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Conservation Planning . . . More Than Just a Good Idea?
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It is common knowledge that planning to conserve natural resources is a good idea and the right thing to do. But did you know that conservation planning also makes good business sense? If you develop and implement a conservation plan you may receive priority status when and if you decide to apply for certain Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs. Also, it is one of the best tools around to help you assess and inventory your resources so you can make better decisions to help you reach your land use and natural resource goals subsequently improving your bottom line.

The NRCS Fiscal Year 2012 application evaluation cutoff date for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) funds has been set as Nov. 15. Applicants who request a conservation plan prior to Aug. 31, will receive additional points in the ranking process.

NRCS conservation plans are developed using state-of-the-art technology by technical experts who work one-on-one with landowners to identify problems and opportunities, determine objectives, analyze resource data, and then formulate and evaluate alternatives.

"After alternatives have been outlined, the landowner makes the decision about how and if he or she wants to proceed with the recommendations," said Greg Bauer Supervisory District Conservationist Great Bend.

"After the decisions have been made, we help the landowner implement the plan with technical assistance, and sometimes financial assistance, and then we work with the landowner to evaluate the plan and results. It’s a great service, and it’s provided at no cost to the landowner."

Conservation plans make good business sense as they can have a positive impact on your bottom line. Developing and implementing them is the right thing to do to improve the condition and quality of soil, water, air, plants, and wildlife habitat.

"A conservation plan is one of the most valuable tools any farmer or rancher can have," said Randy Demel Barton County Conservation District Board Chairman.

"People make plans for everything from vacations to retirement so they can be prepared and get the results they desire. The same premise applies to land stewardship."

For additional information about conservation planning, please contact your local Conservation District or NRCS field office located in Great Bend. You may also visit Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_KS. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.