CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or crops produced. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, and nonindustrial private forest land. Forest/woodland must be: “green certified” by the Tree Farm System, Green Tag, Smart Wood, Forest Stewardship Council, or Sustainable Forestry Initiative; managed according to a written forest management plan or stewardship plan with one or more improvements being made to the forest/woodlands in the past 10 years; managed with no apparent erosion on harvested or burned areas, roads, skid trails and landings; managed with native trees appropriately stocked on the property (except temporarily for areas being reforested) and wildfire risk (in wildfire-prone areas) is minimized by strategically placed firebreaks.
Forestry Practices Covered
Practices that help conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land.
CSP provides participants with payments to maintain the existing conservation based on the operation type and number of resource concerns that are meeting the stewardship level at the time of application and payments to implement additional conservation activities. All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1,500.
The USDA Natural Conservation Resource Service (NRCS) makes CSP available on a nationwide basis through continuous sign-up, with announced cut-off dates for ranking and funding applications. Applications are evaluated and ranked and producers get credit both for conservation measures they have already implemented and for new measures they agree to add.
- Potential applicants are encouraged to determine whether CSP is the right program for them by completing the self-screening checklist
- To apply: contact the NRCS office at your local USDA Service Center
- Get more Conservation Stewardship Program details