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Local Input – Shaping the Soil & Water Resources Conservation Act Appraisal. National Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting Orlando, FL 2 February 2010. Patty Lawrence U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. RCA Background. Enacted in 1977

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local input shaping the soil water resources conservation act appraisal
Local Input – Shaping the Soil & Water Resources Conservation Act Appraisal

National Association of Conservation Districts

Annual Meeting

Orlando, FL

2 February 2010

Patty Lawrence

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service

rca background
RCA Background
  • Enacted in 1977
  • Strategic assessment and planning authority
  • Science-based policy decisions
  • Three major provisions
  • Public process
  • Conservation policy impacts
2008 farm bill
2008 Farm Bill
  • Extended RCA to 2018
  • Aligned with farm bill cycle
  • Targeted changes
    • Conservation effects
    • Performance based standards
    • Environmental outcomes
  • Evaluation of process
public outreach
Public Outreach
  • National, regional, and local effort
  • Multiple approaches
    • Listening sessions
    • Focus groups
    • State Technical Committee survey
  • Comment analysis underway
listening sessions
Listening Sessions
  • Five listening sessions
  • 700 participants, 150 speakers
  • Comments on:
    • Important natural resource concerns on private lands today and in the future.
    • Current conservation program approaches.
    • New conservation program approaches.
what did we hear
What did we hear?
  • Natural resource concerns:
    • Water quality and quantity
    • Soil quality
    • Land fragmentation
  • Conservation program approaches:
    • Technical assistance
    • Outreach
    • Program simplification
focus groups
Focus Groups
  • Five focus groups
  • 70 participants and speakers
  • Comments on:
    • Barriers to participation
    • Needed approaches
what did we hear8
What did we hear?
  • Barriers
    • Program complexity
    • Economic (cost-share rates)
    • Reluctant to work with government
    • Land ownership/tenure
  • Needed approaches
    • Technical assistance
    • Program streamlining
    • Focused outreach
    • Bi-lingual assistance
state technical committee survey
State Technical Committee Survey
  • 50 States and the Pacific Basin and Caribbean Areas
  • 3,400 surveys delivered
  • Nearly 900 respondents
  • Survey open for 3 months
your thoughts on new conservation approaches
Your thoughts on new conservation approaches…
  • Consider:
    • 70+ years of technical and financial assistance
    • Declining Federal, State, and local resources
    • Climate change, biofuels, and other stressors
    • Trade
  • Low or ‘no’ cost approaches – what will it take to put “you” in a conservation plan?
  • Regulation? Needed or not?
more information
More information?

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Website: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/rca

E-mail: RCA@wdc.usda.gov

Phone: 202-720-3074

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources and Environment

ATTN: RCA

14th and Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20250