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.

About the Conservation Reserve Program

CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and provides annual rental payments for farmers enrolling in the program to plant species to improve environmental health and quality. Contracts are for the term of 10-15 years with a goal of re-establishing valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.  


CRP enrollment options include:  

·      General CRP

·      Grassland CRP 

·      Continuous CRP (CLEAR30)

·      Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

·      State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE)

·      Farmable Wetlands Program


The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  CREP leverages federal and non-federal funds to target specific state, regional or nationally significant conservation concerns.  Interested producers should contact their local USDA Service Center.   Harney County is one of the counties in Oregon where CREP is now available.  More Information here.  

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.

USDA Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

USDA’s Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience describes how USDA is integrating climate adaptation into its mission, programs and operations.  


The Action Plan for Climate    Progress ReportCover page for the 2022 progress report of the 2021 USDA Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience, field of wheat.Cover page for the 2021 USDA Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience, combine in field. provides an update on USDA’s adaptation efforts, illustrates examples of crosscutting adaptation actions, and responds to specific priority topics, including climate risk. 






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).  The legislation implements a portion of the 2021 OGWC policy proposal.  The legislation provides for the new Natural and Working Lands Fund with an initial investment of $10 million as incentive for development of projects on private property.     

This is an outline of the program from the Oregon Global Warming Commission describing tasks related to the funding mechanism.  


                   Declares it a state policy to implement and incentivize strategies to advance   

                   natural climate solutions and improve understanding of natural climate solutions


Establishes Natural and Working Lands Fund for allocation to certain state agencies to provide incentives and conduct research related to natural climate solutions with an initial investment of $10 million 


·      Oregon Climate Action Commission (was Oregon Global Warming Commission) to determine annual Fund allocations to four natural resource agencies

·       Oregon Department of Agriculture

·       Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

·       Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

·       Oregon Department of Forestry

·      Annual report summarizing uses of the Fund and identifying additional funding needs due by September 15 annually

·      Biennial Report on funded and planned projects 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)


          Adopted Funding Plan for the NWL Fund

          During the 2024 legislative session, a presentation was made to the Ways and Means 

          Subcommittee on Natural Resources at this link and the funding plan was adopted by     

          the legislature.   This plan outlines the funding that will be provided to the four natural 

          resource agencies to fund grants under the program.


         Funding for Technical Assistance from OWEB

         Although the first round of applications is due April 2024, this will be an ongoing 

           program.  Here is a Recorded webinar about the Application for Technical Assistance Grants.

            And the Application Template as well as Example Projects.



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In August of 2022 the Commission appointed an advisory committee of 26 people (including OACD’s representative) to work on policy objectives such as natural climate solution recommendations for practices for agriculture and other carbon sequestration and conservation work.  See the final report, 

Foundational Elements to Advance the Oregon Global Warming Commissions’ Natural and Working Lands Proposal.

(Also see more information in Section 6.)

Federal Funding - Forestry



U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Conservation Finance Toolkit:  A compilation of definitions, guidelines, and case studies

This report introduces a number of programs for financing forest related conservation projects. Browse the USFS Conservation Finance Toolkit for overviews of financial programs and case studies. The toolkit lists a number of programs for forestry projects:

Federal Funding Sources through USDA for Forestry Projects 

Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program

This FS program provides funds for the collaborative, science-based restoration of priority forest landscapes. Projects must encourage sustainability, reduce wildfire risk, demonstrate ecological restoration techniques, and promote utilization of restoration by-products. The program can fund up to 10 projects per year, up to 50% of the costs of implementing/monitoring treatments on non-FS lands, and up to $4 million/project dollars annually. 


EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund

One of the project mechanisms is the EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF).  That program is available in Oregon through the Department of Environmental Quality.  SRFs can result in low-interest loans to eligible applicants and may provide additional subsidies in the form of principal forgiveness, grants, or negative interest loans. “Green” loans can be partially forgiven under the program.  Loans can provide for a variety of conservation projects. 


Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership

This jointly administered FS and NRCS program, which focuses on improving the health of forests where public forests or grasslands abut private or tribal lands, funds restoration activities that reduce wildfire threats and protect water quality. Each year, the FS and NRCS select new three-year projects to fund.   There are two Joint Chiefs’ projects in Oregon, one in Southeast Oregon and the other in Central Oregon. 


Landscape Scale Restoration Program

This FS program funds state forestry agencies’ implementation of restoration activities on non-federal priority landscapes identified in State Forest Action plans. 


Land and Water Conservation Fund

This Fund, a portion of which is administered by the FS, uses revenues from offshore drilling and gas to assist federal, state, and local governments in conserving land and water through the purchase of property or conservation easements. The Fund is capped at $900 million annually, although funding levels have only twice met that level.

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.

Financing Blue Carbon

Conservation Finance, as detailed above, promotes private capital investment in conservation initiatives such as the financing for coastal Oregon blue carbon development.


The Blue Forest organization states conservation finance in coastal Oregon would provide an opportunity to increase multi-agency collaboration, attract new funding sources, and accelerate the pace and scale of planned action by providing up-front capital.  


The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), and other local partners have laid the foundation for this work through previous stakeholder outreach, support of scientific research, and policy engagement. The relationships and knowledge that Pew and BEF bring to the table make this a unique opportunity to build on previous efforts and support these partnerships. Blue Forest’s objective is to explore and assess the feasibility of conservation finance in coastal Oregon. Initial steps will be taken to meet with these partners to understand the problems and needs of coastal resilience and restoration projects and explore opportunities to support their work. 






         Other Financing Options for Blue Carbon Projects

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The Nicholas Institute at Duke University has developed a publication Financing Options for       Blue Carbon Opportunities and Lessons  for financing blue carbon projects.


The Nicholas Institute is comprised of multi- disciplinary programs focused on helping decision makers weigh the risks and rewards of policy choices.


Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 makes an historic $20 billion investment by increasing funding in four existing Farm Bill conservation programs for practices that increase soil carbon or reduce carbon dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide emissions.

Most of the money will be appropriated across the country over fiscal years 2023–2026 as follows: 


·        Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – $8.45 billion 

·        Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – $3.25 billion 

(including some funding for organic transition)

·        Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – $4.95 billion 

(includes forestlands) 

·        Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – $1.4 billion 


(for farmland easements)