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  1. CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM (CSP)Continuous Sign-Up Kick-Off Steve Parkin Stewardship Program Team August 10, 2009

  2. CSP Features and Outreach Objectives: • Overview • Enlist Support • Spread the Word

  3. Secretary Vilsack – Priority “You’ll see an aggressive effort and a continued effort at promoting our Conservation Stewardship Program. Why? Because it’s good for the environment; it’s good to preserve the soil; it’s good to protect the water.” - Secretary Vilsack February 26, 2009

  4. Continuous Sign-Up Announced Target Dates Begin Sign-Up………….... August 10 First Cutoff………....…September 30 Pre-Approve Apps…….November 16 Verify & Approve………November 30

  5. Stewardship Program Purpose Encourage producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by • Installing and adopting new conservation activities • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities

  6. Created by 2008 Farm Bill • Replaces the Conservation Security Program of Prior Years • Authorizes 12,796,000 Acres/Year Enrollment Through 2017 • Expands Program Availability

  7. Security Program Effect on Conservation Security Program • Prohibits new or renewed Security contracts after 09/30/08 • Provides funds as necessary to administer existing contracts • Honors payment commitments

  8. Stewardship Program Features Broadens Program Availability • Available nationwide • Continuous sign-up with periodic cut-offs for ranking • Adds nonindustrial private forest lands as eligible land

  9. Stewardship Program Features Shifts Decision-Making to States • Allocates acres to States to manage • Focuses on resource concerns identified as a priority for a State or areas of a state • Competitively ranks peers who face similar resource challenges

  10. CSP Benefits - Participants • Recognition for Excellent Land Stewardship • Payment for Performance – 2 types • Annual payment for installing additional conservation activities as scheduled and maintaining existing activities • Supplemental payment available for participant receiving annual payment who also adopts a resource-conserving crop rotation

  11. Benefits - Natural Resources and Public • Delivers valuable new conservation • Expands ag and forestry producers’ ability to produce greater environmental benefits: • Improves air, soil, and water quality • Creates and enhances wildlife habitat • Assists address global climate change • Encourages energy conservation and production

  12. Program Design Emphasis • Critical Management Controls • Conservation Planning Process • Payment for Conservation Performance

  13. Critical Management Controls Program Design – Participation Extent • Participation based on how producer represents their operation for other USDA programs • Applicant must be operator in FSA farm records management system • Operation includes all agricultural or forestry land operated substantially separate where the operator has control for the contract term • Owners can be participants

  14. Critical Management Controls Program Design – Participation Extent • Payment limitation monitored by direct attribution • Allows participation in multiple contracts

  15. Critical Management Controls Program Design – Servicing Model • Payment for previous FY activities allows field verification prior to obligation and payment • Servicing model becomes: • Screen – Resource Inventory – Schedule Activities • Rank – Pre-approve – Field Verify – Obligate • Install and Maintain Activities – Pay

  16. Critical Management Controls On-Site Field Verification for All Pre-approved Applications • Request applicant’s records • Conduct on-site field verification • Substantiate resource inventory information was accurate prior to contract approval

  17. Conservation Planning Process Conservation Measurement Tool Builds On Existing Technology • Conservation planning tool • Combines functions of past eligibility tools • Considers physical effects of existing and new conservation activities on eligible land

  18. Conservation Planning Process Conservation Measurement Tool Functions to: • Inventory resources to estimate existing conservation performance level • Schedule new conservation activities and estimate conservation performance improvement

  19. Conservation Planning Process Conservation Measurement Tool Functions to: • Determine stewardship threshold requirement • Land treatment eligibility • Determine ranking score • Establish annual payment

  20. Let’s Get Started Step 1 – Producer Self-Screening Checklist • Completed by potential applicant to independently identify if CSP is right program for them and their operation • Available at NRCS field offices and on NRCS Web sites •

  21. CSP Summary • Recognize Existing Stewardship & Deliver New Conservation • Revamped and Ready to Roll-Out • Help Spread the Word

  22. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.