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Focusing on Priorities with Strategic Conservation

Focusing on Priorities with Strategic Conservation

In times of tight budgets, focusing resources to address environmental challenges can maximize conservation benefits in critical areas. For the next farm bill, we propose a new approach to address conservation priorities through a merit-based strategic initiative process.

This approach would create a three-tiered strategic initiative system to strategically focus conservation resources:

  • National: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) headquarters focuses on regional and multi-state resource concerns of national significance, in the model of the Sage Grouse Initiative;
  • State: NRCS State Conservationists focus on key state-level priorities, for example, impaired air quality in the California Central Valley; and
  • Local: Local groups focus on resource concerns that impact the economic viability, ecological integrity, and quality of life of local agricultural communities, using the Cooperative Conservation and Partnership Initiative (CPPI) model.

In addition, each initiative would be required to meet accountability markers, including an initial assessment, establishing performance-based goals, monitoring of outcomes, and public reporting of performance.

Strategic Conservation Initiative

Agenda 2013 Priorities

Policy Resource Library

Farm and Ranch Conservation Programs: Focusing Priorities with Strategic Conservation [PDF]

Voices for Change

Simply put, conservation and farmland protection are at a crossroads. Land and healthy soil are the strategic resources critical to our nation’s ability to feed itself and to secure our nation’s future. Conservation programs are vital to maintaining those resources. — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust

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    Simply put, conservation and farmland protection are at a crossroads. Land and healthy soil are the strategic resources critical to our nation’s ability to feed itself and to secure our nation’s future. Conservation programs are vital to maintaining those resources. — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust