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The Nine-Step Conservation Planning Process

The NRCS uses a nine step planning process whenever it begins a project.  The purpose of the steps is to develop and implement plans that protect, conserve, and enhance natural resources within a social and economic perspective.

Step 1: Identify

Planners take into account the current issues of the clients’ area and as planning continues, other problems and opportunities may be identified.

Step 2: Determine Objectives

A conservationist guides the process so that it includes the clients’ needs, values, resources used, and on-site and off-site ecological protection.

Step 3: Inventory Resources

An inventory of local resources is collected. (soil, water, animals, social and economical)

Step 4:  Analyze Resource Data

After taking inventory, the resource data is studied to better understand the natural resource conditions.

Step 5:  Formulate Alternatives

During this step multiple alternatives are considered to provide the client with the chance to consider several possibilities.

Step 6:  Evaluate Alternatives

After planning alternate solutions, their effectiveness is determined in addressing the client’s current problem.

Step 7:  Making Decisions

The landowner chooses which project or plan will work best for their situation. The planner prepares the documentation.

Step 8:  Implement the Plan

The landowner carries out the conservation treatments that make up the planned conservation system.

Step 9:  Evaluate the Plan

Follow up with the client is performed to evaluate operation and maintenance needs.


State Contact:

Mark Ferguson
State Resource Conservationist
Phone: 859-224-7370