Unprecedented capacity for natural resource assessment and analysis has been developed through CEAP—integrating for the first time investments such as the National Resources Inventory (NRI), geospatial databases, conservation practice implementation data, and partner monitoring data—with powerful and improved analytical models and methods.
CEAP has created a large partnership that has energized the conservation and research communities. Through the partnership, CEAP has leveraged the funding and expertise of more than 60 partners including Federal and State agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations. The project embodies a model of shared leadership with key partners, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Farm Service Agency among many others.
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CEAP Assessments are carried out at field, watershed and landscape scale and include analysis of the cumulative effects and benefits of conservation practices on natural resources and the environment. Conservation practices associated with the following USDA conservation programs are being assessed: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), Conservation Technical Assistance Program, and Grassland Reserve Program (GRP). Conservation practices that will be assessed include conservation buffers; erosion control; wetlands conservation and restoration; establishment of wildlife habitat; and management of grazing land, tillage, irrigation water, nutrients, and pests. Similar practices applied without USDA technical or financial assistance are also included in the assessments, as it is not possible to separate these out in a landscape analysis.
CEAP Coordination, Collaboration, and Partners
There are currently more than 60 collaborators engaged in CEAP projects or outreach activities, and this list is constantly growing. Some key agency and other partners are mentioned below, though this is not a comprehensive list.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science honored CEAP on March 15, 2011, as an "Exemplary Collaborative Case Study" as part of the Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Natural Resources R&D Round Table. Case studies were selected based on a history of successful collaboration among Federal and non-Federal or private partnerships that have yielded significant impacts for taxpayers through benefits to agriculture, food, nutrition, or natural resources. A Webcast of the Round Table program including a 20-minute presentation on CEAP collaboration and resulting impact can be viewed for free on-demand at the above link.
To facilitate Federal coordination and collaboration in CEAP, as well as to seek input on project direction and management, CEAP established and continues to work with an interagency technical steering committee. The CEAP Steering Committee meets monthly to review CEAP progress, project findings, and discuss CEAP and related natural resource assessment innovations and future directions. This committee was initially established in 2003 with the inception of the project and periodically includes interaction with other CEAP partners, some of which are listed below.
Lead USDA agencies
Other Federal partners
Expert External Advice
Managing Agricultural Landscapes:
Two CEAP-supported workshops conducted by the Soil and Water Conservation Society to examine conservation at the landscape scale:
In 2006, under a grant from USDA, the Soil and Water Conservation Society convened an advisory panel of recognized conservation leaders from public, private, and non-governmental organizations to provide guidance to USDA on CEAP activities and goals for the project at that time. Many of these recommendations have been addressed in CEAP as relevant and were combined with additional expert advice from the CEAP Steering Committee as well as from large workshops, most notably the Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Environmental Quality series of workshops.
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