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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.

Landscape Initiative Opportunities in Vermont  

Initiative Name Description
EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative A program available to agricultural producers, designed to strengthen local and regional food markets and increase the use of sustainable conservation practices that will improve plant and soil quality, reduce nutrient and pesticide transport and reduce energy inputs.
EQIP Energy Initiative Assist producers to conserve energy on their farms though an Agriculture Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit. Provide assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in the energy audit.
EQIP Organic Initiative Special EQIP funding is available to organic growers and those transitioning to organic production.
National Water Quality Initiative Assist producers in addressing high-priority water resource concerns in small watersheds. The Rock River watershed in Franklin County, Vermont was selected for this initiative in 2012. The 2013 selected watershed will be announced soon.
America's Great Outdoors Assist producers in improving water quality. The Missisquoi Bay in Franklin and Orleans counties of Vermont were selected for the America's Great Outdoors initiative in 2012. The 2013 selected watershed will be announced soon.
New England New York Forestry Initiative