USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-up Extended to June 25Final Rule Issued
Palmer, June 4, 2010 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has published the final regulations governing the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, CSP is a voluntary program that offers payments to producers who exercise good land stewardship and want to improve their conservation performance. Changes to the program expand access, increase payment limits, and promote greater environmental benefit while maintaining program goals.
The current enrollment period for CSP has been extended an additional two weeks, now closing June 25, 2010, when applications will be scored, ranked, and funded.
CSP pays participants for conservation performance – the higher the performance, the higher the payment. Producers get credit both for conservation measures they have already implemented and for new measures they agree to add. CSP is available to all producers regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.
For details on changes to CSP, the final rule can be viewed at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-12699.pdf.
Potential applicants should use the CSP self-screening checklist to determine if the new program is suitable for them. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available on the NRCS Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html or by contacting an NRCS filed office.
The Alaska NRCS office phone numbers are: Aniak (907) 675-4578, Copper Center (907) 822-4484, Delta Junction (907) 895-4241, Dillingham (907) 842-3240, Fairbanks (907) 479-3159, Homer (907) 235-8177, Juneau (907) 586-7220, Kenai (907) 283-8732, Kodiak (907) 486-5598, Nome (907) 443-6096, and Wasilla (907)373-6492. Contact information for the offices in Alaska is also available at www.ak.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/fieldoffices.html.
For more information about CSP, please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.
Posted: June 7, 2010