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CA Conservation Planning Workbook

Conservation on Your Land: California's Conservation Planning Workbook

This workbook will help you collect the information you need to complete a conservation plan. The questions are designed to gather information about your land, objectives, and management. Although the information will be reviewed by a conservation planner, it is confidential and belongs to you. It will not be released to other agencies, groups or individuals.

Conserving Your Land's Natural Resources Through Voluntary Conservation Planning

America's farmers and ranchers are the working conservationists on private and tribal lands in our country. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the federal agency that, for over 70 years, has had the privilege of providing technical assistance to these true conservationists as they make a voluntary commitment to apply conservation practices on their private lands.

Conservation Planning is a voluntary process that helps you develop a record of your natural management decisions. This record, Conservation Plan, combines selected conservation practices into a system, which is laid out in a reasonable schedule that fits your timetable.

The conservation applied on private lands provides benefits to all citizens by reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and quantity, enhancing wildlife habitat, maintaining open spaces and aesthetic landscapes, and improving the health of the land for future generations.

Ten Ways a Conservation Plan Can Benefit You

  • Saves money as your land becomes more productive.
  • Ensures better natural resource quality for you, your animals and your neighbors.
  • Increases your property value.
  • Enhances open space and wildlife habitat.
  • Improves animal health.
  • Prevents off-site impacts, and may help you comply with environmental regulations.
  • Contributes to plant health and vigor.
  • Makes your land more attractive and promotes good neighbor relations.
  • Promotes health and safety for your family.
  • Helps you identify your eligibility for some USDA programs.

What is a Conservation Plan?

A Conservation Plan is a voluntary and dynamic tool that helps manage your lands profitably while protecting your natural resources. Soil erosion, water quality, and waste management are just a few of the resource concerns that could be addressed with a plan. The completed conservation plan will describe each of the conservation practices you select to manage your natural resources. The choice to develop or not develop a conservation plan is yours. It is a voluntary process. You make the decisions. You implement the plan.

Conservation planners provide the technical assistance needed to develop and implement your plan. Creating a plan does not provide public access to your property. You control all rights of entry and use. Information in your conservation plan is confidential and is not released to other agencies, groups or individuals. All of the information you develop belongs to you.

A Conservation Plan consists of nine steps and is organized into three phases. This workbook does not result in a complete plan. However, it assists you with the preliminary self-assessment and fact gathering needed for a plan. You need to commit to the process in order for it to work.

After completing this preliminary self-assessment, contact your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center to be put in contact with a conservation planner. The conservation planner will assist you, or you may employ a qualified private consultant, to complete a plan.

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2007 Conservation Planning Workbook (PDF; 140 KB)