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Conservation Practice Library

This page contains a library of conservation practices offered by NRCS in Massachusetts.

Below is a list of conservation practices available through NRCS. Learn more about each conservation practice by clicking on the conservation practice name.

We're currently in the process of building this library, so please visit again to view our updates.


Small image of aquatic organism passage linking to page with more information on practice.

Aquatic Organism Passage #396

These are engineered structures made to improve or provide passage for aquatic organisms. This practice is designed to remove barriers that prevent fish and other aquatic organisms from following their natural migratory routes.

Small image of brush management linking to a page describing this practice in more detail.

Brush Management #314

Brush management is the removal, reduction or manipulation of woody trees and shrubs. Managing unwanted trees and brush helps restore desired vegetative cover to protect soil from erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.

Small image of conservation cover linking to a page with more detail about this practice.

Conservation Cover #327

Establishing and maintaining permanent vegetative cover of either introduced or native grasses, legumes and forbs for nesting cover, winter cover, brood cover, pollinator habitat, and food for wildlife.

Small image of a cover crop linking to more information on this practice.

Cover Crop #340

Crops such as cereal rye, oats and winter wheat are planted to temporarily protect the ground from wind and water erosion and supply living roots to the soil during times when cropland is often not adequately protected.

Small image of a fence linking to detailed information about this practice.

Fence #382

A permanent, portable or temporary constructed barrier to animals or people.

Small image of forest stand improvement linking to more information on this practice.

Forest Stand Improvement #666

Forest stand improvement involves the manipulation of forest species composition, stand structure and stocking by cutting or killing selected trees and/or understory vegetation.

Small image of high tunnel linking to page with detailed information on this practice.

High Tunnel System #325

A high tunnel is a greenhouse-like structure that changes the climate inside to create better growing conditions for crops. High tunnels help to extend the growing season in an environmentally safe manner.

Small image of a pond linking to more information about this practice.

Pond #378

A farm pond is a pool of water formed by a dam or pit. There are two types of ponds - embankment ponds, which are water impoundments made by constructing an embankment, and excavated ponds, which are formed by excavating a pit or dugout.

Small image of prescribed burning linking to more information about this practice.

Prescribed Burning #338

Fire applied to manage grassland, forestland, pasture land, wildlife areas, or hayland within a prescribed set of conditions, dates, and with appropriate safety precautions to achieve a specific purpose.

Small image of prescribed grazing linking to more detailed information on this practice.

Prescribed Grazing #528

Managing the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals. This is often attained through a rotational or mob grazing system where pastures are divided into four or more pastures or paddocks with fencing.

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Pumping Plant #533

A system that delivers water at a specified flow and rate. Pumping plants can be solar-powered, submerged in water, or mounted on the surface of the ground. They can be powered by line electricity, photovoltaic (PV) panels, or wind or water turbines.

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Structure for Water Control #587

A structure in a water management system that allows water to move, controls the direction or rate of flow, maintains a desired water surface elevation or measures water.

Small image of a water well linking to detailed information on this practice.

Water Well #642

A water well is a system that brings water from an aquifer in the ground to the surface. Reliable water sources are essential to irrigation, livestock, wildlife, and people.

Small image of windbreak linking to more information on this practice.

Windbreak & Shelterbelt Renovation #650

Single or multiple rows of trees and shrubs in linear configurations that protect areas from wind.