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Conservation Plan Development

Leaders in Conservation Planning Assistance

How to Request Conservation Planning Assistance?

NRCS provides farmers, ranchers and forest managers with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you. For assistance in developing conservation plans, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service or Soil and Water Conservation District  office.  

To get started with NRCS, visit How to Get Assistance from NRCS.

5 Steps to Assistance Fact Sheet (PDF, 1 MB) This fact sheet requires Acrobat Reader offsite link image    


Conservation Client Gateway

Conservation Client Gateway is a secure web portal that lets you work with NRCS online. Landowners and land managers, whether operating as individuals or authorized representatives of business entities, can request conservation technical assistance and Conservation Plans through the Conservation Client Gateway. To get started with NRCS, visit Conservation Client Gateway.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was created in 1935 to assist individuals and groups in identifying and solving conservation problems on private lands through a partnership with local soil and water conservation districts (SWCD). The NRCS, with help from its partners, continues to help clients prepare conservation plans for the lands they make decisions on. The process is voluntary and participatory. Each client serves as the final decision maker throughout the process.

What is a Conservation Plan?

A Conservation Plan is a written record of your management decisions and the conservation practices and systems you plan to use, develop, and maintain on your farm or forestland. Carrying out your plan will help achieve the goals of protecting the environment and your natural resources. After soil, water, air, plant, animal, energy and human resources are inventoried and evaluated through the NRCS 3-Phase 9-Step Conservation Planning Process, the NRCS or SWCD Certified Conservation Planner will review and offer possible alternatives for you to consider. The alternatives you decide are recorded in a conservation plan, which becomes the road-map to help you achieve your goals, protect and enhance the valuable resources of your land, and establishes the basis for Financial Assistance (FA) opportunities.

What is in a Conservation Plan?

  • An aerial photo or diagram of your farm or forestland
  • A map of the soils on your farm or forestland and descriptions of those soils
  • Information on grasses, trees, and other plants that grow on your farm or forestland
  • Resource inventory data which can include crop production potential, engineering designs and support data, and potential livestock carrying capacity
  • The location and schedule for applying conservation practices
  • Job sheets and Specifications
  • A plan of operation and maintenance for conservation systems of practices

How it Helps the Land

Conservation of the natural resources (soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources) is important to the future of North Carolina. NRCS can provide help with such issues as animal waste management, water quality, soil erosion, grazing land management, engineering, and other conservation needs.

How it Helps You

Healthy private land is America's strength. Healthy working land is the foundation of a prosperous American agriculture industry, the cornerstone of environmental quality, and the core of healthy communities. A Conservation Plan will become your road-map towards Financial Assistance (FA) opportunities