|Working Lands Conservation|
The N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and a number of partners are working together to prepare a North Carolina Plan for Working Lands Conservation. The plan contains seven chapters describing issues such as Private Lands/Public Benefits, Balancing State Policies and Priorities in Conservation, Local Leadership and Partnerships, Existing Tools, New Tools, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmers and Landowners, and Working Lands Conservation Funding.
North Carolina Working Lands Plan (full text)
Summary of Principles and Action Steps (a listing of the principles and action steps only)
Printable Plan Overview (as appears below)
The plan contains twenty-eight principles for working lands conservation and specific action steps to be taken to increase emphasis and capacity for working lands aspects of conservation. The principles can be abbreviated as follows:
· Educating the public and policy-makers about the public benefits of working lands.
· Protecting lands for their working value, and keeping land in private ownership and in a working state in achieving conservation purposes.
· Growing overall funding support for all forms of conservation, and creating a better balance among
state priorities in conservation.
· Establishing a dedicated funding source for working lands conservation.
· Expanding the level of state investment in technical assistance funding, and building a 21st Century conservation infrastructure.
· Improving training for federal, state and local conservation staff and private sector technical service providers.
· Increasing participation by the private sector.
· Expanding the state’s investment in cost share funding for agriculture and forestry working lands.
· Reshaping state policy to send a message to private landowners that their stewardship efforts are understood and appreciated, to improve landowners’ participation, and to provide incentives and opportunities for economic enhancement.
· Attracting and rewarding more landowners, emphasizing limited resource and beginning landowners.
· Building strong local leadership and effective local partnerships.
· Creating and applying technical standards for new and innovative working lands conservation tools.
· Promoting conservation planning that includes both a base level and “place-based” approaches, using high quality natural resources information.
· Strengthening Voluntary Agricultural Districts (VADs) to provide a more meaningful and attractive program for working farm and forest landowners.
· Expanding state and federal tax incentives to other conservation tools.
· Incorporating additional business-related tools and professional services into technical assistance programs to include business aspects of working lands.
A few examples of action steps include:
Readers are encouraged to review the complete list of principles and action steps, and to read background narratives in the full text draft plan available at the top of the page.