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Conservation Planning

Productive Lands, Healthy Environment

A conservation plan is the first step to managing natural resources in the landscape. With advice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a landowner or land manager selects the best combination of conservation practices to meet both natural resource needs and his or her individual land management goals. Conservation planning is provided free of charge.

The plan combines the lMeeting conservation needs togetherand owner's or land manager's land management skills with NRCS science based technology to help ensure:

  • Clean water
  • Clean air
  • Quality soil
  • Abundant wildlife
  • Healthy environment
  • Energy conservation

What a Conservation Plan Includes

After Soil, water, air, plant, animal, human, and energy resource considerations are inventoried and evaluated, an NRCS Certified Conservation Planner will suggest several options. The landowner's decisions are recorded in the conservation plan, which becomes his or her roadmap for better management of natural resources.

A conservation plan includes:

  • Landowner determined goals
  • Aerial photograph of diagram of the land
  • soils map and soils descriptions
  • Resource inventory data, such as forage or crop production potential
  • List of landowner's conservation decisions
  • Location and schedule for applying conservation practices and systems
  • Maintenance information for installed conservation measures

Badlands grazing cattle



Benefits of a Conservation Plan

A conservation plan ensures that the land's unique natural resources are managed in the best possible way, while maintaining sustainability and productivity. Additional  benefits of a conservation plan include:

  • May help landowner comply with environmental regulations
  • May qualify landowner for USDA conservation programs that can help him or her implement conservation measures
  • Adapts to changing farm or ranch operational goals
  • Establishes an implementation schedule that fits the landowners' timetable and resources

For More Information

To learn more about conservation planning or to request assistance from an NRCS Certified Planner, contact your local NRCS Service Center.

North Dakota State Contact

Todd A. Schwagler, ASTC (Ecological Sciences)
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Ph: (701) 530-2084
Fax: (855) 813-7556