Natural Resources Conservation Service - The District's First Partner
The United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the District's closest partner. We are co-located and mingle together sharing phone numbers and office space as we collaborate on various projects throughout the county. As our federal partner, the NRCS brings to bear project management, planning, engineering, and cost share assistance.
Our Natural Resources Conservation Service partners: Jennifer Hayward, Pinedale District Conservationist
Karen Clause, Multi-County Range Management Specialist
serving; Teton, Uinta, Lincoln, Sweetwater and Sublette Counties
Shirleena King, Administrative Assistant
Local Work Group (LWG)
The locally led conservation effort is the foundation of the USDA conservation program delivery process. The LWG supports the locally led conservation effort by coordinating USDA programs with other Federal, State, tribal and local conservation programs to provide an integrated solution to addressing natural resource concerns. Public is invited to participate in identifying the resource concerns and conservation priorities in meetings to be held. Meetings will focus on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, one of the main funding programs identified in the Food, Energy and Conservation Act, also known as the Farm Bill. The purpose of the meeting is to gather comments from local entities, especially farmers and ranchers that have an interest in natural resouce conditions and needs. The discussion and recommendations from the participants in the meeting will assist NRCS conservationists with program direction of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and resource concerns for other USDA programs.
Purpose of Local Work Groups
The purpose of the local work group is to provide advice to NRCS concerning the implementation of conservation programs. Convened by the local conservation district, the local work group may advise NRCS on:
Conditions of the natural resources and the environment
The local application process, including ranking criteria,
Cost-share rates and payment levels and methods of payment,
Eligible conservation practices,
The need for new, innovative conservation practices,
Public outreach and information efforts
Sage Grouse Initiative
There are a total of 11 western states working together to conserve the Greater Sage-grouse and we are doing our part to help keep it off the endangered species list. Within the 11 states there are 23 positions to address these issues and to administer the NRCS SGI programs. SCCD has partnered with NRCS, Intermountain West Joint Venture and the US Fish and Wildlife service to bring a position to the Pinedale NRCS Field office to promote, plan and administer Sage-grouse Initiative (SGI) programs. This position will work throughout Sublette County to provide conservation plans for interested ranchers/landowners; education to the public about the SGI programs; education to landowners about the biology of Sage-grouse; and administer SGI programs to landowners. Please see our Sage Grouse Initiative page
The Conservation District also works with our local NRCS partners in Ranch Conservation Planning. A conservation ranch plan is a record of your operation, your voluntary management decisions and the conservation practices you plan to maintain or implement. An inventory of all your resources is conducted including the soil, water, plants, animals and even the air is included. We then offer you a number of alternatives to consider. After discussing them the ones selected will be recorded into your conservation plan, which becomes your roadmap for better management of your natural resources. This plan is developed for YOU, and the decisions made are YOURS, we are just there to give you our science based knowledge to help you make the most informed decisions you can. A conservation plan includes soils maps and descriptions, an aerial photo of your fields, inventory maps, resource inventory data including forage or crop production or potential livestock carrying capacity, records of your management decisions, a plan of your operation and maintenance of conservation practices and much more. By engaging in a conservation plan you can not only be prepared for various USDA programs that can help you financially, but you can be proactive in protecting your resources to be sure your ranch will be viable for generations to come. To lean more please come in to the NRCS or SCCD office to speak with our staff.