USDA Offers Renewal Options for Expiring Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts
State CSP Coordinator
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington (NRCS-WA) announced today that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for Washington State.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is the USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled nationwide. NRCS made several updates to the program last fall. These changes help producers better evaluate conservation options that benefit their operations while improving the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands.
“The changes are providing more opportunities for producers in Washington to participate and bring their conservation efforts to a next level,” said Keith Griswold, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire Dec. 31 can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by March 31, 2023.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat, and soil health building activities – all while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. Benefits to producers can include:
- Improved cattle gains per acre
- Increased crop yields
- Decreased inputs
- Wildlife population improvements; and
- Better resilience to weather extremes.
“CSP is for working lands,” said Griswold. “Washington producers who have voluntarily enrolled in the program have made the choice to enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.”
Washington producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit http://www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov or contact their local USDA service center to learn more.