Ten California projects will receive funding through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) established in the 2008 farm bill.

The initiative is administered by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The projects will receive a targeted portion of the funds available to NRCS through conservation programs including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

"The conservation model in CCPI allows us to use a more concerted approach to achieve success on projects that are of mutual interest to NRCS and to partnering organizations in California," said Alan Forkey, assistant state conservationist for programs.

Agricultural producers interested in participating in a CCPI project must be within the specified geographical boundaries of the project and otherwise eligible for NRCS conservation programs.

The 2009 CCPI projects in California include:

• Alameda County Resource Conservation District: $132,000 for protecting water quality and habitat on ranchland in Southern Alameda Creek. Watershed: Alameda County;

• East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District: $250,000 for reducing off-farm movement of agricultural pesticides: Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus counties.

• Pit Resource Conservation District: $200,000 to improve habitat and restore range and forest health: Lassen County;

• San Mateo County Farm Bureau: $145,000 for increasing irrigation efficiency on specialty crops: San Mateo County;

• Western United Dairymen: $60,000 for improving the efficient use of manure as a plant nutrient: Marin and Sonoma counties;

• Western United Dairymen: $300,000 for development of nutrient management plans on dairies: Del Norte and Humboldt counties;

• Western United Dairymen: $1.2 million for protecting water quality by assisting dairy operators to improve manure utilization systems: Tehama, Butte, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Solano, Tulare, Yuba, and Yolo Counties;

• Yager/Van Duzen Environmental Stewards: $300,000 for controlling sediment and improving water quality in prioritized parts of the watershed: Humboldt County;

• Lodi Winegrape Commission: $353,405 for sustaining water quality and habitat on private agricultural lands in northern San Joaquin Valley: San Joaquin County;

• Mattole Restoration Council: $39,179 for to improve ecological sustainability of ranch and non-industrial private forest operations Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

For more information, contact your local NRCS field office. For a listing of California offices, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=CA.