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Landscape Initiatives

NRCS has implemented a broad spectrum of initiatives since January of 2009. These initiatives enable NRCS to more effectively address priority natural resource concerns by delivering systems of practices, primarily to the most vulnerable lands within geographic focus areas.

Through these initiatives, NRCS seeks to accomplish: 

  • Conservation beyond boundaries—Landscape-scale natural resource concerns, such as species conservation and water quality, cannot be treated effectively based on geo-political boundaries.  NRCS recognizes that natural resource concerns transcend farm, county, and state boundaries.
  • A science-based approach — Findings from the multi-agency Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) indicate the most effective way to increase protection of natural resources is to target conservation to the most vulnerable or valuable areas and to apply a systems rather than a practice-by-practice approach.  Within individual initiatives, the best available university and government science resources are used to define initiative targeting approaches.
  • Build on existing locally-led efforts and partnerships — NRCS seeks to maximize the success of initiatives by leveraging partner interest and resources through programmatic and other tools.
  • Regulatory certainty for agricultural producers — Where applicable, NRCS is working with regulators so agricultural producers can have certainty that the voluntary conservation systems they implement are consistent with current and potential regulation, as well as sustained agricultural production.

Ohio Landscape Conservation Initiatives

Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative - GLCI is a nationwide consortium of organizations and agencies working together with NRCS  to maintain and improve the management and health of the nation's grazing lands.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - GLRI is restoring and protecting watersheds in eight states surrounding the Great Lakes that provide drinking water for over 40 million Americans and drive a $62 billion annual economy of fishing, boating and recreational activities.

Mississippi River Basin Initiative - Improving water quality, restoring wetlands, and enhancing wildlife habitat and agricultural profitability in priority small watersheds of the Mississippi River in the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Western Lake Erie Basin Initiative - Will support the work of farmers in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). The initiative helps farmers and ranchers implement science-based conservation measures to reduce runoff from farms entering the region’s waterways.  Lake Erie is part of the Great Lakes System which contains 20 percent of all the freshwater in the world.