The Salinas watershed in California and the Aqua Fria watershed in Arizona are two of 51 watersheds eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2007 Conservation Security Program (CSP), according to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns.

“This is the fourth year the Conservation Security Program has recognized farmers and ranchers for their ongoing stewardship on working agricultural lands,” Johanns said on Sept. 25. “Our investment in this voluntary program has already proved beneficial by creating many successful cooperative public-private partnerships across the nation.”

Administered by the National Resources Conservation Service, the CSP is a voluntary program that supports ongoing conservation stewardship on private agricultural working lands and enhances the condition of the nation’s natural resources. The program rewards producers who practice good stewardship on agricultural lands and offers incentives to increase the use of conservation practices. The CSP is offered in new watersheds annually on a rotational basis in as many watersheds as funding allows.

Maps of the Salinas and Aqua Fria watersheds and eligibility requirements are available online at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.

e-mail: cblake@farmpress.com