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State Technical Committee (STC) Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities and Roles

The State Technical Committees have no implementation or enforcement authority. However, the Committees' advisory capacity extends to many of the USDA conservation programs.  The responsibilities of the State Technical Committee include recommendations on technical matters such as:

  • Guidelines for evaluating petitions by agricultural producers regarding new conservation practices and systems not already described in field office technical guides;
  • Aspects of wetland protection, restoration, and mitigation requirements;
  • Criteria to be used in evaluating bids for enrollment of environmentally-sensitive lands in the Conservation Reserve Program ;
  • Guidelines for haying or grazing and the control of weeds to protect nesting wildlife on set-aside acreage;
  • Highly erodible land exemptions and the appeals process as they pertain to technical issues and information;
  • Wetland and highly erodible land conservation compliance exemptions and the appeals process;
  • Methods to address common weed and pest problems and programs to control weeds and pests found on acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program;
  • Guidelines for planting perennial cover for water quality and wildlife habitat improvement on set-aside lands;
  • Criteria and priorities for state initiatives under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP);
  • Criteria to prioritize applications from applicants with significant statewide resource concerns outside a priority area;
  • Criteria to be used in defining a large confined livestock operation;
  • Suggestions on how often producers' applications are ranked and selected; and
  • Determination of cost share and incentive payment limits for participants subject to environmental requirements or with significant statewide resource concerns.

State Technical Committees may offer recommendations on other matters determined appropriate by the NRCS State Conservationist. USDA will seek State Technical Committee recommendations including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The implementation of the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP);
  • The development of a statewide Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP);
  • Statewide program guidelines applicable to WRP easement compensation, restoration planning, priority ranking, and related policy matters;
  • The technical merits of proposals submitted for the Farmland Protection Program;
  • Identification of any categories of conversion activities and conditions, which are routinely determined by NRCS to have minimal effect on wetland functions and values;
  • Conservation techniques and measures related to achieving environmental justice needs; and
  • Types or classes of wetland that are not eligible for mitigation exemption under the Wetland Conservation provisions.

More Information

For more information about the STC and their role, contact Julie Wombacher at (608) 662-4422.