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Progressive Planning Minimum Documentation


Conservation Planning and Application - Conservation Planning Technical Note Number MT-6

If you encounter any problems with the file provided on this page, please contact Technical Resources at 406-587-6822.

This technical note is available in Adobe Reader format.

Conservation Planning Technical Note Number MT-6 (PDF; 79 MB)

Issued November 2006.


The National Planning Procedures Handbook states that:

“The planning process is progressive when a client is ready, willing, and able to make and implement some, but not all, of the decisions necessary to achieve an Resources Management System (RMS) level of management.”

“The rate of progress depends on the client's objectives and ability to make and implement conservation decisions, based on the resource, economic, social, and policy issues the client is dealing with.” “It is the duty of planners to provide the client with certain pieces of information. As a minimum, planners show side by side resource impacts between an RMS system and the benchmark (present) condition. The client may not choose an RMS system, but a progressive system. In that case, planners then provide the client resource impacts between the system chosen by the client and the benchmark condition. This helps the client compare the difference in projected resource impacts between the RMS system, the benchmark (present) condition, and the client’s chosen system.”

Even though the client is not ready able or willing to implement all practices needed to achieve an RMS, it is important that the plan document provided to the client be a quality document containing meaningful information that will help lead the client towards implementation of an RMS. Reference Montana Amendment Number 4 to the National Planning Procedures Handbook (NPPH), revised November 2006.

The purpose of this Technical Note is to provide examples of different methods to document the RMS alternatives that have been discussed with the client, and provide minimum documentation that is required in the plan.

Only plans in progressive implementation can be maintained in a three (3) part folder, but a six (6) part folder can be used, if desired. Plan contents will be in accordance with Conservation Planning Technical Note Number 3, revised May 2006. Contracts will be maintained in a six (6) part folder. Toolkit will be used to generate the conservation plans and maps.

Following is a description of required information for a three-part folder. An example plan is attached, and includes different types of acceptable documentation for the information in Part 1.

Additionally, the following blank documents for RMS alternatives are available in both Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word formats.

RMS Alternatives for Cropland (PDF; 36 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Cropland (DOC; 37 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Forestlands (PDF; 40 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Forestlands (DOC; 37 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Grazinglands (PDF; 41 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Grazinglands (DOC; 38 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Hayland (PDF; 38 KB)
RMS Alternatives for Hayland (DOC; 5 KB)

Part 1
  • Overview of Client Operation. This section must include documentation of the Client’s Current Operation, Client Goals, Objectives, Problems, Resource Assessment and the RMS alternatives discussed. This information can be combined or separated on different sheets, if desired. The RMS alternatives need a client signature or initial to show that it was discussed with them.
  • Conservation Assistance Notes. The CPA-6 can either be generated from Toolkit, the excel CPA-6, or handwritten or typed on a Xeroxed copy of a CPA-6. Hand-written notes are not recommended.

Part 2

  • Conservation Plan Map. The plan map will be generated from ArcMap through Toolkit.
  • Soils Map. The soils map will be generated from ArcMap through Toolkit.
  • Soil Map Legend. The soils legend will be generated from ArcMap through Toolkit.
  • Soils Non-Tech Description/Technical Data. The non-technical soils reports can be generated from the soils access database, as well as other technical reports. If Soil Data Viewer is used, then all but the non-technical soils reports can be generated from ArcMap through Toolkit.

Part 3

  • Conservation Plan. This will be generated through Toolkit and will only include those practices that the client has agreed to implement at this time.
  • CPA-52 Environmental Effects Worksheet.
  • Appropriate MT-CPA-8 Cultural Resources Form. Include a map showing field area reviewed, and location of site (if necessary).
  • Other. Any appropriate and necessary Job Sheets, designs, tools, and so forth.

Forms are available at CPA Forms - NRCS Conservation Planning and Assistance.

Sample conservation plan three-part folder is available in hard copy.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Jerry Schaefer, State Resource Conservationist
Phone: (406) 587-6998
Email: Jerry.Schaefer

Debbie Kaiser, Resource Conservationist
Phone: (406) 587-6855
Email: Debbie.Kaiser