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Conservation Planning

Caguas Soil Conservationist Vivian Vera provides conservation technical assistance to a Culebra farmer in September 2019.The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is USDA's principal agency to provide conservation technical assistance to private landowners, conservation districts, tribes, and other organizations. NRCS delivers conservation technical assistance through its voluntary Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA). CTA is available to any group or individual interested in conserving our natural resources and sustaining agricultural production in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CTA program functions through a national network of locally-based, professional conservationists located in NRCS Field and Conservation District offices nearly every county of the United States.

NRCS uses science-based technology to provide conservation planning and assistance to land owners and operators and others to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animal for productive lands and healthy ecosystems. A conservation plan identifies the customer’s conservation objectives and assesses and analyzes the natural resources issues on that customer’s land related to soil, water, animals, plants, air, energy, and human interaction. The plan offers alternatives, documents decisions, records progress and tracks successful completion of conservation practices and systems. It helps provide guidance and direction for continued maintenance of conservation systems once established.

NRCS uses a 9-step Conservation Planning Process to provide customized tools and resources for each customer, like a land use map, soils information, photos, resource inventory, economic costs and benefits, schedule of recommended practices, maintenance schedules, and engineering notes — all based on the producer’s goals and the resource needs.

9 Step Planning ProcessThe Ecological Sciences Division also provides training and resources for NEPA environmental compliance and Resource Concern assessment (PDF, 834 KB).

Conservación en Acción - prácticas para agricultores en el Á del CaribeNRCS recently introduced a new Conservation at Work video series for farmers and landowners to learn about the benefits of conservation practices directly from the farmers, ranchers and forestland owners applying them. In each 90-second video, farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners from across the country explain why they’ve implemented conservation practices and how the practices work on their land.

NRCS Caribbean is working to translate these videos, and has already translated their accompanying “practice postcards” to Spanish for our farmers. View and download copies of the practice postcards in both English and Spanish on our Conservación en Acción page.