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NRCS Colorado Programs

NRCS's natural resources conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty. Much of the funding for conservation programs is associated with provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.. Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

  • Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture.
  • Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) is a voluntary program designed to restore and protect wetlands on private property.

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program in which participants enter into contractual agreements with the USDA to take highly erodible land and environmentally sensitive cropland out of production by applying protective vegetative cover suited for wildlife. CRP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency/FSA, with technical and other assistance from the NRCS.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a Farm Bill Program that helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) provides voluntary conservation technical assistance to land-users, communities, units of state and local government, and other Federal agencies in planning and implementing conservation systems.

Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by flood, erosion or other natural disasters. NRCS directs funds and provides technical assistance to landowners to treat land within watersheds.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary Farm Bill conservation program which provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

Snow Survey Program provides mountain snowpack data and streamflow forecasts for the western United States.

Soils Program provides Soil Surveys, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data, Resources Inventories (NRI) and more.