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News Release

NRCS Delivers Healthier Natural Resources, Greater Public Safety, Better Customer Service in 2017 - New Conservation Plans Cover 27 Million Acres of Working Lands

USDA NRCS LogoFor Immediate Release
December 21, 2017
Contact: Heather Emmons, State Public Affairs Officer
Phone: (775) 857-8500 ext. 105

NRCS Delivers Healthier Natural Resources, Greater Public Safety, Better Customer Service in 2017

New Conservation Plans Cover 27 Million Acres of Working Lands

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 – In 2017, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continued its proud tradition of working in partnership with America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in Nevada and across the country.

“Our data and science-based surveys of our work show that we and our partners brought a healthier resource base, used taxpayers’ dollars wisely, made people safer, and brought more-efficient customer service to our customers and communities in 2017,” said Gary Roeder, NRCS acting state conservationist in Nevada.

Here are some highlights:

Investments in Planning and Farm Bill Programs

In Nevada, NRCS and its partners helped more than 120 land managers invest in their operations. This work resulted in conservation plans for 157,265 acres of working lands.

An $8 million investment in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) helped put conservation practices on more than 148,000 acres in the state. Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) enhancements to build on existing conservation efforts were placed on more than 5,100 acres. More than 2,200 acres were re-enrolled in the program. Nearly 7,400 acres of grasslands in Nevada were protected through enrollments in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

Targeted Conservation

In 2017, NRCS targeted the conservation of some of the nation’s most-valuable resources. Because of this assistance from NRCS and its partners:

  • Water quality improvement practices were implemented on more than 365,000 acres and conservation plans were developed for more than 315,000 acres in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • A two-year implementation strategy was released to help landowners restore and protect 400,000 acres of longleaf pine forests in eight southern states and Texas.
  • More than $32 million was invested in 10 new and 26 existing projects underway with the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership – an effort between NRCS and the U.S. Forest Service – to reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and supply, and improve habitat for at-risk species while working across public and private lands.
  • The holiday darter and bridled darter in the Coosa River of Georgia didn’t need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Customer Service

NRCS improved customer service by applying new ways to meet its customers’ needs. In 2017, NRCS:

  • Offered more than 200 customizable conservation activities through Farm Bill programs.
  • Added customer-requested evaluation, ranking, and obligation processes to CSP.
  • Awarded more than $22.6 million nationwide for 33 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) projects that would advance development of tools, technologies, and strategies to support conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges.

Check out NRCS Nevada's FY2017 Annual Report that includes success stories from around the state. 

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Improving irrigation efficiencyImproving irrigation efficiency can be a practice through the Conservation Stewardship Program