Conservation Stewardship Program
Payment for Performance
CSP General Sign-up And Contract Renewal Deadline for FY2016 is March 31, 2016
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but agricultural producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016 have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31.
FY2016 CSP Program Materials are available at the following links:
FY2016 CSP Application sign-up information for CSP General, CSP-Landscape Conservation Initiative (LCI) and CSP 2012 Renewals - click here.
FY2016 CSP Payment Rates - Click here.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) presents a significant shift in how the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation program payments. CSP participants will receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce. Under CSP, participants are paid for conservation performance: the higher the operational performance, the higher their payment.
CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:
- Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
- Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated administrative authority for CSP to the NRCS Chief.
*NEW* Landscape Conservation Initiative (LCI). Wyoming will offer an opportunity for participants to enroll their operating unit in LCI designated areas. Participants in the counties within the Ogallala Aquifer boundary may be eligible for LCI-OAI. Participants within Sage-grouse current range may be eligible for LCI-SG. Please contact your local NRCS Field Office for additional information.
How CSP Works
CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS accepts applications for CSP at local service centers, nationwide, on a continuous basis.
The state conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Advisory Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a state, or specific geographic areas within a state. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a state who face similar resource challenges.
The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land operated substantially separate that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract.
CSP offers two possible types of payments:
- Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
- Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations - Click here to view the Wyoming Resource Conserving Crop Rotations Factsheet (PDF, 145 KB).
Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land.
- Nonindustrial Private Forest
- Agricultural Land Under the Jurisdiction of an Native American Tribe or Tribal Nation
- And other Private Agricultural Land (including Cropped Woodland, Marshes, and Agricultural Land used for the Production of Livestock) on which Resource Concerns Related to Agricultural Production Could be Addressed.
2016 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist
Download and fill out the 2016 Conservation Stewardship Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 178KB)
You don't have to turn it in to NRCS; it's there to help you determine for CSP is right for you. If you have questions regarding the Checklist, please contact your local NRCS office.
2016 Ranking Period One Enhancement Activity Job Sheets
"Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard.
Wyoming's Priority Resource Concerns
- Soil Erosion
- Soil Quality
- Water Quality
- Water Quantity
Wyoming's 2015 Ranking Areas
Applications will be evaluated and ranked for funding relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns in a ranking pool specific to the geographic area and land use. The CSP sign-up is available statewide. Wyoming has been divided into five CSP ranking areas as shown on the map below.
Northwest Region: Park, Big Horn, Hot Springs, Fremont, and Washakie counties
Southwest Region: Teton, Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta, and Sweetwater counties
Northeast Region: Sheridan, Johnson, Campbell, Crook, and Weston counties
Central Region: Natrona, Converse, Carbon, and Albany counties
Southeast Region: Niobrara, Platte, Goshen, and Laramie counties
In addition, the program provides opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers. Nationally, the program aims to enroll at least five percent of total program acres operated by beginning farmers and ranchers and another five percent operated by socially disadvantaged producers. Beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers will have a separate statewide funding pool. For additional information, visit the Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers website.
CSP participants must have records of farming and ranching activities. These records will be used during NRCS field visits to verify accuracy of application information before contracts are approved. Click here for a sample Records Compilation Workbook (PDF, 422 KB) that applicants may use to document their farming and ranching activities.
FY2016 CSP Payment Rates - http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/financial/csp/?cid=nrcseprd428011
Mary Schrader, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 307-233-6757