NY Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of New York

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Grant amount: More than US $1,500

Anticipated deadline: May 10, 2020

Applicant type: Working Professional Indigenous Group For-Profit Business College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: New York

Location of residency: New York

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Program Description

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) presents a significant shift in how the Natural Resources Conservation Service provides conservation program payments. CSP participants will receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce. Under CSP, participants are paid for conservation performance: the higher the operational performance, the higher their payment.

CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.

How Does CSP Work?

Most of the agriculture producers that are approved to participate in CSP have already been implementing conservation practices on their land. CSP steps in and offers enhancements for those practices. For example, if you have been practicing prescribed grazing, CSP would give you options to enhance that practice with activities such as grazing management to improve plants for wildlife, or grazing management to reduce soil compaction, or grazing management to improve riparian function, just to name a few.

If you decide to enroll in CSP, the local NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation with you to evaluate your current management system and the natural resources on your land. Then the NRCS conservation planner will present a variety of CSP enhancement alternatives for you to consider implementing on your land, based on existing conservation practices. The variety of CSP conservation activities that are offered give you a lot of freedom to select enhancements or practices that help you meet your management goals. These improvements work naturally with your land to bring out your land’s best potential.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • To participate in CSP, you must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements, and have current farm records with USDA Farm Service Agency.
  • You must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract, be actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the agricultural operation and share in the risks associated with agricultural production.
  • You must also be meeting the stewardship threshold for at least two resource concerns at the time of application.