Federal Policy

NRCS

The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a key MCP partner. Carbon farm planning is based on the structure and existing support provided by NRCS Conservation Planning. NRCS conservation practices are eligible for Farm Bill funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestland. Since 2013 MCP partners have been working with NRCS to create a suite of online tools to model the carbon sequestration from 36conservation practices (COMET-Planner) and full farm life-cycle emissions (COMET-Farm).

In 2013 the Main RCD received a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) that funded the application of compost on the first three demonstration ranches.

USDA CLIMATE HUBS

In 2015 USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of a national network of Climate Hubs dedicated to fostering “robust and healthy agricultural production and natural resources under increasing climate variability and climate change.” While federal funding for climate change work has been significantly cut under the Trump administration, the California Soil Health Network remains a resource for linking agricultural partners in assessing and addressing the risks posed by climate change.

US EPA REGION 9

In 2014 the EPA Region 9 Clean Energy and Climate Change Team identified rangelands and their sequestration potential as a priority in their review of climate change strategies. In 2016 MCP co-founders and lead scientists presented to a meeting of Regional Directors on MCP findings at the invitation of Director Jared Blumenfeld. Beginning in 2017 US EPA climate work was censored by the Trump administration. Region 9 staff continue to support healthy soil and manure management work in California.