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Conservation Stewardship Program

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) 2011 Program Year

NRCS has announced the first Fiscal Year 2013 sign up for the new Conservation Stewardship program.
To be considered for FY 2013 funding, applications must be received by June 14, 2013.

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Program Description

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land.

CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities.
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  • Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
  • Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land operated substantially separate that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract.

Eligible Lands

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.

Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land.

  • Cropland
  • Grassland
  • Prairie Land
  • Improved Pastureland
  • Rangeland
  • Nonindustrial Private Forest Lands
  • Agricultural Land Under the Jurisdiction of an Indian Tribe
  • And other Private Agricultural Land (including Cropped Woodland, Marshes, and Agricultural Land used for the Production of Livestock) on which Resource Concerns Related to Agricultural Production Could be Addressed.

Areas within the operation that are not in agricultural production or that are developed, such as farm headquarters, ranch sites, barnyards, feedlots, manure storage facilities, machinery storage areas, and material handling facilities are not eligible for a program payment.

Also not eligible are public lands and private lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Security Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and the Wetlands Reserve Program.

Applicant Eligibility

Individuals, entities, and Indian Tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forest land may be eligible for the program.

Eligible, privately owned, land must be under control of the applicant for the duration of the CSP contract, which is five years. The entire agricultural operation must be enrolled and must include all agricultural land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

Program Application

The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered as a continuous signup, and applications are accepted year-round with periodic ranking cutoff dates announced during the year.

If you are interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local NRCS office for the next step in the application process.

To be considered for Fiscal Year 2013 funding, applicants must complete the following steps by June 14, 2013:

Fiscal Year 2013 CSP Ranking Pools

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges.

Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications in addressing similar priority resource concerns as shown in the table below:
 

California Ranking Pools

Priority Resource Concerns

Water Quality

Energy

Air Quality

Water Quantity

Soil Erosion

Soil Quality

Plants

Animals

Agricultural Land

North Coast / Sierras

X

X

 

X

   

X

X

Agricultural Land

Central/South Coast / Low Desert

X

X

X

     

X

X

Agricultural Land

Central Valley

X

 

X

X

   

X

X

Non-industrial Private Forest Land

Statewide

X

     

X

X

X

X

Ranked separately within each ranking pool are:

Beginning farmers and ranchers

Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Contacts

If you are interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local NRCS office for the next step in the application process. If you are not currently eligible for the Conservation Stewardship Program, NRCS may be able to assist you through other conservation programs.

California Statewide Contacts

Alan Forkey, Program Manager
Phone: 530-792-5653
Email: Alan.Forkey@ca.usda.gov

Erik Beardsley, Program Specialist
Phone: 530-792-5649
Email: Erik.Beardsley@ca.usda.gov