New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts (NMACD)in cooperation with Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA), Taos Soil and Water Conservation District, Tierra Y Montes Conservation District, East Rio Arriba Conservation District, Upper Chama Conservation District, Socorro Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rio Arriba County Commissioners are moving forward in offering acequias an opportunity for financial and technical assistance beginning this spring.
The partners with NMACD as the lead will make available the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) through an application process. RCPP was authorized through the Farm Bill to promote coordination between NRCS and partners to deliver conservation assistance to agricultural producers and landowners.
NMACD will be the only organization nationally piloting a unique approach in delivering conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NMACD rather than NRCS will be provided funds to deliver technical and financial assistance to acequias. An application and ranking process has been developed that resembles NRCS processes but will be managed by NMACD.
How to apply:
Application for assistance will be available at your local NRCS field offices, NMACD, NMAA, ISC and any local conservation district office. All applications for assistance will be forwarded to NMACD for processing, ranking, and eventual assistance.
The application process is a two-step process. The first step is a general request for assistance utilizing a form developed by all the partners (NMACD-1). The general request for assistance is here: Acequia Assistance Request-2015
Once that form is completed and submitted, NMACD will initiate contact with the acequia and make a site assessment. Forms will be submitted to NMACD (Norman Vigil). The site assessment will help determine the status of the acequia in developing a plan/approach for assistance. Some acequias may need by-laws, engineering designs or a comprehensive plan to develop an assistance path for the future. The partners will play a major role in assessing the best path. Of course the acequia will make the final decision.
The second step in the application process will involve gathering information to comply with the Farm Bill requirements. NMACD will assist the acequia explaining and gathering the information. This can be completed during the first visit (site assessment) or as determined by the acequia and NMACD contact person. This information will be completed prior to the ranking process. The RCPP application is here: RCPP NMACD-1 PROGRAM APPLICATION
The ranking process will be completed by NMACD with partners reviewing rankings for consistency shortly after the application deadline.
NMACD will contact those acequias with the highest ranking and offer financial and technical assistance that covers available funding. The remaining acequias will be notified and assistance will be provided as funding becomes available or other agreements are entered into if applicable.
NMACD will enter into a contract directly with the acequia identifying the terms and conditions. When the project is completed and meets NRCS standard and specifications, payment will be made to the acequia directly from NMACD. It is likely and highly possible that other programs will be married with RCPP funds. Remember that program requirements for other sources of funding must be met. Rest assured the partners will be working closely to ensure all requirements are met as the project progresses.
All NRCS local field offices, http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nm/contact
All local soil and water conservation districts, www.nmacd.org
NMACD – Norman Vigil, PO Box 623, Canjilon NM 87515; firstname.lastname@example.org, 575-684-0042, 505-967-8760, www.nmacd.org
NMAA – Serafina Lombardi; email@example.com, 1-505-995-9644; https://www.lasacequias.org
ISC – Jonathan Martinez; firstname.lastname@example.org; 1-505-827-6134;