Great Plains Conservation


To conserve and develop the Great Plains soil and water resources by providing technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and others in planning and implementing conservation practices.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 06/09/2006 (Funds have been recinded by Congress)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments for Specified Use; Advisory Services and Counseling.
Program Accomplishments
At the end of FY 2001, there were 930 remaining active contracts with cost share practices valued in excess of $10,794,000 remaining to be implemented on over 3,906,000 acres. This program is operated in 556 counties in 10 States.
Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936, Public Law 74-46, as amended; Great Plains Act of 1956, Public Law 84-1021; Public Law 86-793; Public Law 91-118; Public Law 96-263; Public Law 101-624.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants must have control of the land for the period of the contract running from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 10 years. Applicants must be in compliance with Title XIV, Subtitles A and B of Public Law 101-624. Land must be located in one of 556 designated counties within the States of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Applicant must have control of the land for the period of the contract running from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 10 years.
Evidence that applicant has control over land to be entered into contract or will develop an adequate plan of farming operation that incorporates needed soil and water conservation practices. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
None. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102 and E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
Application is made to the Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist serving the county in which the operating unit is located. The application is submitted on Form SCS-LTP-001, "Application for long-term contracted assistance through the Great Plains Conservation Program." This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Award Procedure
Generally, the area conservationist serving the multi-county area in which the participating county is located is the contracting officer and is the representative of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Contracting Officer is responsible for the technical adequacy of the conservation plan and the legal sufficiency of the contract.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Application servicing depends on the volume of applications, backlog of pending applications and priority rating based on severity of resource problems and NRCS staff assistance available for development of contracts.
Appeals procedures are available from NRCS field offices, and are included in each contract.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Cost-share funds are available for many of the soil and water conservation measures determined to be needed to protect and stabilize a farm or ranch unit against climatic and erosion hazards of the Great Plains area, and applied in accordance with a conservation plan for the entire operating unit. Additional practices may be included in the plan for agriculture-related pollution abatement, enhancement of fish, wildlife, recreational resources, and promotion of economic use of land and may or may not be cost-shared.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No reports. NRCS and the landowner or operator make an annual contract status review that includes maintenance of completed contract items, need for deletion or addition of contract items, etc.
NRCS makes periodic random on site reviews of the quality and quantity of the application and maintenance of contract items.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Cost-sharing to participant ranges for specified conservation practices from 80 percent of the cost for practices with the most public benefit to 50 percent for practices where the public benefit is less. Other practices may be required to be installed without cost-share.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Contract period runs from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 10 years. Obligations for assistance are tied to a long-term contract detailing the 3 to 10 year schedule in which needed land use changes and conservation practice installation will be made.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
State conservationists for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in the 10 Great Plains States where the program operates (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). See Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses of district conservationists, NRCS, in the 556 counties where the program operates.
Headquarters Office
Deputy Chief, National Resources Conservation Programs, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013. Telephone: (202) 720-1873. Use the same number for FTS.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(From carryover funds): (Grants) FY 02 $531,613; FY 02 est $400,144; and FY 04 est $0. (Salaries and expenses) FY 02 $1,505,007; FY 03 est $432,000; and FY 04 est $0.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Up to $35,000 per farm operating unit over a contract period running from 3 to 10 years.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
"The Great Plains Conservation Program" PA-1317 "What the Natural Resources Conservation Service Does," SCS-CI-3; 7 CFR 631, regulations in Federal Register Vol. 49, No. 59, page 11141, March 26, 1984.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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