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.
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.
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.