About Wyoming NRCS
Helping people help the land.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works hand-in-hand with the American people to conserve natural resources on private lands. We help land users approach conservation planning and implementation with an understanding of how natural resources relate to each other and to all of us, and how our activities affect those resources.
The NRCS, formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service, was created as a national response to the Dust Bowl catastrophe of the 1930's. Hugh Hammond Bennett, the agency's first chief, convinced Congress that soil erosion was a national menace; that a permanent agency was needed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to call landowners' attention to their land stewardship opportunities and responsibilities; and that a partnership of federal agencies with local communities was needed to help farmers and ranchers conserve their land.
Today, NRCS still speaks to the health and well being of soil, water, air, plants, and animals on America's private lands.
NRCS Services and Products
The NRCS employees and volunteers provide services and products to managers and owners of private lands that assist them in making land use decisions.
Technical Assistance for Conservation Planning
NRCS natural resource specialists provide technical assistance to help customers decide what conservation practices and systems will best sustain the natural resources while meeting their economic goals. This planning assistance ranges from a site specific plan to one that covers a larger geographic area.
Technical Assistance for Application of Conservation
Technical and cost-share assistance is available through NRCS to help customers apply planned conservation practices and systems. This assistance includes designs, specifications, construction and management assistance, as well as financial assistance for practice and system installation.
Resources Information and Technology
This includes the natural resource inventories and assessments that NRCS conducts to indicate status, condition, and trends of natural resources on private lands. It also includes science-based, technical tools, technical guides and performance specifications and standards, that assure quality and consistency of conservation planning and application across the nation.
Local people, individually and collectively, decide how to use NRCS capabilities in the natural resource conservation planning and application process. NRCS's role is to support and facilitate these individual and local decisions based on good resource information, whether that's a grazing management plan or layout for an irrigation system.
Customers Are Not the Only Ones Who Benefit
Ultimately, every person who drinks water and eats food benefits from the work NRCS does. The benefits translate beyond a landscape into benefits to rural communities.
Individuals and groups who own or manage Wyoming's private lands are the people who most directly use our products and services:
- Farmers, ranchers, and others who manage privately owned lands
- Water management groups
- Rural and urban community leaders and members
- Local and state government elected and appointed officials
- Other individuals, groups, and associations with an interest or focus on natural resource issues
A Staff of Technically Sound, Field-Based Employees
The strength of NRCS is in its workforce---the men and women who work side-by-side with the owners and managers of America's privately owned land.
These are the NRCS employees who have the technical expertise and field experience to help land users solve their natural resource challenges and maintain and improve their ability to thrive economically. NRCS employees are highly skilled in many scientific and technical specialties, including soil science, soil conservation, forestry, engineering, geology, hydrology, cultural resources, Geographic Information Science (GIS), and economics.
NRCS collaborates with many partners to set conservation goals, to provide the maximum technical assistance to people who work the land, and to leverage the federal contributions to natural resource conservation on private lands. These partners include:
- Conservation districts
- County governments
- State and other federal agencies
- NRCS Earth Team volunteers
- Agricultural and environmental groups
- Professional societies
The state's 34 conservation districts take a special place in the partnership and the natural resource conservation delivery system. Units of local government, conservation districts operate on the premise that local people know the most about local natural resource needs. Conservation districts link NRCS to local communities and to local priorities for natural resource conservation.
The State Technical Committee in Wyoming is a 70-member group that fulfills a key partnership and advisory function. These individuals provide information, analyses, and recommendations on implementing U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs. Membership on the committee is open to representatives of private organizations and businesses, state and federal agencies, and individuals who are knowledgeable or have expertise in natural resource conservation.