The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical
and financial assistance to help agricultural producers and others care
for the land. The assistance we provide is based on an understanding
that the land – the landscape as a whole – must be the focus of
conservation. Using this comprehensive approach, the people we help are
able to help the land function as a living sustainable system that
provides a high standard of living and a quality of life for today and
for future generations.
A Partnership Approach
Since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, NRCS has worked through conservation
districts and others throughout the U.S. to help landowners, as well as
Federal, State, tribal, and local governments and community groups
conserve natural resources on private lands.
NRCS has six mission goals that include high quality, productive soils;
clean and abundant water; healthy plant and animal communities; clean
air; an adequate energy supply; and working farms and ranchlands. To
achieve these goals, the Agency implements three strategies.
- Cooperative conservation: seeking and promoting cooperative efforts to
achieve conservation goals.
- Watershed approach: providing information and assistance to encourage
and enable locally-led, watershed-scale conservation.
- Market-based approach: facilitating the growth of market-based
opportunities that encourage the private sector to invest in
conservation on private lands.
NRCS provides conservation assistance through a nationwide network of
conservation districts and local offices. Our locally-based NRCS staff
works directly with farmers and ranchers to provide technical and
financial conservation assistance.
NRCS helps landowners develop conservation plans and provides advice on
the design, layout, construction, management, operation, mainte-nance,
and evaluation of the recommended, voluntary conservation practices.
NRCS’s programs and other Federal, State, or local cost-share programs
may be available to help producers implement conservation practices, as
well as provide incentives to qualified landowners to protect their
NRCS works on a variety of activities that include farmland protection,
upstream flood prevention, emergency watershed protection, urban
conservation, and local community projects designed to improve social,
economic, and environmental conditions.
NRCS conducts soil surveys, conservation needs assessments, and the
National Resources Inventory to provide a basis for resource
conservation planning activities and to provide an accurate natural
resource assessment of the condition of the Nation’s private lands.
As the leading source of technology as it applies to natural resources
conservation on private lands, NRCS develops technical guides and other
Web-based tools for use by landowners, NRCS staff, private consultants,
conservation districts and other Federal, State and local conservation
agencies to help enhance their natural resource conservation efforts.
For More Information
Please contact NRCS at your local
USDA Service Center, listed in phone
directories under U.S. Government.