Funding Sources Beyond Marion SWCD

Susan Ortiz | December 21, 2022

OWEB Small Grant

OWEB funds projects designed to improve water quality, water quantity, and fish and wildlife habitat. This program funds on-the-ground watershed restoration and enhancement projects on forest, agricultural, range, urban, and rural residential lands.

Eligibility: Any person, tribe, watershed council, soil and water conservation district, community college, state institution of higher education, independent not-for-profit institution of higher education, or political subdivision of the state that is not a state agency, applying through a recognized local Watershed Council or Soil and Water Conservation District.


Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Our most popular financial assistance program. EQIP offers financial and technical assistance for structural and management conservation practices on working agricultural lands.

NRCS Oregon uses a strategic approach to conservation to administer its general EQIP dollars. By using a strategic approach, NRCS works with local communities, partners and landowners to determine county-level resource concerns and priorities, and focuses its EQIP investments in those areas. These priorities are addressed in a local Conservation Implementation Strategy, or CIS. We offer several categories of EQIP funding: general EQIP, which are specific to a CIS area, and statewide EQIP Initiatives such as the Organic Initiative, High Tunnel Initiative, and Sage Grouse Initiative.

Grant Programs

  • Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) – These grants spur the development and wide-scale adoption of new technologies and approaches to address pressing natural resource concerns in an agricultural setting.
  • Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP) – These grants help state and tribal governments increase public access to private lands for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting, fishing, nature watching or hiking.

Stewardship Programs

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – The nation’s largest voluntary conservation program (by acres) for working lands. CSP encourages farmers, ranchers and woodland owners to take their conservation a step further by adopting additional conservation activities and enhancements, while also sustaining their current level of conservation.

Partnership Programs

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – Offers new opportunities for conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together to harness innovation, expand the conservation mission and demonstrate the value and efficacy of voluntary, private lands conservation.

Conservation Easements

  • Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) – Protects working agricultural lands for future generations and limits non-agricultural uses and development of the land. Part of the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP).
  • Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) – Restores, enhances and protects wetland habitats. Part of the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP).


The Farm Service Agency (FSA) through the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) provides direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources.

About the Author

Susan smiles and leans her head against a carved wooden bear.

About the Author

Susan Ortiz
Grants Coordinator

Susan is a native Oregonian, with a lifetime of agricultural experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop and Soil Science from Oregon State University, and has post-baccalaureate training in statistics, genetics, and plant pathology. Outside of her work for the district, she and her family operate a farm focused on seed production. Susan joined the staff of Marion SWCD in 2008; she currently serves as the district’s Grants Coordinator. Susan manages the district’s internal and external grants programs and processes, with an emphasis on assisting with the implementation of on-the ground conservation.

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