There's no time like the present. There's no better reason than the future.
Having a conservation plan today is one way to prepare for tomorrow. The professionals at your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office can provide free assistance to help you develop or refine your conservation strategy. Weíll help you craft a conservation plan that meets the unique needs of your operation, your land, and your life.
Provided below is an overview of the benefits and activities associated with conservation planning:
Benefits of developing a customized conservation plan for your farm or ranch:
Frequently Asked Questions
Through the planning process, a producer develops a conservation plan, or a written record of the management decisions and the conservation practices that are in use or planned for that operation. A conservation plan combines the farming or ranching skills of the operator with the science-based knowledge of the conservation planner.
A Conservation Plan Includes:
A conservation plan is a confidential document, and no person or agency other than NRCS has access to it without written authorization. The plan does not provide public access to the property.
How a Conservation Plan Helps:
Working with a conservation planner, you can produce a conservation plan to help you:
Getting Started with the Planning Process:
At the outset of the conservation planning process, a farmer or rancher begins by identifying overall conservation and production goals for the operation. A key part of the process includes evaluating existing conditions, including land cover, land uses, field operations, and natural resource concerns.
Those who would like to pursue the conservation planning process can begin by:
The combination of different treatments that work together to address the overall natural resource needs on a farm or ranch is called a conservation system, or a resource management system (RMS). Conservation systems are sets of land treatments that, when properly planned and applied, work in tandem to provide the greatest overall conservation and production benefits. When designing an overall conservation system, land managers must consider all of the resources and activities on the land.
Depending on the operation, your farm or ranch may benefit from a simple conservation system or a combination of different systems to meet all of your natural resource needs and operational goals. This will depend on the landscape, resource concerns, type of operation, and landowner objectives. Each land manager will determine the treatments to use based on these considerations. Because of this, each system is different, even among similar operations.
As you develop the conservation systems that are right for your land, you will consider a number of options. Below are some of the individual practices that could enhance your conservation systems, improve your operation, and protect the natural resources on your land. In selecting new conservation measures, carefully consider how each treatment will function with the unique characteristics, land uses, and additional conservation treatments in place on your property.
For more detailed information about how these and other treatments may function on a given operation to meet specific objectives, consider discussing your options with a conservation planner. Technical staff from several federal and state agencies, as well as agribusiness and private consultants, can help identify and evaluate options and alternatives.
Descriptions are provided for informational purposes only. Engineering and structural practices must be designed by a professional and according to acceptable standards to provide the intended functions and benefits.
Click on practice to view a description and considerations:
Once you have evaluated all of your conservation options, you may choose to seek technical or financial assistance.
Voluntary programs through a number of local, private, state and federal entities may be available to help you implement your conservation plan. Be sure to obtain information from a number of groups to find the mix of programs and assistance that is right for you. Just as applying conservation measures in tandem provides the greatest natural resource benefit, many people find multiple sources of assistance, allowing them to maximize the assistance they receive and increase the level of treatment on their land.
Some possible sources of assistance may include those listed below.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the entities offering voluntary conservation opportunities to private landowners. Talk to your conservation planner or other natural resource professionals about additional opportunities that may be available locally.
Voluntary Conservation Assistance Opportunities:
Last Modified: 03/28/2008