NRCS Colorado Programs Conservation Stewardship Program

Colorado Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP FY 2012 Ranking Period One

The ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is extended to January 27, 2012. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS Office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

CSP Sign-up News Release

Producer Self-Screening Checklist

Conservation Program Application NRCS-CPA-1200

CSP Fact Sheet

FY 2012 Ranking Period One Job Sheets

FY 2012 Ranking Period One Activity List

Colorado Supplements to Enhancement Job Sheets


The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) presents a significant shift in how NRCS provides conservation program payments. CSP participants will receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce. Under CSP, participants are paid for conservation performance: the higher the operational performance, the higher their payment.

Program Description

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

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

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.

Eligible Lands

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.

Conservation Measurement Tool Inventory (CMT) Questions

As part of the CSP application process, you'll work with NRCS field personnel to complete your resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance for existing and additional conservation activities.

The documents below are copies of the resource inventory questions, grouped by land use. You can download and review the questions, and begin drafting responses to start resource inventory process before you complete the CMT in your local NRCS office.

2012 Ranking Period One CMT NIPF General Questions (PDF, 16KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool General Questions (PDF, 16KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool Cropland Questions (PDF, 40KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool Forest Land Questions (PDF, 29KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool Pastureland Questions (PDF, 26KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool Rangeland Questions
(PDF, 21KB)

2012 Ranking Period One CMT Tool Water Questions (PDF, 19KB)

Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) Scoring Process

NRCS will use the CMT to evaluate CSP applications through a point-based system to estimate environmental benefits. The CMT evaluates existing and proposed new activities to calculate conservation performance points which will be used for ranking and payment purposes.

Conservation performance points are programmed in the CMT, along with all controls, filters, and calculations. A scientific validation of CMT is underway and future modifications to these points may be needed.

Colorado's "Priority Resource Concerns"

Working Agricultural Lands:
Non-Industrial Private Forestland:
- Soil Erosion - Soil Erosion
- Water Quality - Water Quality
- Water Quantity - Plants
- Plants - Animals
- Animals  

For more information, contact:

Dawn Jackson
Assistant State Conservationist - Programs
Denver Federal Center
Building 56, Room 2604
PO Box 25426
Denver, CO 80225-0426
Ph: 720-544-2805