CRP policy requires that a NRCS-CPA-52 Environmental Assessment Worksheet be completed for each CRP contract. This allows FSA to "accept" the NRCS environmental assessment and "tier" the findings to the Environmental Impact Statement filed for the CRP program. FSA can accept a previously completed Wisconsin NRCS-WI-CPA-52 Environmental Evaluation form or a more generalized resource assessment that is documented in the Cons-6 notes for an existing contract by filling out a FSA-852.
All new CRP contracts shall have a NRCS-CPA-52 Environmental Assessment completed by NRCS. A series of standardized Environmental Assessments for the major CRP practices are posted on the Wisconsin NRCS homepage. The "standardized" assessments characterize the environmental effects of a specific CRP practice in a "typical setting". A certified conservation planner must evaluate each CRP site and determine if the "standardized" assessment accurately represents the resource setting for the planned CRP practice.
If the "standard" environmental assessment is adequate, the certified conservation planner can sign and date the form and forward to FSA.
If the "standard" environmental assessment does not address a resource that is present on the site (i.e., presence of a specific T&E species, an adjoining prairie remnant, etc.), the conservation planner shall conduct a site-specific resource assessment and document the findings under the Alternatives column(s). The certified planner shall also recommend appropriate mitigation practices as needed (i.e., altering dates of mowing for weed control, etc.). The certified planner will then sign and date the NRCS-CPA-52 and forward to FSA.
A NRCS-CPA-52 must be provided for each practice in the CRP contract. A certified conservation planner can develop a site-specific resource assessment for the entire CRP contract area using the blank NRCS-CPA-52 Environmental Assessment posted on the list.
Questions on CRP-related resource assessments should be direct to your Area Resource Conservationist.