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Conservation Technical Assistance

About the Program
The Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) Program provides technical assistance supported by science-based technology and tools to help people conserve, maintain, and improve their natural resources. The CTA Program provides the technical capability, including direct conservation planning, design, and implementation assistance, that helps people plan and apply conservation on the land. This assistance is provided to individuals, groups, and communities who make natural resource management decisions on private, tribal, and other non-federal lands. NRCS, through the CTA Program, provides conservation technical assistance that addresses natural resource conservation issues at the local level that are of State and national concern.

Program Objectives
  • Provide conservation technical assistance to individuals or groups of decision makers, communities, conservation districts, units of State and local government, tribes, and others to voluntarily conserve, maintain, and improve natural resources.
  • Provide community, watershed, and area-wide technical assistance in collaboration with units of government, to develop and implement resource management plans that conserve, maintain and improve natural resources.
  • Provide conservation technical assistance to agricultural producers to comply with management of Highly Erodible Land. Collect, analyze, interpret, display, and disseminate information about the status, condition, and trend of soil, water, and related natural resources so that people can make informed decisions for natural resource use and management. Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland (Swampbuster) Conservation Compliance Provisions of the l985 Food Security Act, as amended.
  • Provide conservation technical assistance to decision makers to assist them to comply with Federal, State, tribal, and local environmental regulations and related requirements, and to prepare them to become eligible to participate in other Federal, State, and local conservation programs.
  • Provide soils information and interpretation to individuals or groups of decision makers, communities, States, and others to aid sound decision making in the wise use and management of soil resources. Assess the effects of conservation practices and systems on the condition of natural resources.
  • Develop, adapt, and transfer effective science-based technologies and tools for assessment, management, and conservation of natural resources.
Program Purpose
The CTA Program provides the proven and consistent conservation technology and delivery infrastructure needed to achieve the benefits of a healthy and productive landscape, and has the following purposes:

  • Reduce soil loss from erosion.
  • Solve soil, water quality, water conservation, air quality, and agricultural waste management problems.
  • Reduce potential damage caused by excess water and sedimentation or drought.
  • Enhance the quality of fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Improve the long term sustainability of all lands, including cropland, forestland, grazing lands, coastal lands, and developed and/or developing lands.
  • Assist others in facilitating changes in land use as needed for natural resource protection and sustainability.
Relation to Other Conservation Provisions and Programs
The CTA Program provides the local delivery system and the foundation technical expertise for other NRCS programs. The CTA Program is unique because it provides a substantive level of technical expertise, background and support for Federal, tribal, State, and local conservation programs. This technical base enables other NRCS programs by facilitating conservation planning, interagency coordination, technical consultations, and collaboration with decision makers. For example, Fort Bend County assists in preparing landowners and decision makers for participation in USDA conservation financial assistance and easement programs. The CTA Program also provides much of the preliminary emergency disaster technical assistance for the Agency's Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The CTA Program also is available to assist clients with maintenance of conservation plans and practices/systems that resulted through expired or completed financially-assisted contracts or projects. The CTA Program also is used to assist decision makers for conservation planning prior to the commitment or approval of a participant’s funding for financial assistance.

It is our hope that every landowner will become district cooperator. By becoming a cooperator, the landowner or user agrees to develop a conservation plan for their land and to put it into effect as quickly as possible. This can often be done by slightly modifying a farming operation, but sometimes it will require changes that are complex and take several years to put into effect. The district, in turn, agrees to help the cooperator develop and apply the conservation plan by furnishing the necessary technical assistance. Applying and maintaining the conservation plan is the responsibility of the cooperator. We hope that all landowners will take advantage of available technology to carry out a conservation program that will be enduring and beneficial to their land and the community. Developers, planning commissions, units of government or owners with small tracts of land are provided information to use in making sound land use and treatment decisions.

The working relationships that landowners and communities have with their local NRCS staff are unique. One-on-one help through flexible, voluntary programs occurs every day in local NRCS offices across the country. It is the way NRCS does business, and it works. To obtain conservation technical assistance, contact your Rosenberg USDA-NRCS office.

Additional Information
CTA Program Fact Sheet

CPSWCD Sponsors

Farm Bureau of
Ft. Bend County
  Damon Farm
& Ranch
  N.C. Pipe   Angleton
Feed & Supply
  Ft. Bend
Excavation, Inc.
Farm Credit


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