OR Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Oregon


Grant amount: More than US $1,500

Anticipated deadline: Mar 2, 2019

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: Oregon

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Overview:

Our Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation. CSP is for working lands. It’s the largest conservation program in the United States with 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled. Thousands of people have made the choice to voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.

How CSP works

Most agricultural producers that are approved to participate in CSP have already been implementing conservation practices on their land. CSP 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 agricultural operation. Then the NRCS conservation planner will determine if current activities on your agricultural operation meets stewardship eligibility and assist you in identifying CSP enhancements to consider based on your existing conservation practices. 

CSP helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address resources concerns on the agricultural operation. 

The program encourages producers to address resource concerns to improve and conserve the quality and condition of natural resources in a comprehensive manner by, undertaking additional conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities across the producer’s entire agricultural operation. 

Once you choose the enhancements that best fit your agricultural operation, CSP offers annual incentive payments for installing these practices on your land. If you want to take it even a step further, CSP also offers bundles where you can select a suite of enhancements.

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

Eligibility:

  • In order to participate in CSP the applicant must meet all three eligibility criteria; producer, land, and stewardship eligibility.
    • Applicant:
      • Individuals, entities, and Indian Tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forest land.
      • Prior to submitting an application the applicant must be the operator in the Farm Services Agency (FSA) farm records management system for the agricultural operation being offered for the program.
      • The applicant must have effective control of the lands for the life of the contract, be compliant with the highly erodible land (HEL) and wetland conservation (WC) provisions, and be compliant with payment eligibility provisions, including the adjusted gross income (AGI) provision.
    • Land:
      • The CSP contract must include all eligible and ineligible lands on an agricultural operation that the applicant has effective control for the life of the CSP contract, which is 5 years.
      • Eligible lands consist of tribal or private cropland, pastureland, rangeland, forestlands, associated agricultural lands, and farmstead.
    • Stewardship Threshold:
      • The stewardship threshold means the level of management required to conserve and improve the quality and condition of a natural resource.
      • Each stewardship threshold is evaluated using the Conservation Activity Evaluation Tool (CAET), which assesses the applicant’s conservation management decisions for each resource concern on each land use in their operation.
      • The applicant must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold on all land uses.
      • Each land use must address at least two resource concerns at time of application and address at least one additional resource concern by the end of the conservation stewardship contract on each land use.