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NRCS is Committed to Conservation Planning

NRCS . . . Committed to Conservation Planning

As Kansas’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continues to manage and administer numerous conservation programs within the 2008 Farm Bill, Eric B. Banks, NRCS State Conservationist, Salina, reminds farmers and ranchers that it has the expertise to develop a conservation plan that will address the natural resource conservation needs or concerns on their land. As a result, NRCS in Kansas is reinforcing its commitment to conservation planning.

Conservation plans are developed by first understanding the resource needs and a landowner’s desired land use goals. Then, based on sound scientific practices, NRCS provides hands-on assistance to help the landowner achieve as many of their goals as possible.

“Planning is critical to the success of almost any endeavor, and getting the kind of results you desire from the land is no different. Developing and implementing a conservation plan can identify and provide focus to activities that will reap those desired results,” said Banks.

“A conservation plan can assist to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the producer’s conservation efforts.”

The philosophy and ethic behind modern conservation planning began in the late 1930s with the father of conservation, Hugh H. Bennett, first chief of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), which changed its name to NRCS in 1994.

NRCS continues to encourage and follow his ideas. He advocated that an effective conservation planner must always consider the needs and capabilities of each acre within the plan; consider the client's resources and economic situation; incorporate the client's willingness to try new practices; consider the land's relationship to the entire farm, ranch, or watershed; and ensure the conservationist's presence on the land.

“NRCS is proud of the foundation behind its conservation planning process,” Banks said. “As it serves as a road map which identifies alternatives to reach desired results, it also offers benefits not only for the landowner but, when implemented, to our natural resources as well.”

“NRCS’s commitment to the conservation planning process is strong and as a result, encourages landowners to develop a conservation plan and implement it,” said Banks.

“NRCS wants our customers, existing and potential, to know how important a tool conservation planning is, and how valuable it can be. We will take every opportunity to get that message out to landowners,” Banks says.

Banks explained that conservation planning is one of the best tools around to help landowners assess and inventory their resources. A conservation plan is developed using state-of-the-art technology and generates information that, if implemented, can have a positive impact on the bottom line.

“NRCS provides this service at no cost to the landowner,” said Banks.

For additional information about conservation planning, please contact your local Conservation District or NRCS field office located in the USDA Service Center that services your county. You may also visit www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov. Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_KS. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.