A Conservation Legacy Reaching Back to 1935
2010 marks the 75th anniversary of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the beginning of the federal commitment to conserving natural resources on private lands. Originally established by Congress in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), NRCS has expanded to become a conservation leader for all natural resources, ensuring private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges, like climate change.
Seventy percent of the land in the United States is privately owned, making stewardship by private landowners absolutely critical to the health of our Nation’s environment.
NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
Science and technology are critical to good conservation. NRCS experts from many disciplines come together to help landowners conserve natural resources in efficient, smart and sustainable ways. Whether developed in a laboratory or on the land, NRCS science and technology helps landowners make the right decisions for every natural resource. NRCS succeeds through partnerships, working closely with individual farmers and ranchers, landowners, local conservation districts, government agencies, Tribes, Earth Team volunteers and many other people and groups that care about the quality of America’s natural resources.
We work at the local level, – in field offices at USDA Service Centers in nearly every county in the Nation. NRCS employees’ understanding of local resource concerns and challenges result in conservation solutions that last.
In the words of the first NRCS Chief, Hugh Hammond Bennett – “If we take care of the land, it will take care of us.”