SOURCE: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

October 10, 2006 12:11 ET

Three Pennsylvania Watersheds Selected for 2007 Conservation Security Program

HARRISBURG, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- Pennsylvania's Lower Juniata, Lower Delaware, and Gunpowder-Patapsco watersheds have been selected to participate in the 2007 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Security Program (CSP). Nearly 2,500 farmers within these watershed boundaries will have the opportunity to apply for payments based on the conservation work they have done in past years.

The Lower Juniata and Gunpowder-Patapsco watersheds drain into the Chesapeake Bay and cover significant portions of Juniata, Mifflin, Huntingdon, Perry, and Fulton counties and small areas of Dauphin, Franklin, and Snyder, and York counties. The Lower Delaware watershed drains into the Delaware Bay and covers parts of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

Nationally, 51 watersheds in 50 states, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Area will be eligible for the 2007 CSP. These watersheds represent more than 64,500 of the nation's potentially eligible farms and ranches, covering nearly 24 million acres of cropland and grazing land.

The announced watersheds are based on President Bush's requested funding level for the program for fiscal year 2007. NRCS's ability to accept CSP applications in these watersheds will depend upon the actual level of funds received in the 2007 federal budget. Eligible watersheds are being announced now to allow farmers adequate time to gather resource information on their operations in preparation for a prospective sign-up. NRCS will schedule public meetings to inform producers about the program and application process.

CSP is a voluntary program that provides payments for ongoing conservation stewardship and incentives for producers to adopt additional practices that help conserve and improve soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life on working lands. Working lands include cropland, grassland, and, improved pasture. The program provides equitable access and benefits to all producers, regardless of size of operation, crops produced, or geographic location.

USDA offers CSP in new watersheds annually on a rotational basis in as many watersheds as funding allows. Farmers must apply for the program and meet eligibility requirements. Applications are prioritized for funding and applicants are interviewed to review applications and verify farming practices.

For more information about CSP, including a map of the fiscal year 2007 watersheds and eligibility requirements, please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Molly McDonough
    Public Affairs Specialist
    717-237-2208