October 6, 2006
The Concho River Basin near San Angelo will be one of 51 watersheds nationwide eligible for the 2007 Conservation Security Program (CSP), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials announced in late September.
That announcement will allow producers in more than one million acres of West Texas to qualify for annual stewardship payments and enhancement incentives aimed at improving the land.
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. Under this program, USDA rewards producers who practice good stewardship on agricultural lands and offers incentives to increase the use of conservation practices, including projects such as brush control, water resource improvement and wildlife habitat preservation, as well as deep soil nutrition testing of cropland.
The Concho River Basin includes nearly 800,000 acres of ranchland and another 270,000 acres of cropland in Concho, Coke, Tom Green, Runnels and Schleicher counties.
USDA expects the landowner sign-up period to be designated in early October, allowing farmers and ranchers to register their enhancement projects with USDA and qualify for the payments. The stewardship payments can range $2 to $7 per acre annually, while enhancement payments vary depending on the size of the project.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service began CSP in fiscal year 2004. Currently, there are 280 watersheds in CSP nationwide, covering nearly 224 million acres.
For more information, visit your county's USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.