1464.21 Ranking considerations and proposal selection.§ 1464.21 Ranking considerations and proposal selection.
(a) Final selection. NRCS will rank and select proposals for partnership agreements pursuant to the evaluation criteria listed in 1464.20(a)(2).
(b) Priority to certain proposals. NRCS may give a higher priority to proposals for partnership agreements that -
(1) Assist producers in meeting or avoiding the need for a natural resource regulatory requirement;
(2) Have a high percentage of producers in the area to be covered by the agreement;
(3) Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical resources and coordinate with other local, State, or national efforts;
(4) Build new partnerships with local, State, and private entities to include a diversity of stakeholders in the project;
(5) Deliver a high percentage of applied conservation to achieve conservation benefits and address the priority resource concern for a designated CCA;
(6) Implement the project consistent with existing watershed, habitat, or other area restoration plans;
(7) Provide innovation in conservation methods and delivery, including outcome-based performance measures and methods;
(8) To a significant extent involve -
(i) Historically underserved producers;
(ii) A community-based organization comprising, representing, or exclusively working with historically underserved producers;
(iii) Developing an innovative conservation approach or technology specifically targeting historically underserved producers' unique needs and limitations; or
(iv) An 1890 or 1994 land grant institution (7 U.S.C. 3222 et seq.), Hispanic-serving institution (20 U.S.C. 1101a), or other minority-serving institution, such as an historically Black college or university (20 U.S.C. 1061), a tribally controlled college or university (25 U.S.C. 1801), or Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving institution (20 U.S.C. 1059g); or
(9) Meet other factors that are important for achieving the purposes of the program, as determined by NRCS.
(c) Proposals in CCAs. (1) NRCS will select proposals for partnership agreements within CCAs that address one or more priority resource concerns for which the CCA is designated.
(2) NRCS will identify the designated CCAs and publish the priority resource concerns for each CCA.
(3) NRCS will identify the priority resource concerns and associated ranking criteria in any announcement under § 1464.20.
(4) Lands outside of a CCA are not eligible for consideration under the CCA funding pool, even where such land may influence resource concerns within the CCA.[85 FR 8137, Feb. 13, 2020, as amended at 86 FR 3744, Jan. 15, 2021]