Helping people help the land is what drives NRCS to achieve our mission. Across the nation, we seek to ensure that program participation is increased by 10 percent each year until we meet or exceed the Justice40 goals.
Our Commitment to Justice40
The NRCS National Leadership Team has worked to craft and track a plan that ensures Equity is incorporated in the planning and delivery of technical assistance and conservation programs. NRCS aims to increase program participation by 10 percent each year until the agency meets, or exceeds, the Justice40 goals outlined in President Biden’s commitment.
By leveraging partnerships through locally led community revitalization and renewing efforts of NRCS’ program outreach delivery processes, we believe that we can foster inclusive approaches to invigorate conservation efforts across the nation. We also seek to ensure that disadvantaged communities, and those that have been historically underserved, have access to and can benefit from the agency’s programs and services.
To accomplish the goals identified in NRCS’ Equity Action Plan, we will engage with diverse stakeholders from across the country to seek their input, guidance, and feedback on needed changes for technical assistance and program delivery. In addition, we will utilize lessons learned from the Chief’s Hiring Strategy Task Force (HSTF) to make advancements in the agency’s workforce diversity to ensure that we have highly skilled and compassionate employees who can build relationships at the local level and earn the trust of historically underserved customers and communities. We will address barriers that impede progress by examining our relationship with historically underserved communities. Consistent messaging from agency leadership and employee engagement will also be essential to NRCS’ success in reaching the goals to fully implement the Justice40 plan.
Covered Justice40 programs
A “covered program” is a Federal Government program that makes covered investment benefits in one or more of the following seven areas:
- Climate change
- Clean energy and energy efficiency
- Clean transportation
- Affordable and sustainable housing
- Training and workforce development (related to climate, natural disasters, environment, clean energy, clean transportation, housing, water and wastewater infrastructure, and legacy pollution reduction, including in energy communities)
- Remediation and reduction of legacy pollution
- Critical clean water and waste infrastructure
Our covered Justice40 programs are:
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP ALE)
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP WRE)
- Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP)
- Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP)
- Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership (JCLRP)
- Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP)
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
- Watershed Rehabilitation (REHAB)
Links for further information:
- White House page for Justice40 Initiative: https://www.whitehouse.gov/environmentaljustice/justice40/
- List of USDA Justice40 covered programs: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-justice-40-programs.pdf
- Executive Order 14008 “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/01/2021-02177/tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and-abroad