California 2007 Conservation Planning Initiative
California is providing a prioritized opportunity for eligible private landowners in select counties to receive, without charge, professional natural resource conservation planning services. The sign up for this initiative ran from March 1 to June 1, 2007.
"Last year California was one of nine states that participated in this planning initiative and the results were encouraging, " said State Conservationist Ed Burton of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California. "Over 140 landowners worked with us to develop plans that are helping them solve natural resource concerns, meet environmental regulations and compete for financial assistance. Thus, we decided to offer the program again this year."
Last year, of the participants surveyed, 100 percent agreed that the conservation planning process was beneficial and said they would recommend it to other landowners.
Landowners were encouraged to contact their local NRCS office for planning assistance in the following participating locations: Alturas, Auburn, Blythe, Colusa, Dixon, El Centro, Grass Valley, Indio, Livermore, Mariposa, Merced, Modesto, Oroville, Petaluma, Placerville, Redding, Redlands, Salinas, Tulelake, Weaverville, Willows, Woodland, and Yuba City.
The conservation planning service provides a professional analysis of a landowner’s natural resources and helps owners/managers craft alternatives based on their goals and budget. The alternatives can include engineering, agronomic, soils and biological solutions to address problems such as erosion, polluted water, dust, pesticide and nutrient runoff, and more. Plans can also be developed to further enhance already-healthy land or to augment land for habitat beneficial to fish and wildlife.
Diane Holcomb, former Director of Resource Technology for NRCS in California said that conservation planning does take an investment of time. "To properly evaluate the natural resources on your land and develop reasonable technical alternatives takes diligence and commitment. However, participants will come away with a documented plan that could be invaluable in making their property productive, sustainable and in compliance with environmental regulations, " Holcomb said.
Landowners outside of the participating offices can contact their local NRCS conservationist for information on how to obtain planning assistance.