58 conservation service contracts offered in California USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Lincoln “Ed” Burton yesterday announced that 58 agricultural producers in California will be offered contracts through the 2006 Conservation Security Program (CSP). This year’s eligible watershed was the Lower Feather, covering parts of Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties.

“While we are seeing a high level of stewardship in the 2006 contracts selected for CSP in California, we are seeing a lower number of contracts overall due to funding constraints at the national level,” said Burton. Funds available for new CSP contracts decreased between 2005 and 2006 by $96 million nationally — a 66 percent drop.

In 2006, six California applicants will be offered Tier 3 contracts (for addressing all relevant natural resource concerns across the entire farm) and 52 will be offered Tier 2 contracts (for addressing soil and water quality across the entire farm). “The 58 landowners selected for CSP are providing conservation benefits throughout their entire operation and California can be proud of their work and conservation commitment,” said Burton.

The 58 California contracts represent 27 percent of the 216 applications submitted to the national office for funding consideration. Collectively they represent $975,819 in payments for 2006 and will continue for up to 10 years.

“There were a lot of good land stewards who applied for CSP and could not be funded this year due to financial constraints,” said Burton.

According to Burton, “NRCS remains committed to working with all of these producers—helping those selected for contracts to fulfill their obligations and helping the others with conservation planning and program assistance to qualify for CSP in the future or to accomplish other natural resource-related goals.”

Additional information about CSP is available from your local USDA Service Center or at http://wwwca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.