakota

Janet L. Oertly, 200 Fourth Street SW, Huron, SD 57350-2475, Phone: 
(605) 352-1200, Fax: (605) 352-1288, janet.oertly@sd.usda.gov.

Tennessee

J. Kevin Brown, 675 U.S. Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 
37203-3878, Phone: (615) 277-2531, Fax: (615) 277-2578, 
kevin.brown@tn.usda.gov.

Texas

Donald W. Gohmert, W.R. Poage Federal Building, 101 South Main 
Street, Temple, TX 76501-7602, Phone: (254) 742-9800, Fax: (254) 
742-9819, don.gohmert@tx.usda.gov.

Utah

Sylvia Gillen, W.F. Bennett Federal Building, Room 4402, 125 South 
State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84138-1100, Phone: (801) 524-4555, 
Fax: (801) 524-4403, sylvia.gillen@ut.usda.gov.

Vermont

Judith Doerner, Suite 105, 356 Mountain View Drive, Colchester, VT 
05446, Phone: (802) 951-6795 ext. 228, Fax: (802) 951-6327, 
judy.doerner@vt.usda.gov.

Virginia

Jack Bricker, Culpeper Building, Suite 209, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, 
Richmond, VA 23229-5014, Phone: (804) 287-1691, Fax: (804) 287-1737, 
jack.bricker@va.usda.gov.

Washington

Roylene Rides at the Door, Rock Pointe Tower II, Suite 450, W. 316 
Boone Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201-2348, Phone: (509) 323-2900, Fax: 
(509) 323-2909, roylene.rides-at-the-door@wa.usda.gov.

West Virginia

Kevin Wickey, Room 301, 75 High Street, Morgantown, WV 26505, Phone: 
(304) 284-7540, Fax: (304) 284-4839, kevin.wickey@wv.usda.gov.

Wisconsin

Patricia S. Leavenworth, 8030 Excelsior Drive, Suite 200, Madison, 
WI 53717, Phone: (608) 662-4422, Fax: (608) 662-4430, 
pat.leavenworth@wi.usda.gov.

Wyoming

Xavier Montoya, P.O. Box 33124, Casper, WY 82602, Phone: (307) 233-
6750, Fax: (307) 233-6753, xavier.montoya@wy.usda.gov.

[FR Doc. E9-5089 Filed 3-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-16-P