NRCS Updates Conservation Stewardship Program

NRCS Updates Conservation Stewardship Program

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) that are intended to expand conservation options to producers on working lands, according to the Wildlife Management Institute.

"We’ve redesigned the program (CSP) to provide for greater local involvement, offer more opportunities for conservation and innovation on working lands, and make the connection between actions and outcomes more accessible to producers,” said Jason Weller, Chief of NRCS.

CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage. The updated options will be available beginning with the new enrollment period, planned for later this year, giving producers more flexibility to apply conservation to their lands. In addition to more options, NRCS has developed decision tools that will allow producers to see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds which should allow them to pick practices that best address their conservation objectives.

Producers will also be able to see potential payment scenarios for various conservation activities early in the process which will allow them to better evaluate a conservation approach that best addresses their needs. Previously, payments were tied to a point system that often left producers (and NRCS staff) without a clear understanding of how the points were generated and what type of payment was possible until they went through the entire application and enrollment process.

These updates to the program will result in over 200 enhancements eligible for funding, nearly doubling the number of conservation activities that were previously available under CSP.

More information on these updates can be found on the Conservation Security Program website.

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September 19, 2016