The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) working through a cooperative working agreement with local soil conservation districts, is the agency responsible for conservation of natural resources on private land. NRCS provides technical assistance to landowners using voluntary programs.
North Dakota encompasses 45.2 million surface acres. Just over 28.1 million acres are in cropland, 9.9 million acres are in rangeland, 1.2 million acres are in tame pastures, and nearly 4 million acres are forested. Water, urban areas, roads, and other land uses cover the remaining acreage. Six percent of the Nation's cropland lies in North Dakota, the third highest in the United States.
Agriculture is the major industry for the State, generating 63 percent of North Dakota's gross income. North Dakota ranks third in the Nation in ag-related employment. Today's agriculture includes production, processing, manufacturing, farm service, and distribution.
NRCS works in North Dakota through 56 soil conservation districts. Districts cover 100 percent of North Dakota. USDA has a unique partnership with conservation districts. All 56 conservation districts in North Dakota have working mutual agreements with USDA and the State of North Dakota. They provide grassroots input to USDA through the NRCS. Local conservation district boards are comprised of three to five supervisors. Conservation districts are organized statewide, often following county boundaries. They are generally collocated with NRCS in USDA service centers.
Wind and water erosion are the primary concerns of NRCS in North Dakota. Wind erosion accounts for approximately 60 percent of the soil erosion, while water erosion is about 40 percent of the total in the State.
Other Partners: The conservation partnership continues to expand where the the goals of individuals, agencies, and groups are in harmony with our mission of helping people conserve, improve, and sustain our natural resources and environment.
The State Technical Committee serves in an advisory capacity to J.R. Flores, State Conservationist, NRCS, Bismarck, North Dakota. Participation in State Technical Committee meetings is open to the public.