Natural Resources Conservation Service


Natural Resources Conservation Service
Natural Resources Conservation Service
US-NaturalResourcesConservationService-Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed April 20, 1932
Preceding agency Soil Erosion Service
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Employees 11,478 (2006)
Agency executives Dave White, Chief
Ginger Murphy, Acting Associate Chief
Parent agency Department of Agriculture
Website
www.nrcs.usda.gov

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides technical assistance to farmers and other private landowners and managers.

Its name was changed in 1994 during the Presidency of Bill Clinton to reflect its broader mission. It is a relatively small agency, currently comprising about 12,000 employees. Its mission is to improve, protect, and conserve natural resources on private lands through a cooperative partnership with local and state agencies. While its primary focus has been agricultural lands, it has made many technical contributions to soil surveying, classification and water quality improvement.[1][2] One example is the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), set up to quantify the benefits of agricultural conservation efforts promoted and supported by programs in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill). NRCS is the leading agency in this project.

Contents

History

The agency was founded largely through the efforts of Hugh Hammond Bennett, a soil conservation pioneer who had worked for the Department of Agriculture from 1903 to 1952[3] . Bennett's motivation was based on his knowledge of the detrimental effects of soil erosion and the impacts on U.S lands.[4] On September 13, 1933, the Soil Erosion Service was formed in the Department of the Interior, with Bennett as chief. The service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture on March 23, 1935, and was shortly thereafter combined with other USDA units to form the Soil Conservation Service by the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1935.[5][6] Hugh Bennett continued as chief, a position he held until his retirement in 1952[7] . On October 20, 1994, the agency was renamed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994.[8][6]

Supported organizations

See also

References

  1. ^ U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Washington, DC. "Soil Survey Programs." Accessed 2009-06-05.
  2. ^ NRCS. "National Conservation Practice Standards." National Handbook of Conservation Practices. Accessed 2009-06-05.
  3. ^ Cook, Maurice. "Hugh Hammond Bennett: the Father of Soil Conservation". Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. North Carolina State University. http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/about/century/hugh.html. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Biography of Hugh Hammond Bennett". NRCS. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/history/bennett.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  5. ^ Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, P.L. 74-46, 49 Stat. 163, 16 U.S.C. § 590(e), April 27, 1935.
  6. ^ a b "Records of the Natural Resources Conservation Service". NARA. http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/114.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  7. ^ Cook, Maurice. "Hugh Hammond Bennett: the Father of Soil Conservation". Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. North Carolina State University. http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/about/century/hugh.html. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, 108 Stat. 3223, October 13, 1994.
  9. ^ "Great Basin Plant Materials Center". USDA NRCS. http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/nvpmc/. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 

External links



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