NRCS has implemented a broad spectrum of initiatives since January of 2009. These initiatives enable NRCS to more effectively address priority natural resource concerns by delivering systems of practices, primarily to the most vulnerable lands within geographic focus areas.
North Dakota NRCS Landscape Conservation Initiatives
The On-Farm Energy Initiative enables producers to identify ways to conserve energy on the farm and implement practices associated with energy conservation.
Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative offers assistance to producers to help extend the growing season for crops in an environmentally safe manner.
The Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative is a partnership aimed at combating the decline of wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species similar habitat needs.Through Working Lands for Wildlife landowners can voluntarily participate in an incentive-based efforts to:
- Restore populations of declining wildlife species.
- Provide farmers, ranchers, and forest managers with regulatory certainty that conservation investments they make today help sustain their operations over the long term.
- Strengthen and sustain rural economies by restoring and protecting the productive capacity of working lands.
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), known for its diverse wetlands and large areas of native prairie, provides critical habitat for many of the nation’s migratory birds, including grassland birds. Maintaining wetlands and grasslands in the region provide diverse benefits, including water quality protection, potential flood reduction, carbon sequestration and enhanced wetland and wildlife habitat.
The Organic Initiative provides opportunities for organic producers to address resource concerns related to organic production.
Through these initiatives, NRCS seeks to accomplish:
Conservation beyond boundaries—Landscape-scale natural resource concerns, such as species conservation and water quality, cannot be treated effectively based on geo-political boundaries. NRCS recognizes that natural resource concerns transcend farm, county, and state boundaries.
A science-based approach—Findings from the multi-agency Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) indicate the most effective way to increase protection of natural resources is to target conservation to the most vulnerable or valuable areas and to apply a systems rather than a practice-by-practice approach. Within individual initiatives, the best available university and government science resources are used to define initiative targeting approaches.
Build on existing locally-led efforts and partnerships—NRCS seeks to maximize the success of initiatives by leveraging partner interest and resources through programmatic and other tools.
Regulatory certainty for agricultural producers—Where applicable, NRCS is working with regulators so agricultural producers can have certainty that the voluntary conservation systems they implement are consistent with current and potential regulation, as well as sustained agricultural production.