NRCS & CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
A History of Partnership
The Soil Conservation Service was established in 1935 in response to the Dust Bowl. In 1937, the first county Conservation District was formed to link federal agency resources with the local farmers. Since then, nearly 3000 Conservation Districts have been organized. This partnership between NRCS and the Conservation Districts is one that was carefully designed. This unique and productive relationship continues to be a model for providing Federal resources at the local level.
NRCS provides technical standards and guidance on conservation problems. As an agency within USDA, NRCS can also provide Federal funding for many projects. With the Districts providing the guidance on conservation priorities, this funding can be allocated to those resource needs that are most pressing.
Working together, the NRCS/Conservation District team can really get some conservation on the ground!
Natural Resource Concerns
Conservation priorities have changed since the years of the Dust Bowl, but the cooperation remains. NRCS and the Conservation Districts are working on the following current conservation issues:
- Water quality
- Farmland protection
- Nutrient management
- Watershed education
- Ecosystem restoration
- Reducing erosion and sediment runoff in rural and urban communities
- And many others
NRCS Conservation Programs
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
- Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- Conservation Innovation Grants
- Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)
- Rapid Watershed Assessment (RWA)
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)