Financial Resources

Financial Resources

A number of programs exist for investment in achieving healthy soils, including those from federal and state agencies. USDA continues to develop and enhance climate programs that will achieve healthy soil benefits. 

Oregon passed new legislation in 2023 for funding climate related projects on forest, agriculture lands and coastal/wetlands projects: natural climate solutions on natural and working lands.

USDA Conservation Reserve Program - Soil Carbon Monitoring

USDA is investing $10 million in a new initiative to sample, measure, and monitor soil carbon on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to quantify climate outcomes from the program. The “Daily Century Model” (Day Cent) simulates the movement of carbon and nitrogen through agricultural systems. Data will be used to strengthen the COMET-Farm and COMET-Planner tools. For lands enrolled in CRP there are new incentives for environmental practices and a more targeted focus on the program’s role in climate change mitigation. See What’s New fact sheet. FSA offers multiple CRP signups for its ongoing program.

State Soil Health Initiatives

By 2021, twenty states formalized soil health initiatives through resolutions and laws, with an additional twenty signaling interest through related policy activity. See the State Healthy Soil Policy Map, 2021. In 2021, 31 states had Healthy Soils legislation on their dockets, with resolutions passing and bills becoming law in 14 states.  The total number of states with Healthy Soils resolutions and laws is now 20, with 10 of those in 2021 and others from prior years. These 20 states include 47.5% of U.S. farm acreage based upon 2017 National Agricultural Statistics Service Agricultural Census.

Grounding US Policies & Programs in Soil Carbon Science

Frontiers Forum provides speakers and articles on science-led solutions. It is a non-profit entity without  commercial backing to provide independent information. This is a very in-depth article speaking to natural climate solutions and the strengths, limitations and opportunities of various programs..

USDA Support for Climate Smart Agriculture in 2022

USDA Support for Climate Smart Agriculture in 2022

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing new and expanded opportunities for climate smart agriculture, including nationwide availability of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Incentive Contracts option, a new and streamlined EQIP Cover Crop Initiative, and added flexibilities for producers to easily re-enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). These improvements to NRCS’ working lands conservation programs, combined with continued program opportunities in all states, are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader
effort to support climate-smart agriculture.

See also Environmental Incentives Program fact sheet on incentive contracts.

See NRCS Oregon for a full description of the programs that focus on soil health and conservation and for a list of local service centers for technical and financial assistance.

See also Oregon Index of Conservation Practice Standards.

Clean Water River

Oregon Adopts Natural Climate Solutions Program for Natural & Working Lands

The 2023 Oregon Legislature adopted HB 3409, an omnibus climate bill that included the policy for natural climate solutions on natural and working lands (formerly SB 530). Part of the package is the Natural and Working Lands Fund that provides an investment of $10 million as incentives for projects on private property. 

This is an outline of the program from the Oregon Global Warming Commission

HB 3409 Sections 53-67/SB 530. Tasks described below are to be completed between September 2023 and December 2024.

  • Declare state policy to implement and incentivize strategies to advance natural
    climate solutions and improve understanding of natural climate solutions
  • Require development of carbon sequestration and storage data, metrics,
    and goals:
  • Establish a net carbon sequestration and storage baseline
  • Develop a net carbon sequestration and storage inventory
  • Update and provide biennial report on inventory by December 1 of even-
    numbered years
  • Update and provide biennial report on inventory by December 1 of even-
    numbered years
  • Develop activity-based metrics for evaluating progress and community impact
    metrics for evaluating impacts on landowners, land managers, and communities
  • Establish non-binding carbon sequestration goals by January 1, 2025
    and periodically update as new information becomes available
  • Provide agency consultation and coordination and public comment opportunities
  • Establish Natural and Working Lands Fund for allocation to certain state agencies to provide incentives and conduct research related to natural climate solutions
  • Oregon Climate Action Commission (was Oregon Global Warming Commission) to determine annual Fund allocations to agencies (ODA, ODF, ODFW, and OWEB)
  • Annual report summarizing uses of the Fund and identifying additional funding needs due by September 15 annually.
  • Biennial Report on funded and planned projects, projects in environmental justice communities, and funding sources (state, federal, and private) for projects funded by the Fund by December 1 of even-numbered years
  • Agency consultation and coordination and public comment opportunities
  • OCAC and agency rulemaking in coordination with OCAC (if needed)
  • Study and report on the workforce and training programs needed to support adoption of natural climate solutions (by September 15, 2024)
  • Appoint a Natural and Working Lands Advisory Committee (at least 15 members with requirements as set in the statute
  • Require consultation with federally recognized Indian tribes in the state
  • Provide fiscal resources:
  • $10 million to the Natural and Working Lands Fund
  • 2 full-time positions – an Operations and Policy Analyst and Research Assistant
  • $400,000 for consultant on the inventory
  • $250,000 for consultant on metrics (one-time)
  • $250,000 for consultant on workforce study (one-time)

Forestry Finance – Forest Resilience Bonding

The Forest Resilience Bond (FRB) seeks to overcome the funding gap for forest restoration, not through increases in public or philanthropic sources, but by allowing private capital to play a role in support of public land management. Over $3.1 billion in sustainable investment capital remains undeployed due to a lack of investment opportunities in the conservation finance space, according to a report by Forest Trends and JP Morgan. As a result, conservation-focused investors have not had an opportunity to support these projects due to a lack of viable deals.


Conservation Finance, as detailed above, promotes private capital investment in conservation initiatives. This link describes the value of that financing for coastal Oregon blue carbon development.

Financing Blue Carbon PDF

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