NRCS Accepting Applications for Conservation Stewardship Program


Bozeman, Mont., Jan. 27, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $100 million available this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program for farm, ranch, and forest operators to take additional conservation steps to improve their natural resources. Although applications are accepted year round, applications must be submitted by Feb. 27, 2015, to be considered for this year’s funding.

The 2014 Farm Bill brought changes to Conservation Stewardship Program including an expanded conservation activity list that will offer participants greater options to meet their conservation needs and protect the natural resources on their land. These conservation activities, called practices and enhancements, include cover crops, intensive rotational grazing and wildlife friendly fencing.

CSP will also help broaden the impacts of NRCS’ Landscape Conservation Initiatives through a new pilot effort, which accelerates private lands conservation activities to address particular goals, such as creating habitat for at-risk species and conserving and cleaning water. They include:

·       Sage-Grouse Initiative – Applicable states: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

·       Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative – Applicable states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

·       Ogallala Aquifer Initiative – Applicable states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. 

·       Longleaf Pine Initiative – Applicable states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Conservation Stewardship Program applications should be submitted to local NRCS offices. As part of the application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete a resource inventory of their land, which will help determine the level of conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking, and payments.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements, and payment types.

Applicants that operate as an entity are required to have a DUNs number and have that number registered with prior to submitting their application for consideration.

For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or a local USDA service center.

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