The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Strategic Plan 2005-2010, Productive Lands Healthy Environment defines the watershed approach as a key to conserving natural resources on private lands through locally led efforts in cooperation with the science of the natural resources.
Decisions about the use and management of natural resources are best made by focusing on the functioning of natural systems within a landscape. Watersheds provide the context within which we can meaningfully evaluate aquatic habitats and the movement of water, nutrients, sediment, and energy through the landscape. They are universal, well-defined areas that provide a common basis for discussion of water, related resources, and landscape processes.
Managing our programs at the watershed level will provide a way to integrate NRCS program activities with other Federal, Tribal, State, and local activities to achieve the greatest results.
We are committed to providing services on a watershed basis to enable people to assess their natural resource conditions, evaluate alternatives, implement solutions, and measure success.
The following activities have been used to inventory, analyze, evaluate, and promote natural resource health through the watershed approach: