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Oregon’s Strategic Approach to Conservation

Header - Strategic Approach to Conservation

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Interactive Map Highlights Oregon's Strategic Approach

View our new interactive map featuring current funding opportunities (Conservation Implementation Strategies) in Oregon.

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Oregon's Strategic Approach Is...

  • Partner-Centric: NRCS works with local, state, federal, and tribal partners and with non-governmental organizations to strategically focus our investments on the highest-priority resource needs in our state.

  • Cost Effective: By collaborating with partners, NRCS leverages additional funding sources from other groups to make the most effective use of limited federal conservation dollars. Leveraging funds increases the total conservation investment and provides an economic stimulus to local and regional economies.

  • Focused & Targeted: Instead of funding conservation projects on a scattered, farm-by-farm approach, NRCS targets its investments in very specific areas to achieve clearly-defined natural resource goals as identified by local partners. This approach harnesses the power of multiple landowners in one area undertaking similar conservation projects to achieve a regional or landscape-scale result.

  • Results-Oriented: The strategic approach emphasizes planning with the end result in mind. NRCS staff work with local partners to set measurable goals and to track and achieve meaningful conservation results.

  • A Management Tool: The strategic approach helps NRCS leadership and field staff better prioritize, track, plan, and monitor conservation projects on-the-ground. This way of doing businesses allows us to more effectively deliver project planning and increases efficiency in implementation.

About the Strategic Approach

NRCS Oregon uses a Strategic Approach to Conservation to address priority natural resource concerns in specific watersheds and landscapes across the state, across public and private lands. It all begins with a Long Range Plan. Each county develops a Long Range Plan with input from landowners, agency partners and other stakeholders that identifies and prioritizes natural resource concerns in the community. Long Range Plans are updated to reflect the changing needs and objectives of the county's natural resources.

Based on those plans, NRCS works with partners to develop local Conservation Implementation Strategies (CIS) to help agricultural producers in those targeted areas implement conservation practices that address the resource concerns. Each CIS is the culmination of a multi-partnership effort that identifies a specific natural resource problem; sets goals and objectives; evaluates alternatives; establishes partner roles; and develops an implementation and monitoring plan.

Every year, NRCS hosts Local Work Group meetings at the county level, where farmers, landowners, conservation partners and other members of the community discuss the natural resource needs for the county. Based on feedback from those meetings, NRCS updates the county's Long Range Plan and develops new Conservation Implementation Strategies to address those resource concerns.

Using existing NRCS cost-share programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, we leverage funding and partnerships to target priority CIS resource concerns in Oregon. Projects span both public and private boundaries and include improvements to water quality/quantity, soil health, wildlife habitat, forest health and more.