The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The program is available nationwide on a continuous application basis. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) replaces the Conservation Security Program with the new Conservation Stewardship Program for fiscal years 2009 through 2017.
CSP Agricultural Operation Fact Sheet (PDF, 986 KB)
The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:
- Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
- Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
Through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.
The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a State, or the specific geographic areas within a State. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a State who face similar resource challenges.
Individuals, entities, and Indian Tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forest land may be eligible for the program. The operator must be in the Farm Services Agency (FSA) farm records management system for the agricultural operation being offered for the the program. Potential applicants who are not in the FSA farm records management system must establish records with FSA prior to submitting an application.
The CSP contract must include all eligible and ineligible lands on an applicant agricultural operation (PDF, 982 KB), that the applicant has effective control for the life of the CSP contract, which is 5 years.
In addition, the program provides opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers. Nationally, the program aims to enroll at least five percent of total program acres operated by beginning farmers and ranchers and another five percent operated by socially disadvantaged producers. Within each specified geographic area and land use, beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers will have a separate funding pool.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered as a continuous signup, and applications are accepted year-round with periodic ranking announced during the year.
Interested land managers and growers can begin the application process by completing the following steps:
1. Complete a Self-Screening Checklist (PDF, 118 KB).
2. Verify program eligibility at your local USDA Service Center.
3. Submit a program application form (PDF, 44 KB).
4. Submit an operation map, aerial photograph or overlay that identifies their agricultural and/or forest operation and associated acreage amounts.
Once these steps are completed, NRCS will work with applicants to enter information about the operation in the Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT is an online questionnaire that collects information on land uses, existing conservation, and additional conservation activities the applicant is willing to undertake in order to estimate the conservation performance level the applicant will achieve. Using the information entered, the CMT determines:
- Whether the applicant meets the land stewardship threshold necessary to participate in the program,
- The additional conservation performance by the conservation activities the applicant elects to install
- The applicant's ranking score, and
- The payments that the producer will receive if he or she ranks for funding.
The Conservation Stewardship Program offers participants two possible types of payments:
- Annual payment for installing and adopting additional conservation activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities. Conservation activities are conservation systems, practices, or management measures needed to address a resource concern or improve environmental quality through the treatment of natural resources, and includes structural, vegetative, and management activities, as determined by NRCS
- Supplemental payment for the adoption of Resource-Conserving Crop Rotations.
For more information on payments and benefits, please view the following fact sheet: CSP Payments and Benefits (PDF, 1MB)
REMINDER: This listing is a free service of HabitatCAN.
Oregon Conservation Stewardship Program is not employed by or affiliated with the Habitat Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.
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Contact Oregon Conservation Stewardship Program
1201NE Lloyd Blvd
Portland, OR 97232Phone:
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