Coldwater Conservation Fund | Community | Conservation

NRCS awards $1.8 million to TU for projects in New England

Adding woody structure to improve stream habitat will be a major focus of the work that TU and partners will undertake over the next four years in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. A $1.8 million award from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and matching funds from a number of TU partners.
Zach Hoisington photo

Trout Unlimited has been awarded nearly $1.8 million for a suite of stream restoration efforts in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. 

The $1,795,495 award is from the Natural Resources Conservation Service through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). 

“I’m excited to announce the first RCPP awards under the 2018 Farm Bill,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “Through collaboration and aligning our resources toward a common goal, we’re making an impact for natural resource conservation that could never have been realized on our own.” 

With this funding from NRCS, Trout Unlimited and its project partners will over a five-year period be able to restore 75 miles stream habitat with strategic wood additions, as well as target properties for additional riparian plantings and invasive species control.  

“This is an amazing opportunity to collaborate across the three northern New England states and implement stream habitat restoration at a large scale,” said Erin Rodgers, TU’s Western New England project coordinator. “This work will benefit the in-stream fish and macro communities as well as improve water quality and flood resilience for human communities.” 

NRCS is investing $206 million in 48 partner-driven conservation projects across 29 states through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Partners are making nearly $300 million in contributions. 

The RCPP funding allows them to focus on partnerships with private landowners to implement watershed-scale restoration projects that meet a range of natural resource and climate change challenges now and into the future. 

For Trout Unlimited, the Coldwater Conservation Fund is among the groups providing critical matching fund support.  

The CCF, which has contributed more than $1 million to TU projects since the CCF’s inception in 2015, pledged $20,000 to help kickstart work in Maine in partnership with TU and the Appalachian Mountain Club.  

“In New Hampshire and Vermont, TU has demonstrated good partnerships with landowners, agencies, and other conservation groups to restore brook trout streams with large wood additions,” said Jeff Reardon, who directs TU’s Maine Brook Trout Program. “We’re looking forward to expanding that work to Maine’s brook trout and Atlantic salmon waters.” 

The CCF also contributed another $25,000 for community outreach regarding large wood and flood resilience within towns surrounding the White Mountain National Forest. 

Other key funding partners include: Maine Division of Marine Resources and Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife; Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture; New Hampshire Fish and Game Department; Trout and Salmon Foundation; Maine Coast Heritage Trust. An additional $45,000 will come from private donations. 

For more information, contact: Colin Lawson, colin.lawson@tu.org, (603) 228-2200 New England Project Coordinator; Jeff Reardon, jeffrey.reardon@tu.org, (207) 430-8441, Maine Brook Trout Program Director; Erin Rodgers, erin.rodgers@tu.org, (603) 852-8110, Western New England project coordinator.